After Club Ice Hockey at IU won six straight games in November, their streak came to an end Friday night in its out-of-conference game against Saint Louis University.
The Billikens, who have a 5-12 record, came into the Frank Southern Ice Arena in Bloomington to defeat the Hoosiers 6-5 in overtime.
The low ceiling of the ice rink proved troublesome for the Billikens, striking the hanging bars and subsequently halting play multiple times in the opening minutes. After adjusting to both the rink’s dimensions and the fast-paced play of the Hoosiers, graduate student defenseman Charlie West found the net on a power play to put the Billikens up 1-0 five minutes into the game. The visitors would strike again just three minutes later off the stick of graduate student winger Jeffrey Au, and the Hoosiers fell into a quick 2-0 hole.
A deep wrist shot from Indiana junior defenseman Nathan Cesarki flew past St. Louis goalkeeper Keegan Heggar for a goal, and the Hoosiers pulled within one.
The final minutes of the opening period represented a momentum shift when punishing checks from Indiana’s backline rejuvenated the fans.
The Hoosiers dominated the second period with 15 shots on target, 17 faceoff wins and 12 hits, compared to eight, eight and six, respectively, from the Billikens. The Hoosiers scored three unanswered goals from the freshman trio of forwards Jack O’Flaherty, Ithan DeLorenzo and Drew Micheli.
A rebound goal from junior forward Jack Kissell, the Hoosier’s second-leading goal scorer, drew the teams level at 5-5 and headed for overtime. Freshman forward Tommy MacDonald was ejected after a misconduct penalty, leaving the Hoosiers shorthanded for thirty seconds in the final minute of overtime.
St. Louis took advantage, and sophomore forward Travis Herrick found the net on the power play.
“Heading into this we were the 17th-ranked team in the country, and we know we’re a really good hockey team when we play hard,” Indiana head coach Andrew Weiss said. “But when you come in with a so-so effort, that's kinda what happens.”
In game two on Saturday, Indiana again threatened early and jumped out to a 6-1 shot on target advantage in the first five minutes. O’Flaherty fired a wrist shot into the net to open the scoring with three minutes left in the first period.
The Billikens responded quickly as Au wrapped around the net to sneak one past the Hoosiers’ goalkeeper Ben Zarembski for a shorthanded goal. Micheli answered with just under a minute of play in the first period, rebounding a shot for the 2-1 lead.
The middle period, like Friday night, belonged to the Hoosiers. With the chippiness came penalty minutes for Indiana. However, freshman forward Will Gerami slipped one past the glove of Heggar for the shorthanded goal. After yet another shorthanded goal for Gerami off of a breakaway, the Hoosiers were rolling and would add two more goals in the period from graduate student Vladamir Krusch and sophomore Matt Mckay.
A goal three minutes into the final period from Kissell was the nail in the coffin. Even with the game out of reach, the Hoosiers would continue to light up the scoreboard, and added five more goals from DeLorenzo, O’Flaherty, MacDonald and junior forward Jack Null, four of which came from power plays.
Club president and senior forward Cade Kenyon found the 12-3 result more characteristic of the team.
“We figured out that last night was a bad game and turned it around here today,” Kenyon said. “We knew we should have been beating this team by a lot and we put a lot of hard work out there today and got the win.”
Kenyon stressed the importance of fundamentals.
“It’s just the little things,” he said. “ You have to make sure you’re catching passes, putting tape to tape, and shooting the puck on net, and tonight we had quality shots.”
Indiana is now 11-6 and sits in second in the Tri-State Collegiate Hockey League South division. It will travel to Ann Arbor to play Michigan Jan. 21.