Huskie hockey win big in opening weekend


NIU captain Mike Reporto skates during the Huskies’ season opener.

By Korey Peterson

Once is nice, but twice is much better.

After beating Marquette on Friday night 8-5, the Huskie hockey team did it again on Saturday, this time by a score of 5-1. The teams split their season series last year.

The first game saw a crowd of over 250 at the Hoffman Estates Ice Arena, where NIU scored the first three goals of the game. Junior center Mike Sible led the way for the Huskies as he lit the lamp four times.

Senior winger Peter Alfano picked up assists on three of Sible’s goals. Freshman forward Brian Pounds added a goal and two assists, tallying one more assist than his brother Jon, also a freshman.

Junior Kenny Schatz started the game in goal for the Huskies but would make way for sophomore Craig Haa during the middle of the second period. Schatz stopped 16 of the 18 shots while Haa gave up three goals on 20 shots faced.

Haa would start in net on Saturday and only allow one goal on 19 shots faced as the Huskies led all the way.

Jon Pounds kept the offensive momentum going in the second game as he scored on a shorthanded breakaway opportunity. Just a period earlier, Mark Greenberg also found himself one-on-one with the goalie and capitalized to give NIU a 4-1 after two periods.

Head coach Greg Chromy was pleased with his team’s weekend performance, especially on defense.

“Defensive zone coverage was much better on Saturday and it created lots of opportunities,” Chromy said.

The top defensive pairing of senior Mike Reporto and sophomore Billy Lyne were solid on defense and each picked up a point during the home stand.

“Friday they were hesitant but I thought the defense did a much better job [Saturday],” Chromy said.

The team’s good start has them feeling confident heading into a two game set at home with Robert Morris University.

“You could tell by the second or third period [on Saturday] that we were getting used to each other on our lines,” Alfano said. “We would love to have more goals but this is good going into a harder weekend next weekend.”