By: Garrett Giles
Stops were made by Missouri’s goalie Billy Hindle but they weren’t enough to beat the Illinois Fighting Illini in Jefferson City, Missouri tonight. In the 7-4 loss, Hindle and teammates found themselves lying on the ice near or in the net throughout the game.
Coming into the game, both teams were playing awful hockey. Both teams carried the weight of a four-game losing streak and both were desperate for a win. Missouri was 6-8-2 coming into tonight’s match after losing to Ole Miss on Nov. 19 while Illinois came in 4-8-1. Illinois was more desperate and showed that they were the better team all around on the ice.
In the first period, Illinois jumped to a 2-0 lead off of goals from Neal Novosel and Jack Graham.
Missouri’s Zack Fanning was quick to answer the call at the start of the second period. Within two minutes of the second period, Fanning brought the Tigers within a goal. Fanning then tied the game 2-2 midway through the second period off of the first power play of the game.
Like Missouri, however, Illinois responded to Fanning and the Tigers with two more goals of their own to end the second period. One goal came from Rick Hatten for the Illini with 7:43 remaining in the second period. The second goal from Trey Barnes with 5:04 left in the second. Just like that and the Tigers were down two goals again at the end of the second period. They trailed 4-2.
Trey Barnes scored his second goal of the night for the Fighting Illini to get them going early in the third period and they lead 5-2 with 15:38 on the clock.
Missouri’s Kevin Ward was hot in the third period. He scored two goals: one in ten seconds of Missouri’s third power play of the game and the other nearly two minutes after Jared Projansky scored for the Illini. At that point the Tigers trailed 6-4 with 7:45 left in the third period.
Goal were quite for both teams until there was 17.4 seconds on the clock. The team with the worst record in this match-up that out hustled Missouri the entire game out hustled the Tigers one more time. Valentino Wilson, with a name as smooth as the ice, put the icing on the cake for the Fighting Illini who won 7-4.
The Tigers play the Illini tomorrow in Jefferson City, Missouri where the Tigers hope to bounce back from their fifth-straight loss. The Tigers are now 6-9-2 on the season.
(Featured Image: Garrett Giles)