Huskies Briefs: Hockey clinch playoffs, men’s golf adds former champ to staff

By Craig Pinson

Catch these short updates from different NIU sports teams:

Huskie Hockey loses two, but clinches playoff birth

Who says a loss can’t be a bad thing?

A Friday night, 5-4 overtime loss to Loyola University was just enough to clinch the Huskies’ first MACHA Gold playoff birth since 2006-07.

The good news ended there though, as NIU lost another one to the Ramblers the next night, this time in regulation, 2-1.

NIU (15-14-5) is almost assuredly locked into the fourth seed when the playoffs come around, meaning there is a chance that the Huskies will play Loyola once more.

“Even-strength I felt like we out-played them,” said senior forward Mike Sible. “But we need to stay out of the penalty box.”

NIU’s next skate will be a back to back against non-conference foe Bradley University on Jan. 28 and 29.

NIU Men’s Golf adds former champion to staff

Former Horizon League golfer Doug Barber has been added to the Men’s Golf staff as a graduate assistant.

The Cleveland State alumnus won a Horizon League Championship with an even-par outing at the Royal American Links in 2005.

“I am thrilled to welcome Doug to DeKalb and NIU,” said head coach Tom Porten in a press release. “Doug is one of my former players and brings enthusiasm, experience and leadership to our program.”

NIU will take their first shots of the season during the Snowman Invite from Feb. 21-22 in Chandler, Ariz.

Sprinters lead Huskies at Illinois State Invitational

Fresh off of breaking an NIU school record in the 200-meter dash, sprinter Rasheta Butler rose to the top once again, this time at the Illinois State Invitational in Normal, Ill.

As a team, the Huskie sprinters filled out all six finals spots in the 60-meter dash, but senior Butler crossed the line first with a time of 7.75 seconds, a career best for her. Finishing just behind her was freshman Janay Mitchell, with a time of 7.79. 

Later that day, Butler proved that she very well could be the best sprinter in the state by winning the 200-meter dash in 25.69 seconds. Not to be outdone by the senior, junior Roneisha Frye and freshman Erin Milner raced to first and second place finishes respectively in the 60-meter hurdles, capping off a successful day for the Huskie sprinters.

NIU’s next race is on Jan. 29 when the Huskies travel to Indiana Wesleyan to compete in the IWU Invitational.         

Huskie Tennis starts off season 1-1

NIU Tennis opened the season with weekend tilts against Dayton and Butler, winning one and losing one.

The Huskies started off the season right with a Saturday afternoon win in Dayton, 5-2. The most impressive Huskie was freshman walk-on Bryant Poggensee-Wei, who stepped up big with a win while filling in for the unexpectedly ill Maximilian Phillips. Also winning singles matches for NIU were Maksym Bartiuk, Roman Turtygin and Axel Lagerlof.

The next day was a different story, as Butler dominated doubles play, leaving NIU scrambling for singles wins. Bartiuk, Lagerlof and Phillips notched victories for the Huskies, but it wasn’t enough, as NIU lost 4-3. 

“We’re disappointed with the loss,” said NIU head coach Patrick Fisher in a press release. “But compared to where we were last year at this time, we’re much further ahead.”

The Huskies will play next on Feb. 4 at Marquette University.