NIU men’s hockey falls to Fighting Illini, Rugby overpowers Northwestern

By Ed Rietveld

NIU’s Division II men’s hockey dropped a pair of games against Illinois this weekend.

On Friday night, the Huskies (2-3-1) lost 4-2 against the Fighting Illini (5-2-1). NIU’s nine penalties were the main reason for its defeat. NIU senior captain Mike Sible said all the penalties made it hard to get anything going offensively.

“When you take that many penalties, you just lose the flow of the game and it’s hard to get anything going when you’re taking a penalty every four or five minutes.” Sible said

There were a few bright spots for the Huskies despite the loss. Freshman Justin Rucinski scored his sixth goal of the season and junior Troy Hickey scored his second goal of the season in the defeat.

Saturday evening, NIU salvaged its weekend, earning a point in the 8-7 overtime loss against Illinois. The Huskies used a third-period rally to help them earn the point against the Illini.

“I thought we finally played hockey in the third period.” Chromy said “We were down I think by three or four goals and came back and battled back to be tied.”

Chromy said there is one aspect of the game that his team needs to improve on.

“We need to get better in our defensive zone coverage: cut the goals down to two or three instead of being six or seven.” Chromy said

Rugby over powers Northwestern

No. 9-ranked NIU men’s rugby (5-0) continued its domination of The Chicago Area Rugby Football Union by beating Northwestern 85-5.

Huskies’ rugby president Pat Kathan said its offensive worked well and was a major factor in the lopsided score.

“We had a good game offensively,” Kathan said. “Defensively, [Northwestern] didn’t do anything either. We were able to stop them real quick.”

Senior Chris Graeber was given the Man of the Match award in Saturday afternoon’s victory.

“He just had a real solid game,” Kathan said. “[He had] good passing. He’s a pack guy, so he had good rucking and a good job in the scrum today.”