NIU held scoreless in Jamestown road trip


Beverly Buchinger

Sophomore defenseman Keaton Peters (4) handles the puck during a game against John Carroll University on Sept. 16 at Canlan Ice Sports in West Dundee. (Beverly Buchinger | NIU Hockey)

DeKALB – NIU hockey struggles persist as the Huskies fell short in the series against the University of Jamestown Jimmies. The pair off losses extends the Huskies losing streak to twelve, having yet to win a game this season.

The Huskies (0-12, 0-4 MCH) dropped both games in their home series to the Jimmies (6-4, 6-0 MCH) by scores of 6-0 on Friday and 8-0 on Saturday.

NIU dazed by double-digits

The Huskies came out aggressive in the first period Friday, trying to establish defensive intensity early on. The Huskies’ aggressiveness did not lead to a score in the first period, but it kept them in the game.

“I thought we did a great job coming out strong, exciting, with good energy and the will to block shots,” head coach Brad Stoffers said.

Starting games out with intensity on the defensive end has been the focus this season. The Huskies have allowed one goal before the first intermission in their last two games, an improvement from early in the season.

“That’s something we’ve been working on; it’s been a focus for the last three or four weeks,” Stoffers said.

The Jimmies scored within ten minutes into the first but would not score the rest of the period due to Huskies’ defense and a penalty against them.

The Huskies couldn’t take advantage of the two-minute penalty toward the end of the first period to even the score.

The energy the Huskies had in the first period had diminished by the second period. The Jimmies came out swinging, scoring two goals to start the second. The Huskies could not contain them, allowing the Jimmies to blow the lead open to five.

“You can tell there was a drop in the energy and effort, it just wasn’t the same after intermission,” Stoffers said.

There were a lot of individual breakdowns and turnovers, and the Jimmies were able to capitalize off the Huskies’ mistakes.

The Huskies remained scoreless in the third period but did a better job defensively, allowing the Jimmies one goal throughout the period. The issues in the second period deterred the game and were the main reason for the loss.

Stoffers felt like the game would’ve gone differently if it weren’t for the mishaps in the second period.

“We could’ve executed better in the second period where our mistakes led to goals and those are things we will go over,” Stoffers said.

This game resulted in a loss, but the Huskies were able to keep the game within one goal in two out of three periods against a top-five ranked team.

Sluggish Saturday keeps Huskies winless

The Huskies came into Saturday’s game looking to split the series against Jamestown after a tough loss Friday night.

The Huskies lacked energy in the first period, the opposite of how they started in Friday’s game. The Jimmies scored two goals within 11 minutes and two more to end the first period.

“I don’t think we were necessarily too much worse than we were the night before but maybe they were just a little bit better,” Stoffers said.

The game was slow for both teams in the second period. The Huskies went scoreless, and the Jimmies scored one goal. The score was 0-5 at the end of the second.

The Jimmies came out in the third period very active, scoring a goal one minute into the third. With the Huskies’ offensive and defensive struggles, the game resulted in a blowout.

The Jimmies kept their foot on the gas and increased the deficit to 0-8. The Huskies were unable to even the series this weekend and remain winless.

“They probably expected to beat us a little bit more than they did on Friday,” Stoffers said.

The Huskies could not buy a goal this weekend. That was the first time this season that the Huskies went scoreless in multiple games and a series. The goalless weekend might have contributed to the Jimmies defense and the Huskies’ lack of aggression to get to the offensive zone. Huskies had 22 shots on goal Friday and only seven shots on goal Saturday.

When asked about his team’s offensive struggles, Stoffers felt the Jimmies’ defense was a reason for it.

“They were stingy on D (defense), and we didn’t have much going offensively,” Stoffers said. “They didn’t give us too much, but we have to keep it simple, get pucks to the net, and getting there for rebounds is something we will continue to work on.”

The Huskies will continue their season next weekend in a two-game home series against Waldorf University. The first game will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Canlan Ice Sports in West Dundee.