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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Hockey blanked by Rhode Island

Rams shut down Huskies’ offense
Courtesy NIU Hockey
Graduate forward Nick Gonzalez, freshman forward Walker Smith and junior defenseman Keaton Peters line up for a faceoff during NIU Hockey’s game against Illinois State on Nov. 11. The Huskies were shut out by the University of Rhode Island in their second game of the ACHA Showcase on Saturday. (Courtesy of NIU Hockey)

ROMEOVILLEA day after posting its first win, NIU Hockey returned to familiar territory in the loss column in Game 2 of the ACHA Showcase.

The Huskies (1-15-2, 0-10 MCH) post-win spirits were dampened by the University of Rhode Island Rams (8-7), who shut out NIU by a final score of 2-0. 

“I felt like we didn’t really play our game in the first and second,” graduate student forward Nick Gonzalez said. “We didn’t actually play like ourselves or play like we did against Alabama into the third period, and then you saw in the third period when we started playing our game, the momentum was in our favor.”


The Huskies battled the Rams to a 0-0 tie until senior forward Matt Tetreault and sophomore forward Corey Szabo tallied the only two goals of the entire game in the first five minutes of the second period. 

Assistant coach Jeremy Bower said the team’s energy at the start of the second period was not at an acceptable level. 

“We came out flat. We came out, we weren’t ready to execute our plan,” Bower said. “I think that they capitalized, and you can’t give a team that’s talented any chances. When you give a team that’s talented room to run, they’re going to run, and we gave Rhode Island room to run.”

Freshman forward Walker Smith said the team got down on itself between periods and allowed negativity to affect the start of the second period. 

“We were a little too harsh on ourselves in between periods – getting down, bad energy,” Smith said. “Came out a little bit flat in the second period.”

The Huskies were outshot 22-12 in what ended up being the game-losing second period. 


NIU totaled 32 shots on goal in Saturday’s game but were unable to find the back of the net. 

Gonzalez said the team passed on too many opportunities to get a shot at the net and tried to make too many fancy plays.

“We like to make that extra pass instead of just getting pucks low,” Gonzalez said. “Then once we have an opportunity to shoot, shoot the puck. I feel like if we just start shooting the puck more, we’ll have more opportunities.”

Bower said Rhode Island took away a key area of the ice and that his squad had a difficult time adapting.

“They did a great job of collapsing the middle. They completely clogged the middle, and our players are really good with those passes across the middle,” Bower said. “When a team is that good at collapsing the middle, you just got to throw on net as much as possible and then crash. We had our guys ready to crash, but we weren’t necessarily throwing the puck on net as much as we needed to.”


The Huskies have one game remaining in the ACHA Showcase event against No. 17 ranked Arizona State University, who dropped a tight game to defending national champion Minot State University 4-3 on Friday.  

“Just knowing that we’re making steps in the right direction and just keeping the energy at a high level,” Smith said. “We’ll be good to go.”

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