Rough road trip to Missouri State
The Illini clawed by the MSU Ice Bears
Sunday, October 02, 2022 / 12:24pm
Credit: Illini Hockey

The Illini Hockey team's first two games of the season did not play out as the team would have preferred. The Illini traveled to Springfield, MO to face off against the Missouri State University Ice Bears, who were ranked #10 in the ACHA preseason poll, four spots above the Illini.

On Friday night the Ice Bears took control of the game early with a goal by Evan Ross just a minute and forty-one seconds after the initial puck drop. Three quarters of the way through the first period MSU extended their lead as Jacob Wiethaupt found the back of the Illini net making it a 2-0 lead for the Ice Bears. The Illini could not convert on three power-play chances for the period, leaving the score 2-0 at the end of the first period. The Illini would be unable to capitalize on two more man advantage chances in the second period, but they would keep the Ice Bears from advancing their score any further as well. Just over halfway through the third period MSU's Evan Ross would net his second goal of the game making the score 3-0, and that is where the score would remain until the final buzzer. Illini - 0, MSU - 3

Saturday's game seemed almost to be a replay of Friday's match as MSU put the Illini a goal down within the first few minutes of the the opening face-off. The Ice Bears Carlo Wittor found the back of the Illini net at the 2:02 mark of the first. While the remainder of the period was quiet, the Illini's Jack Kolb scored the teams first goal of the season just 23 seconds into the second period, knotting the game at 1-1. The Illini's comeback didn't last for long as the Ice Bears scored three goals in the next four minutes. At the 13:17 mark of the period MSU's Andrew Koutsogiannis upset the Illini's power-play chance netting a short-handed goal, making the score 5-1 in favor of MSU. The Ice Bears weren't finished tearing up the Illini as they would add two more goals in the third period making it a 7-1 win for Missouri State. Illini - 1, MSU - 7

The next games for the 0-2 Illini will be a home and away series against Purdue University Northwest.