Bloomington, IL – The Redbirds had a big home series this past weekend against division rivals, Northern Illinois Huskies. The Redbirds were looking for another two wins to keep the lead in the division.
On Saturday, the Redbirds started the first period scoreless with the Huskies. Heading into the 2nd period, Sean Meyer would strike on a shorthanded opportunity giving the Redbirds the 1-0 lead. But the Huskies were able to score on the powerplay tying the game with seven minutes to go in the period. Nearing the end of the period, the Huskies add another goal giving the Redbirds a 1 goal deficit heading into the 3rd period. The 3rd period started and the Huskies add another goal giving them a 3-1 lead. The Redbirds were looking for a comeback and Tyler Kuhn help start a possible 3rd period as he lights the lamp with a top corner snipe during the powerplay. Although Kuhn helped with a late goal, the Redbirds were unable to comeback and lose 3-2 against the Huskies. Caleb Sauer saved 13 of 16 shots faced in a losing effort.
On Sunday, the Redbirds were ready to get started against the Huskies as Tony Campise scores an early powerplay goal to give the Redbirds an early lead. But the Huskies would strike back as they would score with a bounce of goaltender Brendan Donovan’s back to tie it up early into the 1st period. The score wouldn’t stayed tied for long as Parker Adams scores an up-close goal to give the Birds the lead. The 2nd period starts as Joe Rascia strikes on the powerplay as the Birds take a commanding 3-1 lead early in the period. The Redbirds didn’t take their foot off the gas petal as Parker Adams toe drags a goal past the goaltender for his second of the night. Right before the end of the 2nd period, Trevor Hilt strikes for the third powerplay goal of the night as the Redbirds would lead 5-1 heading into the 3rd period. The Redbirds continue their dominance on the powerplay as Jack Kremer would send a shot from the point as Alex Matsas just about puts it away but inevitably AJ Cornelison would tip in the rolling puck from behind the goaltender. Joe Rascia adds another tally with a five-hole shot only 34 seconds after Cornelison’s goal. As the period was winding down, Joe Rascia grabs his third goal and his first ever collegiate hat trick as the Redbirds dominate the Huskies 8-1. Donovan had a 25 out of 26 save performance.
In summary, the Redbirds had a great weekend on the powerplay scoring 5 out of 10 goals this weekend on the powerplay. Joe Rascia and Parker Adams have multi goal performances on Sunday. The Redbirds split the series against the Huskies as the sit second in the division standings as they prepare for a series the Roosevelt Lakers before the winter break.