Club hockey crushes Western Illinois

By Jason Grodsky

In the final home game of their careers the Illinois men’s hockey club’s seniors put on a show that will be remembered.

From the moment all six seniors stepped on the ice to be recognized in pre-game ceremonies with their families, the six Illini knew it was their night. The seniors combined for 11 points as they led the Illini to a 10-0 pounding of American Collegiate Hockey Association Division-II opponent Western Illinois on Friday.

“Friday night was a great night for all the seniors,” senior captain Marshall Chubirka said. “We all ended up with at least a point and we all played well. It’s been really great playing with those guys so it was good to have a night for ourselves.”

From the drop of the puck on Friday night the Illini dominated in every facet of the game. The Illini allowed just two shots on net in the first period and only 11 total shots the entire game.

Illinois jumped to an early lead with three goals in the first period by sophomores Jordan Pringle and Jason Nemeth, and junior Brad Bennett. The Illini continued their scoring parade in the second period with goals by junior Alex Park and senior Alex Tauchen.

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With a comfortable five-goal lead, the Illini put the pedal to the metal in the third period.

The Illini added five more goals by Park, sophomore Andy Betourne and seniors Marshall Chubirka, Phil Gerber and Mark Myers to put the Leathernecks away for good.

In all, Chubirka led the way for the seniors with a goal and four assists, while Gerber and Myers each had a goal and an assist. Tauchen, the team’s president, scored his fourth goal of the season while Mike Kincaid added an assist to cap off the seniors’ night. Despite playing one period, senior goaltender Mike DeGeorge was perfect in the net and took part in his fourth shutout of the season.

“It was a nice way to send the seniors out,” head coach Chad Cassel said. “They all played well, and four out of the five ended up scoring a goal in the game. It ended up being a good night for them.”

Illini come up short

against All-Stars

The Illini welcomed the league’s best on Saturday night when they took on the Central States Collegiate Hockey League All-Stars.

The Illini hung with the All-Stars for the first two periods, trading goals until the final period when the All-Stars took control by scoring two goals and downing the Illini in their final home game.

Illini sophomore Jason Nemeth scored the game’s first goal and Illini junior Johnny Liang added two first-period goals, while senior Mark Myers scored the Illini’s lone goal of the second period to allow the Illini to head into the third period tied with the All-Stars, 4-4.

Western Michigan’s Sean McWhorter scored two goals in the third period, to earn the win for the All-Stars.

“It was a good match-up for us because they had a lot of skill and helped us recognize what we have to do to get better in the next few days for the national tournament,” Liang said.