Hockey club starts year with two wins

By Jim Trentadue

The NIU hockey club began its winter campaign in the right direction by posting victories over league foes Illinois 8-6 and Bradley 6-5 for a 2-0 conference record and a 2-1-1 overall record.

The team skated to a 7-7 tie against Wheaton College and was defeated by Pekin College 9-4.

The team is also sporting a new look with most of the 18 players on the team being new.

NIU, which is part of the Illinois-Wisconsin College Hockey Association (IWCHA), defeated Illinois in its first game of the season on Oct. 23.

The team next was busy last weekend after the trip to Champaign by tying Wheaton College last Friday, defeating Bradley on Saturday and losing to Pekin on Sunday.

Although the team has many new players, head coach Kurt Kassault believes this team has come together well.

“I think that our new players are adapting very well to college hockey and they are learning to play together,” Kassault said.

In addition to the many new players are key returnees Tony Pusatari, Rob Madrigal, Chris Dhyr and captain Shawn Brown.

The team meets Wheaton College for a second straight week today at 8:30 p.m. at the Carol Stream Ice Arena.