NIU Hockey players highlight All-Conference teams

By Kim Wrona

4/18/16 – DeKalb, IL  |  NIU Hockey was well represented in both the Division-II and Division-III 2015-16 All-Conference teams.

The DII MACHA Gold First Team All-Conference included senior forward Justin Rucinski and senior defenseman Troy Heurlin.

Rucinski potted 68 points (28 G, 40 A) in 28 games for the Huskies this season.  He led the team in scoring while averaging 2.43 points per game.  He netted nine goals on the man advantage this year and also tallied two game-winning goals.

Heurlin racked up 34 points (13 G, 21 A) in 34 games.  He was the fifth leading scorer on NIU while he netted eight power play goals and two game-winning goals along the way.

Both Rucinski and Heurlin are graduating this semester.

The DII MACHA Gold Second Team All-Conference featured senior forward Nick Leon, sophomore goaltender Jake Leon and head coach Chuck Rinaldo.

Nick Leon tallied 56 points (30 G, 26 A) in 32 games for the Huskies.  He was second on the team in scoring and netter 11 power play goals, one shorthanded goal and four game-winning goals throughout the year.

Jake Leon finished with a record of 8-7-1-1-0 during the season and had a 3.83 goals against average and an 88.87 save percentage.  He pitched one shutout on the season.

Rinaldo led the Huskies to a 16-16-1-1-0 record during the course of a tough schedule that was riddled with injuries.

The DIII MACHA Bronze First Team All-Conference contained many Huskies.  Junior forward Tyler Hilton, senior forward and team captain Jc Weems, senior defenseman Gregg Jacobson, sophomore goaltender Jake Tower and head coach Nick Madonia were all named to the squad.

Hilton led the DIII Huskies in scoring with 60 points (36 G, 24 A) in 32 games played.  Hilton netted six power play markers, three shorthanded tallies and three game-winning goals during the course of the year.

Weems followed Hilton up in scoring with 54 points (17 G, 37A) in 31 contests.  The Captain tallied three power play goals in his final season with the Huskies as he will be graduating this semester.

Jacobson racked up 16 points (3 G, 13 A) in 32 games this season.  He netted a power play goal and a game-winning goal in his final go-around with the Huskies as he will also be graduating in May.

Tower finished the season with a record of 9-4-0-0 with a 3.16 GAA and a 91.39 save percentage.

Madonia led the Huskies to a 20-10-1-1 record in the 2015-16 season and led them to the MACHA Bronze Championship for the second year in a row.

Hilton, Weems and Madonia were all named to the MACHA All -Star Team that competed in the ACHA All-Star Challenge in Philadelphia at the beginning of April.

Junior forwards Cody Billeck and Jeremy Bilecki and freshman defensemen Mike Neville and Joe Schulz were named to the DIII MACHA Bronze Second Team All-Conference.

Billeck finished third in scoring on the DIII Huskies with 43 points (17 G, 26 A) in 30 games.  Four of his tallies came on the man advantage.

Bilecki netted 33 points (22 G, 11 A) in 22 games which put him as the fourth leading scorer on NIU.  Three of his markers came on the power play and three were game-winners.

Neville racked up 20 points (9 G, 11 A) in 32 games this season, including one game-winning goal.

Schulz played in 21 games for the DIII Huskies and put up 10 points (G, 9 A) before getting called-up to the DII Huskies for the remainder of the year.

“I am proud that our organization was well represented at both levels,” general manager Ian Kalanges said.  “This has turned into a yearly trend and I hope to continue it into next season.”