This weekend the Illinois State Division II Hockey team opened up their season in their own barn in downtown Bloomington. ISU welcomed the Northern Illinois Huskies to the Pepsi Ice Center for two games on Friday and Saturday.
It was a big weekend overall for ISU Hockey. The DI team traveled to Indiana Tech where they took home their first recorded wins as a Division I team. The DII team took on their first DII opponents this season after making the jump from DIII.
Friday night was a good showing with bad results for the DII Redbirds. NIU came in a defeated them 7-1. The Redbirds, however, skated with the Huskies and recorded 38 SOG. The opportunities were there and the Redbirds just could not capitalize. Multiple Redbirds made their collegiate debut.
“Unfortunately there’s a little puck luck there,” said Hernbrott. “You have to tip your hat to their goalie, he kept us out of the net, and their defense got us down the ice. “
“I think we played pretty well,” said sophomore right wing Anthony Salerno. “There are a lot of guys who are playing their first collegiate game tonight so we have to get used to each other and playing together, and I think we can come out and do better tomorrow.”
The Redbirds were down early with NIU grabbing three goals in the first. The ‘Birds came out and attacked early, scoring three minutes into the second. The momentum didn’t last long as the Huskies buried two more goals before the second ended.
“It looked like we were going to claw our way back for a while,” said Hernbrott. “But we let them score a few and we got more behind and then it was just too hard to get back”.
The next night was not the comeback the Redbirds were hoping for. The offense could not get rolling and they Huskies took game two, burying seven in the net. Pino Barker made his first collegiate start between the pipes and faced 47 shots from the relentless Huskie offense.
ISU only recorded 29 SOG for the game and didn’t score a goal until late in the third. It was a game of many stops as both teams spent a good amount of time in the box. Yet again the Redbirds just could not get that PP going and were unable to utilize their grade-A scoring chances. They lost that one 7-1.
The DII team doesn’t head back to home ice until October 9th. This weekend they are on the road, taking on Saint Louis University Friday and Saturday.
The Indy Newspaper would like to thank Coach Hernbrott, his coaching staff, the DII players, and the interns for their cooperation.