NIU hockey avenges loss to Ice Eagles

By Korey Peterson

After losing a close game to Robert Morris University-Springfield 3-2 on Friday, NIU avenged its loss to the Ice Eagles by beating them on Saturday, 7-5.

NIU took both meetings from RMU last season.

The Huskies (7-5-2) put over 50 shots on goal against RMU junior goaltender Jairon Walk in the first contest, but would beat him just twice.

“We just couldn’t get things going in the first game,” said NIU head coach Greg Chromy. “When you put that many shots on the goaltender, you expect more than two goals.”

The Ice Eagles (4-4-2) led all the way in the first game as NIU could not figure out Walk, who has started all but one of RMU’s games this season.

Sophomore Craig Haa started in net for the Huskies on Friday and would take the tough loss. After starting his fifth straight game and seeing time in ten consecutive games, Haa was relieved in the weekend’s second game. Sophomore Alex Alessi, who started the game, and junior Kenny Schatz combined for the victory.

NIU used a balanced offensive attack to beat Walk in the second game by having several different goal scorers including freshmen Jon and Brian Pounds.

The Huskies have now won five of their last six games with three of them coming on the road.

This weekend, NIU will travel to the University of Missouri for two games. While the Tigers are just 3-7, this may be the toughest test yet this season for the Huskies, as they will face a tough MACHA Gold division opponent.

“I think we could take a couple of wins from Missouri on the road if we play smart,” Chromy said. “This is one of our first real tests for our team in conference.”

NIU is 4-2 in MACHA Gold divisional play, good enough for second place in the division to Illinois State Redbirds, who have played two more games than the Huskies.