Injuries plague Illini hockey with postseason looming

Injuries continue to plague the Illini hockey season.

The team was riding high after winning its third consecutive game Friday night before the injury bug bit again.

In the second period of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Robert Morris with the game tied at one apiece, sophomore forward Austin Bostock, who leads Illinois in points, took a hit and injured his right shoulder, forcing him out of the game.

Later in the contest, senior forward Chris Peter took a hit to the head and left the game with concussion-like symptoms.

“Obviously with everything that’s going on right now with the NFL and NHL with concussions, our trainer took precautions and told me I couldn’t play the rest of the game,” Peter said. “I have had migraines and am pretty sensitive to light and those sorts of stuff, so I’m trying to take it easy. I can’t do exercise and those sorts of things until the migraines stop.”

Sophomore forward Matt Welch said some members of the team thought the hit was dirty, but Peter maintained that the hit was high by two guys larger than him.

This is Peter’s first time having concussion-like symptoms in his life, but he said he hasn’t felt nauseous at all.

He added that still didn’t feel well Monday and too much movement makes his head hurt.

Team trainers have already ruled him out for this weekend’s series against No. 3 Lindenwood; he is one of only six Illini players to appear in every game this season.

“We’re hoping to get me going by next Tuesday,” Peter said. “That’s the plan to get me back on the ice full gear and everything.”

Bostock said he doesn’t have an official diagnosis from a doctor yet, but he still felt some pain in his right shoulder Monday.

Bostock tweeted after Saturday’s game that he thought it was an AC separation in his shoulder, an injury that generally takes about two weeks to heal.

This is the first time Bostock has had a shoulder injury, and said he’s been trying to ice it and still doesn’t have a full range of motion.

He, too, has already been ruled out for this weekend.

Senior forward Joe Sullivan will also sit out Friday’s game; he received a one-game suspension after being ejected for a checking penalty in the third period of Saturday’s game.

With just over a week until the league tournament, Illinois is back to .500 at 13-13-1 and at fifth place in the CSCHL standings.