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D1, D3 sweep the weekend as Hockey Redbirds start rolling

Written by on October 26, 2023

NORMAL, Ill. – The Redbirds were busy this weekend, as D1 had two games at the University of Toledo, D2 had one Thursday game, D3 visited NIU for a Friday and Saturday game, and ISU Rolley Hockey had 4 games on Saturday.

D1 went down early in game 1, going down 1-0 after the first period. However, would start clicking in the second, scoring three goals in both the second and third periods, and would wind up winning 6-3. Michael Natoli would net his first collegiate goal and Michael Lenhart would get his first D1 win in net. 

They would continue that momentum into game 2, as with the help of two goals from Ethan Chesney, they would score in all three periods, winning 5-2.

D2 only had one game, as the University of Illinois came to Grossinger on Thursday night. The Redbirds would go down early, losing 3-1 after 2 periods. They would attempt a comeback in the 3rd, but would not succeed as the Redbirds would end up falling to the Illini 4-3. 

D3 headed to NIU in search of their first win on the season, and they would not disappoint as they beat NIU big in game one, winning 4-1. Carter Gulyas would score his first collegiate goal and Matt DiFilippo would get his first win in net. 

Game 2 would be more of the same, as ISU won dominantly once again, 5-1. Two more Redbirds, Casey Trebswether and Max Schwartz, would get their first collegiate goal, and Dion Pavlopoulos would get his first collegiate win in net.

ISU D3 Roller Hockey would compete in their first tournament this weekend, traveling to St. Louis. Their first game was against 2022-23 division winner Missouri S&T, and the Redbirds would go down big early, letting up 4 unanswered goals to start the game. However, the Redbirds shook off the rust and started clicking, scoring 7 straight and winning 11-5. Rookie Payton Aldridge would be named player of the game, as he scored a hat trick in his NCRHA debut. Julian Slavin would score his first and second NCRHA goals, and Jared Petrin would get his first NCRHA win in net.

Game two was against Lindenwood AA, who has not lost a game to a D3 opponent since the divisions were changed in 2018. The Redbirds would end up losing 8-4, but that score is the closest a Redbirds team has ever been to Lindenwood. 

Game 3 was against rival Maryville, and the rivalry spark would be apparent as multiple scrums would break out during the game. The Redbirds would be undisciplined, committing 3 penalties in the first period, and the penalty kill would be unable to stop Maryville, as the Redbirds would lose a close game, 5-2. 

For the 4th and final game, the Redbirds would face Kansas State. The game would get out of hand early, as the Redbirds scored 7 goals in the first period. The ‘Birds would let up in the third, closing out the game with a 13-3 win. Jake Otto would finish as the game’s MVP, as he scored a hat trick and two assists for a 5-point night. 

Next week D1 will host the University of Jamestown for their second series, D2 will host Drury University for their first series, and both D3 and Roller have the weekend off.