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.
Today’s 5:30 PM game against Western Illinois will take place at Carol Stream Ice Rink; not Center Ice of DuPage as previously stated. Our apologies for any inconveniences.
Wheaton started out the weekend with a 7-3 victory over Western Illinois. Goals from Davis Melin, Blake Eitreim, Spencer Healey, and Luke Grogger, along with four assists from Brant Goodrich, propelled the Thunder to their second win of the season in convincing fashion.
Melin opened the scoring just two minutes into the game, and scored again on a penalty shot at the 9:18 mark in the first period. Healey would add a third tally for the Thunder in the period, but Jay put one in for WIU with 1:12 left on the clock.
The Thunder offense exploded for four goals in the second, from Grogger, another from Healey, and two from Eitreim. The defense was lights out, shutting out Western and limiting them to just two shots on the period.
Wheaton would let off the gas slightly in the third, as they would yield two more goals before time expired, but they played strong enough to prevent any real comeback by the visitors. Wheaton will look to go back to back tomorrow afternoon, as they face off against Western Illinois again at 5:30 at Center Ice of DuPage.