By Joe DeTolve
12/9/2012 – Dekalb, IL – In a two game series againt Robert Morris University-Black the D3 Huskies sure showed a lot of heart and residency.
Friday nights tilt began with a ceremony commending Senior Erik Cosgrove, who will be graduating this month, for his commitment and dedication to NIU Hockey. However, the touching ceremony didn’t seem to phase the RMU Eagles as they scored three quick goals in the first twelve minutes of the 1st period. Joe Themig lit the lamp with help from Patrick Mullaghy to pull the score closer before the first intermission. A fairly quiet Fox Valley Ice Arena was sent into a frenzy at the seven minute mark of the second period as JC Weems pulled NIU within one for the only tally of the period. The third period started off quickly as Matt Moore scored less than six minutes into it on the power play with help from Brian Kostecka. RMU would strike three minutes later and it would stay a one goal advantage till less than five minutes remaining as Brian Staffeldt sent the game into overtime. It appeared that the game may go into a shootout with both teams exchanging chances and both goalies making spectacular saves. That was until the 2:36 mark when NIU assistant captain JC Weems spilt past the right defender and put the puck in the net very reminiscent of the goal Patrick Kane scored in Game Six of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. The rink erupted in cheer and the Huskies saluted the fans during the bedlam at center ice to cap a spectacular night.
Saturday would start exactly the same as the previous night as RMU jumped out to a three to nothing lead before the first period was completed. This time the Huskies couldn’t stop the bleeding as it was five to one after two periods with the lone Huskies goal scored by Nick Renville and Eric Cosgrove with the assist. JC Weems brought it a bit closer in the third but ultimately the Huskies would end up losing five to three.
Regardless of the loss on Sunday, the D3 Huskies showed tons of residencies with a shorter bench than usual and their ability to not take bad penalties is what led to their ability to come back Friday and keep it close on Saturday. Head Coach John Lyne was asked what has been going differently for the Huskies in the last month which has led to better results. John responded with, “The wins at SIUE were huge. The schedule was very loaded at the beginning of the season with tough teams. The confidence we gained after going on the road and getting a sweep is huge and you saw it in the game on Friday. We took the game over in the 2nd period because we played with so much confidence”.
The Huskies will face Wheaton College next weekend at Center Ice of Dupage in Glen Ellyn on Friday and Saturday night and then they will be off in observance of Winter Break until January 11th as they take on Missouri State University at the Fox Valley Ice Arena.