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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Midland downs hockey for 13th straight loss

Game misconduct dooms Huskies in loss
Courtesy NIU Hockey
Junior defenseman Keaton Peters battles for the puck in NIU Hockey’s game against the University of Jamestown on Oct. 13. The Huskies fell to the Midland University Warriors on Friday by a final score of 5-3. (Courtesy of NIU Hockey)

Midland University defeated NIU Hockey 5-3 on Friday, marking the team’s 13th straight loss of the season. 

The Huskies had a total of five penalties. Graduate student forward Nick Gonzalez had a roughing penalty in the first period, and freshman forward Robbie Zimmerman received a tripping penalty. In the second period, junior forward Brandon Weitzel had a five-minute penalty for head contact and a game misconduct. Zimmerman received a two-minute penalty for cross-checking in the third period.

Associate coach Wayne Bower, who filled in for the absent head coach Brad Stoffers, said the team’s back half of the game left much to be desired. 

“I thought we came out very, very strong,” Bower said. “I thought we played at a high tempo, and I thought we played a very good game. Unfortunately, a couple of bad bounces didn’t go our way, and they tend to wind up in the net it seems like. The other thing was we needed to stay out of the box. If we stay out of the box, we win the game.” 

The Huskies came out of the first period only down by one goal and with a power play advantage due to a cross-checking penalty on Midland senior forward Ryan Donovan in the final minute of the first period.

Junior defenseman Keaton Peters scored 56 seconds into the second period, with an assist from freshman forward Walker Smith and junior forward Jason Kliment. 

In the 11th minute in the second period, Zimmerman scored to put the Huskies up 2-1. 

“(Scoring at home felt) electric,” Zimmerman said. “My parents are out this weekend from Pennsylvania, so it’s really cool to be able to score in front of them, and I’ve been snake bitten at home. So, that’s my first goal at home, which it feels good to get that monkey off the back.”

13 minutes into the second period, the Warriors tied to make the score 2-2 with a goal from Midland freshman forward Hugo Lukacovic. The Huskies went into the third period down 3-2 after a goal from Midland junior forward Milan Breczko. 

Zimmerman felt the team was close going into the third period, however struggled defensively in the third. 

“We were right there,” Zimmerman said. “I think the mindset was lock it down in the defensive zone and bury on our opportunities, and I think that we went out and got soft in the defensive zone just a couple times here and there, and they took advantage and that’s the difference.”

The Warriors scored again five minutes into the third period, putting them up 4-2. In the 16th minute of the third period, Midland scored again to make the score 5-2. 

With 26 seconds left on the clock, graduate student forward Rodahn Evans scored to give the Huskies another point on the board. 

The Huskies were outshot 40-28. 

Despite the loss, Peters shared his determination for tomorrow’s game. 

“I think it’s a winnable game,” Peters said. “The boys just have to come out. You just have to want to win. That’s what it comes down to. It’s not really an X’s and O’s kind of game. It’s really just who wants it more, and we just have to come to the rink prepared and ready to go.”

NIU will play Midland again at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Canlan Ice Sports in West Dundee.

The game will be streamed on the NIU Hockey YouTube channel. 

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