DeKALB — NIU struggled to keep up with McKendree University as the Huskies took a pair of losses Friday and Saturday.
Game one Friday night got away from the Huskies early, as they were down 6-0 after the first period. The second period was much of the same, as the Bearcats tacked on eight more goals. In the third, NIU scored twice but McKendree scored four times.
First-year forwards Alex Piotrowski and Osman Cholak found twine for the Huskies in the 18-2 loss.
In game two Saturday, the Bearcats rode the momentum from Friday’s game and won handily, 12-4.
As the first period was winding down, NIU was down 2-1 but went on a power-play. McKendree scored a shorthanded goal, which set the tone for the remainder of the game.
As the game continued getting out of hand, the physicality ramped up; both teams regularly found themselves in the penalty box.
For NIU, first-year defenseman Alec Porzondek scored his first goal of the season. First-year forward Rodahn Evans scored his third and fourth goals of the season, and Cholak scored his third goal in as many games.
NIU falls to 2-7 on the season, and 2-4 in Midwest College Hockey play.
Things won’t get easier for NIU as it travels to Champaign to square-off with the University of Illinois. U of I is ranked 15th in American Collegiate Hockey Association D1 conference.
The teams will meet 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.