Hockey sweeps MSU weekend contests


Sophomore defenseman Billy Lyne moves the puck against Saint Louis University earlier this season.

By Korey Peterson

After going winless since opening weekend, the NIU hockey team got back into the win column by sweeping Missouri State University in two games.

The Ice Bears (6-4-0) beat NIU in both of their meetings last season.

“They were a very good team,” NIU head coach Greg Chromy said of MSU. “We were a little shaky on Saturday but we had a big weekend and played well enough to win.”

NIU (4-4-2) got off to a fast start in the first contest by putting the first three goals of the game past MSU senior goaltender Elliot Schmidt. The Bears would not score until 10:14 left in the third period and again on the power play with just 1:33 left to play as the Huskies led until the final buzzer.

Senior Ryan Mueller would start in net on Saturday for MSU and saw 32 shots, 12 fewer than the 44 that NIU put on net in the first game. Sophomore goalie Craig Haa started both games for the Huskies and came away with 57 saves.

After dominating the first contest, NIU received a scare in the second period of the game two as MSU scored four unanswered goals in a span of just over three minutes with two of them coming on the power play. Down 5-3, the Huskies would answer with four straight goals of their own to seal the weekend sweep.

“This team isn’t just going to lie down and quit,” Chromy said. “That was a good sign that we will be in games no matter what.”

Held scoreless in the first game, freshman Miguel Franco and sophomore Andy Draper each had two goals and an assist for the Ice Bears in Saturday’s losing effort.

NIU freshman Jon Pounds led all scorers after recording a goal and five assists in the two games. His 10 goals on the season are tied for the fourth most in ACHA Division II. Jon’s twin brother, Brian, added three goals and an assist.

After playing eight of their first ten games on home ice, NIU will travel to Kansas University for two divisional games this weekend. The Huskies won’t play again at home until Nov. 28.