Illini to host Alabama
The No. 7 Illini to welcome the No. 19 Crimson Tide to the Big Pond
Friday, November 09, 2018 / 09:57am
Credit: Illini Hockey

This weekend will be the first time that the Crimson Tide rolls onto the Big Pond. The Illini will host the nineteenth ranked University of Alabama for a pair of ACHA games this Friday and Saturday nights.

Alabama (6-7-0-0) and the Illini (7-3-3-0) have one thing in common, the both have had a rough time on the road. The Crimson Tide have won 1 of 6 games while visiting an opponents ice, wile the Illini have yet to win on the road, suffering 3 losses during regulation and 2 overtime losses. However at home the Illini have only lost one game, coming last weekend in overtime against Robert Morris - IL.

While Alabama has fifteen players who have found the back of the net so far this season, they have two hot forwards in their offensive arsenal,
Hinsdale native Nick Messina with 7 goals and 8 assists, and Taylor Joseph with 8 goals and 2 assists. While the offense has the ability to keep pace with most of their opponents, the defense has been struggling, allowing an average of 36 shots on goal per game, keeping their netminders busy. All three of the Alabama goaltenders have been active in net, and all have a save percentage over .900. Patrick Ostermann has seen the most ice time of the trio, putting in 362 minutes and facing 273 shots, rejecting all but 27. Gunnar Neilsen and Garrett Kingsbury have each put in roughly 200 minutes, facing 246 shots. Neilsen holds a 2.41 GAA and .931 save percentage while Kingsbury has a 3.01 GAA and .915 save percentage.

The Illini offensive guns will be looking to take advantage of those stats. Illinois has 5 players with at least 10 points so far this season with Kacper Ryba and Stephen Quinn leading the way each with 6 goals and 5 assists. Junior Jon Moskaluk leads the team in goals with 8 and 2 assists. The offense has been averaging 3.7 goals per game while the defense has been allowing just under 26 shots per game, of which just over 2 pucks find the back of the net.

The Illini and Alabama will square off Friday night at 7:30pm followed up by a 7:00pm Saturday evening game at the University of Illinois Ice Arena. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the game.