Hockey slaps Minnesota in 8-1 victory

The Illinois hockey team handled Minnesota easily Friday night, dominating on both sides of the ice in a 8-1 victory.

Illinois head coach Chad Cassel said preseason that his defense was faster than last year’s squad, and would be the backbone of his club. Last week against Michigan State, the defense struggled to maintain its consistency, but Friday Cassel finally saw what he was expecting out of the unit.

The offensive lines looked sharp as the Illini outshot Minnesota 49-10, cruising to a well-played early season win.

In the first, Illinois got off to a quick start once again. A set shot, power play goal by Junior defenseman Justin Wirt, and two fast break goals by Andrew Cardona and Mike McBride gave the Illini a 3-0 lead.

After freshman Eddie Quagliata’s first career goal, Minnesota scored their lone goal of the night in the second when Derek Nick let up a rifled shot by Golden Gopher forward Bho Olsen. At the end of the period, Illinois responded on a wrist shot by forward Scott Barrera.

The Illini continued their offensive assault in the third, sealing an 8-1 victory with goals by Daniel Cohen, Austin Bostock and Cardona.