Despite outshooting the Cougars by more than double on Friday night, the Redbirds came out one goal short in the series opener. Falling 3-2. The Birds controlled possession time and had 44 shots on net compared to SIU-E’s 21.
Afer falling behind 3-0 after two periods, Niko Castino finally cracked the code against Cougar Goalie Brendon Rausch with 9 minutes left in the 3rd. He followed it up less than 5 minutes later on a power play to bring the Birds back within one with 4:16 left. Unfortunately, time ran out on the come back. “Sometimes you run into a hot goaltender and you have to tip your hat and move on.” ISU Redbird Head Coach Michael Hernbrott said.
Saturday’s game was a tighter defensive game for both teams. Richie Young scored the only goal the Redbirds needed at 3:11 of the first period going top shelf into very small window of the net. Andrew Meyer did everything he needed to do to keep ISU on top until Billy Carroll tipped a Wil Kelly shot from the point to give the team a cushion at 10:24 of the third. Niko Castino put the game out of reach with 3:27 left on assists from Anthony Carcerano and Wil Kelly.
The Redbirds look to stay hot this Thursday at 7:30 pm at the Bloomington Ice Center. They take on Conference rival Illinois.