Illini hockey picks up sloppy 3-0 win

Illinois found out quickly Friday night that playing a league opponent is quite a difference from its soft early season schedule.

The Illini defeated Indiana 3-0, winning their seventh straight game of the season, albeit in unconvincing fashion.

Acknowledging that this weekend’s series would likely be the toughest the team had seen so far in the young season, Illinois head coach Chad Cassel stressed consistency on defense and finishing shot opportunities.

But neither of the goals was accomplished. Illinois’ defense continued to struggle with its decisions in its own zone, allowing Indiana to remain in the game.

Illinois got its first goal early when Andrew Cardona passed to a streaking Mike McBride who went top-shelf to put the Illini up 1-0.

In the third the Illini finally added some cushion when Cardona added a goal of his own early, and Quagliata scored an open net heave from mid-ice with a minute remaining.

The game was full of missed opportunities for Cassel’s squad. Illinois poured 44 shots on goal, yet only converted on two legitimate scores.

Both goalies played fantastic games. Indiana’s Daniel Abramson stopped some tough Illinois tries on net. Backup goalie Angelo Sakellaropoulos, filling in for starter Derek Nick, drew the Illini’s goalie competition closer with his second straight shutout.

Illinois had a scare in the second period when lead point-scorer Daniel Cohen lay face-up on the ice. Cohen returned for the third period, but saw assistant captain Justin Wirt leave the ice grasping his wrist.

The game wasn’t pretty, but Illinois pulled out a victory, and valuable points, in its first CSCHL game over the year.