Hockey

First-year defenseman Drake Gieseke prepares for a pass Nov. 9 during a home loss to McKendree University at Canlan Ice Sports in West Dundee.

DeKALB — The hockey team went down early and never recovered in its loss Friday to the University of Toledo.

NIU dropped game one of a two-game set by a score of 8-3 at the Team Toledo Ice House. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Rockets.

In the first period, NIU was trailing by a goal before first-year forward Rodahn Evans was boarded by Rockets senior forward Nik Verbosky. The hit caused a gash above Evans’ lip that required six stitches. Despite this, Evans said he will be in the lineup for game two. NIU also received a five-minute power play for the hit, but the Huskies couldn’t capitalize. Later in the period, Toledo tacked on a power-play goal of its own, taking a 2-0 lead.

In the second period, the Rockets scored three unanswered goals to take a 5-0 lead, but the Huskies caught heat later in the period. Goals from sophomore forward Tyler Gut and defenseman Alec Porzondek trimmed NIU’s deficit to three goals. However Toledo matched NIU soon after, scoring two goals of its own.

The scoring slowed down in the third period, as each team lit the lamp once. For NIU, it was first-year defenseman Colin Brey, scoring his first goal of the season. Assisting on the goal was sophomore defenseman Zach Huggins.

The Rockets were led by senior forward Ian Rapp, who scored a hat trick in the first two periods. Rapp leads Toledo in goals with 23 in 17 games.

NIU has a chance to avenge its loss Saturday when the Huskies take on the Rockets once again. Puck drop is set for 3:30 p.m. in Toledo, Ohio.

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