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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Streak snappers: Hockey rolls past Tide to first win

Peters helps Huskies snap losing streak
Courtesy NIU Hockey
Fifth-year defenseman Alec Porzondek celebrates scoring in NIU Hockey’s 4-1 win over Alabama on Friday. The Huskies earned their first win of the season in the win over the Crimson Tide. (Courtesy NIU Hockey)

ROMEOVILLE – After over two months of struggle that saw 16 straight losses, it has finally happened: NIU Hockey has won its first game of the season. 

The Huskies (1-14-2, 0-10 MCH) earned the long-awaited victory over the University of Alabama (3-12) in their first game of the ACHA Showcase by a final score of 4-1. 

Two goals by junior defenseman Keaton Peters and one each from fifth-year defenseman Alec Porzondek and junior forward Jason Kliment helped NIU finally get in the win column. 

“Is there a better feeling in the world than winning?” assistant coach Jeremy Bower said. “My wedding was my happiest day in my life – this is very close. This is unbelievable. I’m so happy for them.”


The Huskies saw a heroic performance from Peters, who tallied two goals on the night, including the game winning goal early in the second period. 

In addition to his two goals, Peters broke up multiple Alabama odd-man breaks on the defensive side to keep pressure off freshman goaltender Caleb Cross. 

Bower said Peters’ leadership guided the team to its first win. 

“On the bench, he’s hyping guys up. He’s reaffirming what the coaches are saying. He’s reimplementing the game plan mentally,” Bower said. “Without that kind of leadership, teams fall apart.”

After being the driving force in a massive win for a previously winless Huskie squad, Peters gave all the credit to his teammates for his success. 

“It goes to the team,” Peters said. “It’s not about me. It’s a team win. It had nothing to do with me, I just was in the right spot at the right time. I did my job. Tried to lead the team by example.”

Peters is now up to 9 points on the season after his two-goal outing. 


Friday’s win was not only the first win of the season for the team, but the first collegiate win for Cross. 

The win came as a long time coming for the Minnesota native.

“Being from the town I’m from, that’s all we look for – we all look forward to college hockey,” Cross said. “So, to finally be able to get that first win, especially after how far we’ve gone in the season so far, the feeling is great.”

The Huskies took a 2-1 lead into the final period with the first win on their minds. 

Peters said the team’s mindset was to learn from previous collapses and play simple, smart hockey.

“The main thing was just bear down – no stupid penalties,” Peters said. “Just try to flip the script here. Don’t do what we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks where we’ve had a lead at some points, and then we just haven’t closed that out. So, we’re just focused on staying calm, composed and just trying to close it out.”


The Huskies have little time to celebrate their first win, as they take on the University of Rhode Island, who were defeated 3-2 by Illinois State Friday, in Game 2 of the ACHA Showcase at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Canlan Ice Sports in Romeoville. 

“It (winning) gives us momentum going into tomorrow but also the remainder of the year,” Peters said. “We needed this win just to get on track and hopefully string a few together here.”

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