D-II men’s hockey season recap


Northern Star File Photo

By Ed Rietveld

While NIU D-II men’s hockey had one of its toughest schedules in its existence, coach Greg Chromy said it will be beneficial for the program.

“You got to play better teams to get better, number one,” Chromy said, “You have to play the better teams to get ranked so that you can go on to regionals and nationals. You don’t do that by playing a lesser schedule.”

The Huskies (11-19-2-1) face 12 of the 15 ranked teams from the Central Region of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

Junior forward Nick Remley said playing such a tough schedule this year will help the team realize what needs to be done to reach another level.

“I think it will help us just because, now we kind of get to see what it’s like to play the number one and number two team because we’ve played them this year,” Remley said, “So we can kind of gauge where we have to be and where we have to go to be at the top of the region. Also it helps out. Just because when you play better teams, obviously you’re expected to perform a little better just because you’re playing against better competition.”

Sophomore forward Mark Greenberg said NIU might have played better this year than they did last year.

“The season was a lot harder this year, our record wasn’t as good as last year, but I would say we did better this year because we played like seven or eight of the top teams in our region,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg also talked about what the Huskies have to do heading into the off-season so they can reach that next level of making the playoffs.

“Everybody has to stay in shape keep working out, working hard,” Greenberg said, “Keep the goal in mind to make playoffs for next year and just push themselves that much harder.”

Even though the Huskies were only able to earn 11 victories as a team, some individuals put together successful individual seasons.

Freshman forward Justin Rucinski had a team-high 46 points, (23 goals, 23 assists) in 31 games this season. Senior captain Mike Sible tied for the team lead in assists, also tallying 23. Junior goaltender Nick Bonin led all Huskie goalies in wins with six on the season.