Written by Joe DeTolve
12/4/2012 – Dekalb, IL – In what could be called an epic two game series this past weekend at the Fox Valley Ice Arena, the D2 Huskies team had their meddle tested however came out the victor against the SIU-E Cougars.
In Friday night’s game, the Huskies grabbed an early lead in the first period on a goal from Joe Boris helped out by Mike Hansen. However, SIU-E came storming back with two goals in eighteen seconds from Jared Ippolito and Nick Edwards. NIU came right back less than two minutes later with a goal from Troy Hickey. The see-saw first period saw three more goals including an absolute snipe from the Huskies Brian Pickett and shorthanded tally from Nick Remley.
The second period however was much different as both teams were held scoreless in a twenty minute interval that could be called at best “chippy” featuring six penalties including a game misconduct to the Huskies Joe Serpico and the Cougars Zac Patterson for face masking.
SIU-E tied it up early on in the third with Jared Heepke scoring and making it 3-3 until with less than seven minutes to go in the game, Mike Hansen scored on the power play, with help from Troy Hickey, putting the Huskies ahead for good 4-3
D2 assistant coach David Goldsmith sat down before Saturdays game and talked about discipline and how the Huskies used that to their advantage. “The two things we stressed all year are hard work and discipline. We worked hard for sixty minutes. Even with two quick goals it didn’t faze us. We didn’t lose our cool and that was really the difference last night. I was really proud of the fact even when it got chippy, guys kept their cool and didn’t boil over to the point where they would get brought to the penalty box”.
Right back at it on Saturday, NIU quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Nick Remley and Shawn Budz. However, the Huskies committed the hockey equivalent of a Mortal Sin as they gave up a shorthanded goal to Nick Edwards with less than two minutes left in the period.
SIU-E tied it up and took the lead in the second period on goals from Brad Keenan and John Wright. However, Mike Hansen scored at the twelve minute make to pull even again. The high scoring period wasn’t done though as SIU-E notched one more goals.
The third period started the same way with Eric Larson scoring within the first five minutes of the period. But twelve seconds later, Brain Pickett scored with assists from Mike Hansen and Joe Boris to bring it within one goal. The Huskies were able to tie it up at with 2:45 left in the third with a goal from Joe Boris assisted by Billy Lyne.
The Huskies forced overtime and weren’t able to capitalize on a late carry-over penalty by SIU-E's Traig Henson so the game would be settled in a shootout. In the shootout, both goalies let up a goal and it came down to NIU's final listed shooter of Joe Boris. With a silent Fox Valley Ice Arena crowd looking on, Boris took the puck at center ice and with a couple of moves was able to deke SIU-E goaltender Chris Steir for long enough to put the puck past him for the game winner and the rink erupted .
The Huskies now stand at 12-5 on the season and ranked #10 in the Central Region of the ACHA. NIU will travel to the historic Yost Ice Arena, in Ann Arbor Michigan, to take on the University of Michigan Wolverines in a two game series next weekend. Both games will be available on the NIU Hockey Ustream page at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/niu-hockey