DePaul club hockey battles for 4-3 overtime win over Illinois

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You are never out of a game until the clock runs out, a saying DePaul club hockey proved true Friday night at Northshore Ice Arena.

The Blue Demons (2-2-1) fought tooth and nail after trailing 3-1 in the third period to come back and win a must-win game 4-3 in overtime over the University of Illinois (0-4-1).  DePaul is now 6-2 all-time against Illinois and has only allowed nine goals at home.

With 1:41 left in the third down only one goal thanks to a Matthew Porter score three minutes earlier, DePaul coach Jerry Fronek pulled starting goalie David Ketelhut to get an extra man on the ice and immediately after, Illinois was charged with a minor penalty. With six players bearing down on the four Illinois defenders, Vince Volpe scored the equalizing goal after catching a rebound with only 43 seconds left.

“We just went to the net, got to where the puck was, and tried to make it work and thankfully it did,” said Volpe.

 Volpe scored late in the second period and also assisted on the game-winning goal early in overtime, netted by junior defender Anthony Sangiacomo on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Sangiacomo played just as crucial a role as Volpe with his hard shoulder that wore down Illinois, contributing an assist to add to his three-game point streak. Sangiacomo laid down massive hits on Illinois that changed the momentum instantly across the game.

However, the last five minutes was far different than what came before. The first two periods were even until Ketelhut was scored on twice in two minutes in the second. Illinois acted off this momentum-changer and DePaul’s goalie was scored on again in the third off a 2-on-1 breakaway, but he continued to look sharp and unrattled for the rest of the game, ending with 26 saves.

“My mentality was to not carry anything negative,” Ketelhut said. “I just wanted to concentrate on the puck and keep thinking positively.”

In five games, DePaul started the season without having two wins for the first time in recorded history, which Volpe said the team used to motivate them. He said that because the “older guys weren’t used to losing,” this was a game to get momentum back.

Ketelhut attributed the last-minute fight to the ACHA Division 2 rankings that are to be released soon.

“We wanted to show we were ready to play good teams,” said Ketelhut, “and they better be shaking in their boots when they play us.”

Game stars
First star: Anthony Sangiacomo
Second star: Vince Volpe
Third star: David Ketelhut