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Wheaton won their third game in a row in dramatic fashion. They beat the visiting Lewis in a 5-4 thriller that took an additional two minutes and 41 seconds of overtime.
The Thunder had to overcome three different deficits during the game, coming back from 1-0, 3-1, and 4-3 Lewis leads. Blake Eitreim led the Thunder offensively yet again on Friday night, scoring twice in the second period to tie the game at three. He added an assist to his points total in the overtime period. Freshman Nathan Davis showed his flair for the dramatic with a breakaway goal that knotted the score at four just under seven minutes into the third period.
The real hero of the night, however, was graduate student, Spencer Healey. Luke Grogger started off the overtime with a strong shift, blocking a pair of shots and drawing a penalty. The penalty gave Wheaton momentum, which they used to capitalize on less than 30 seconds after the penalty expired. Blake Eitreim made a pass from the corner into the front of the net, which Healey buried into a wide open net to give Wheaton its third win in as many games.
Wheaton will next be in action tomorrow night, Saturday the fourth, at 10:10 pm at Center Ice of DuPage. They will take on Lewis again, hoping to move up in the seeding with another win. In addition, they will look to end the regular season on a high note for the seniors, who they will honor during tomorrow night’s senior night game.
Wheaton hockey enters into this weekend with a two game win streak, coming off of 7-3 and 10-2 victories over Western Illinois last weekend. They will take on conference rivals Lewis in a pair of games tonight at 8:40 and tomorrow at 10:10.
Lewis defeated Wheaton in both of their match ups earlier in the season; the first by a score of 10-0, and the second by a score of 2-1. The Thunder have become a much more cohesive unit since their earlier match ups, however, and have received an offensive boost from sophomore transfer Blake Eitreim. Eitreim has 9 goals in his first four games, including a hat trick against Northern Illinois in his second game with Wheaton, and four goals in the 10-2 blow out over Western Illinois.
This weekend’s games are especially important to the Thunder. Wheaton will be fighting to improve their playoff seeding before next weekend’s conference championship tournament. Currently ranked fourth with eight points, they need to win both games against Lewis in order to draw even in points with Western Illinois at 12 points. If they can gain four more points this weekend and tie Western in points, then they will have the tie breaker of head to head goal differential against Western, earning the number three seed going into next weekend.
Friday night’s game will have a free fan skate following the action. Saturday night’s game will be senior night, where the team will take time to honor the graduating seniors. Come out to Center Ice of DuPage this weekend to support the Thunder in their final home games of the season!
Wheaton comes away from this weekend against Western Illinois with 4 points from 2 wins, increased momentum, and the team’s first win streak in several years, following tonight’s 10-2 drubbing of the visiting team.
As lopsided as the score was, it still doesn’t do justice for the offensive explosion the team had. Four different people scored for the Thunder; two goals for Zach Naylor, one for Spencer Healey, a hat trick apiece for Davis Melin and four goals by Blake Eitreim would round out the offensive production for Wheaton. Yet the true display of the Thunder’s success in this game is found in the shot totals. The home team had 62 shots on goal, limiting Western to 22 on target shots.
Wheaton will close out the regular season next week with another pair of home games against Lewis, where they will look to add to their points total and improve their seed for playoffs the following week.