Panthers split vs. Northern Illinois

Written by co-writer Andrew Maronich

Game 1: November 16th, Huskies 5 Panthers 4 (OT)

Overtime has not been the best of friends for the Panthers this season, and Friday night showed that once again. The Huskies got the better of Eastern defeating them 5-4 in OT in front of a large crowd at Fox Valley Ice Arena. The Huskies enjoy playing at home, where they had not lost a game all season. During regulation the Panthers outplayed the Huskies and Out shot them by a large margin. Once again for the Panthers this season, penalties were the name of the game. “It seemed like we couldn’t go more than 5 minutes without someone going to the box” said forward Sam Guttosh. The Huskies scored their first 2 goals of the first period on the Power-play. The game was tied throughout most of the game, when one team went out ahead it seemed like the other team answered just moments later, ” It was definitely a back and forth type of game, it seemed like we would score, then they would score, and so on” Forward Conner Cox said about the game. The third period ended tied up at 4′s, moments into overtime there was a penalty on both teams which made it 3 on 3. Not even a minute after they started playing 3 on 3 the Huskies had an odd man rush and buried it over Andrew Teske’s shoulder. “They had a two on one, and I thought he was going to pass it over but he shot it and got me over my shoulder, it was a good shot, but frustrating that we couldn’t get the win” Teske said. The Huskies remained undefeated at home by beating the Panthers 5-4 in Overtime.

Game 2: November 17th, Panthers 3 Huskies 2

Knowing that the Huskies were perfect at home, the Panthers wanted nothing more than to ruin that on Saturday afternoon. For that to be done they had to stay out of the box, “If we play exactly like we did last night, but we don’t take as many penalties, or get caught up in the extra circulars, we will win this game” said head coach Brad Piercy. Coming off a hard fought, chippy game on Friday the Panthers needed to spend more time playing 5 on 5, and they did just that. It was a rare, well played defensive game, for the first time all season there was no score after the first 20 minutes. During the second period the Panthers went up by 2, but as most hockey players know that is the worst lead in hockey. ” We were excited about the 2 goal lead, but we all knew that we had to keep plugging away because 2-0 was not going to win the game” Forward Conner Cox said. The Huskies fought their way back to tie it up, and once again the game was tied heading into the third. In the middle of the third period with ten minutes remaining, Conner Cox netted the go ahead goal. From that point on, Eastern did everything they could to keep the puck out of their net. “I felt like the last ten minutes of that game lasted about 2 hours, it was pretty nerve racking how many chances they had within that last 10 minutes, but fortunately we were able to hold on.” Goalie Andrew Teske said about the last 10 minutes of play. With the 3-2 win over NIU, they not only gave them their first loss at home, but were able to move to 7-4-3 on the year. Their next game will be on November 30th vs University of Louisville in Danville, IL. We hope to see everyone there, Happy Thanksgiving!

GO PANTHERS

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