From Midland Athletics
FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University took advantage of being back on home ice this weekend as they swept Northern Illinois University in Midwest College Hockey (MCH) play. The Warriors bested the Huskies 4-1 on Friday and 5-2 on Saturday. The victories propel them back to .500 with a 5-5 overall record.
FRIDAY: Midland 4, Northern Illinois 1
After a scoreless and low-penalty first period, the teams lit the lamp and visited the penalty box plenty over the final 40 minutes of action. Ondrej Blaha opened up the scoring with an even-strength goal just over three minutes into the second as Kolten Wright and Ryan Donovan picked up a point each for assisting on the score.
Just over a minute later, NIU found the equalizer while the power-play. Donovan got the lead back at the 12:39 mark as Blaha and Wright found him for the eventual game-winner. Before the period ended, Blaha added his second of the game on the power-play from Phil Liakakos and Zach Eddington.
The third period was filled with visits to the penalty boxes and to the dressing rooms as Midland and Northern Illinois combined for 27 penalties for a combined 150 minutes. All of the stoppages combined with a 40 minutes delay to start, finally saw the final whistle blow at 10:50 p.m.
Before that though, Mason Cirone lit the lamp and sealed the win with just under three minutes left. Wright and Jack Royer assisted on the goal.
Jaden Gardner secured the win with 20 saves in net.
SATURDAY: Midland 5, Northern Illinois 2
The weekend finale saw both offenses strike twice in the opening period. Midland’s pair of first-period goals both came off the stick of Ondrej Blaha. The first came in response of the Huskies’ first goal. Kolten Wright and Ryan Donovan teamed up for the assist on the equalizer at the 6:02 mark. Ten minutes later it was Phil Liakakos and Jack Royer feeding Blaha for another game-tying goal.
In the second, Royer scored his two goals of the night. The first came via a power-play chance for Midland at the 14:21 mark. The eventual game-winner was assisted by Tanner Mros and Mason Cirone. On Royer’s second goal, Blaha and Ian McHenry teamed up for the assists.
The final goal of the weekend came 20 seconds into the third period. Zach Eddington directed a pass to Blaha who fed Donovan to make it 5-2 in favor of the Warriors.
Picking up his first collegiate win in net was Ondrej Patha. The freshman from the Czech Republic stopped 29 shots by the Huskies.
“They weren’t the prettiest wins, but a win is a win,” commented assistant coach Jan Dam. “There are things we need to work on still, like starting the game quicker. I am proud of the way we answered the second day. We’ve been working on being the team that comes together and stays disciplined. We know that our strength comes from when we play with five guys and we can’t win against good teams if we’re in the penalty box. We have to control our emotions and be on top of it from the beginning.”
Midland (5-5) will be on the road next weekend for another MCH series. They’ll take on Maryville (8-3) on Friday and Saturday, October 29 and 30, in Chesterfield, Missouri. Puck drop is set for 5:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Maryville University Hockey Center.
(Originally published at https://www.midlandathletics.com/article/6277.php#.YXV31xrMJPY)