Hockey Redbirds Continue Rolling
Written by Dylan Skeen on February 8, 2024
NORMAL, Ill. – All levels of Redbird hockey were back in action this weekend, as D1 played NIU, D2 faced the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, D3 took on Drake, and Roller Hockey took on 3 teams in Palatine.
D1 had a dominant weekend against NIU as they closed out their regular season. Game 1 was dominant for goalie Michael Lenhart, as he stopped all 27 shots he faced for a 5-0 shutout victory. Game 2 continued the Redbird’s dominance, but this time from the forwards as Ethan Chesney led the way with a hat trick for ISU, who would win 10-6. Defensemen Drew Shadle was also dominant in the win, scoring a goal and 3 assists. The weekend sweep brings the Redbirds record to 22-10-1, which is good enough for second in the MCH division as the regular season ends.
D2 was also dominant this weekend, as their offense was similarly clicking. The Redbirds wasted no time in game 1, as 4 different Redbirds scored in the first period leading to a 4-0 lead. They didn’t slow down after that either, as they kept pouring on goals in a 9-4 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Game 2 started slower, as the Birds only managed a 2-1 lead after the first 2 periods. However, off the back of 2 goals from Brock Brandenburg, the Redbirds would score 5 in the third for another dominant win, 7-1. The D2 team ends the year with a 10-15-1 record as they look towards the playoffs.
D3 continued the trend of strong first games as they beat Drake 9-4 to start their weekend. After another game with 4 goals scored in the first period, the Redbirds spread the wealth, as all 9 goals were scored by different Redbirds. Game 2 would put an end to the perfect Redbird weekend as they would lose 5-2. D3 ends the year with a 6-17-1 record.
The Roller Hockey team traveled to Palatine, IL to take on 3 teams in front of a home crowd. Game 1 was a strong start against Ohio State, as after a close 2-1 first period, the Redbirds would score 4 goals in the second and ride that momentum to a 7-4 win. Game 2 would go worse for the Birds as they would go down 4-1 halfway through the second, as costly penalties would give their opponent Slippery Rock a 4 on 2 advantage. However, the Redbirds would make a comeback, winning 5-4 off of a Shane Dotto rebound tap-in. Game 3 against Michigan State would be the Jared Petrin show, as he would stop 23 of 24 shots for a 4-1 win. This brings the Roller Redbird’s overall record to 11-3, and their division record to 7-1.
Next weekend will split the Redbirds, as only some of the teams are busy. D1 is given a week off to prepare for playoffs, D2 will compete in the MACHA playoffs, D3 ends their season, and Roller Hockey will travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Colorado, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, and Sam Houston State.