A senior night victory


Elisabeth Neely

James McGing (13) passes the puck past McKendree’s players to his line mate across the ice at the Ice Arena on Friday, Oct. 13th. Illinois beat McKendree 4-2.

By Danielle Williams, Staff Writer

The Illini hockey team began its senior-night series with a senior goal.

On Friday night, Illini senior James McGing was the first to put his team on the board against the Robert Morris Eagles in the opening frame. The forward has collected 52 goals and 104 assists in the four years he has played for Illinois.

McGing is also the lead scorer for the Illini and assisted with the second and third goals.

It took a period for Illinois to get its groove, but once the Illini got it, they stuck with it.

The second goal of the night came from a sophomore from Naperville, Bobby Ernsting, during the third period. Ernsting found an opportunity in the front of the net and took it, advancing the Illini lead to 2-0.

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Captain Joey Ritondale finished the work for the period with a power-play goal and left the first part of the series with a shutout victory.

Goaltender Jake Barnhart also contributed to his team’s win as he forced his second shutout for Illinois.

In senior night fashion, Saturday night opened up with head coach Nick Fabbrini first acknowledging all the seniors on the team, the ice girls and even the senior play-by-play commentator for the broadcast on WPGU.

The second game started off slower than the night before but turned out to show a more aggressive play from both sides.

“We knew they were going to come out hard,” said senior Grant Stueve on the team’s first-period play. “We talked about that before the game; it was in the game notes. We just have to get back to where we were yesterday.”

Robert Morris finally jumped ahead of Illinois as forward Nathan Chasteen slid one past Barnhart, making the score 1-0 in the second.

The Illini fought back in the second, but they were unable to tie up the score with the Eagles.

With 9:05 left in the third, Ritondale got the Illini back in the game with his swift goal.

Ritondale finished his last game at the ice arena with 124 GP, having scored 13 goals and 35 assists.

Drew Richter scored the overtime goal for the Illini to bring it to 2-1, securing their top-three spot of the CSCHL semi-finals.

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