Northern Kentucky University Men’s Hockey Club swept Xavier University this weekend in a two-game series in convincing fashion. The Norse won 11-8 Oct. 27, then came back the next night and blew the Muskies away 15-2.
The Norse was led by a plethora of offensive threats, including forwards Derek Buckingham and Eric Thueneman, who each scored two goals in the second period Oct. 28. Those four goals were part of a six-goal explosion by the Norse’s potent offense in the second period. Quite possibly the most exciting play of the game was Thueneman’s 30-foot slap shot that found the net from right in front of his own bench.
As powerful as the Norse offense looked, the defense looked that much better. Goalie Sam Whisman was nearly infallible, blocking most every Musketeer attempt on his goal. Meanwhile, teammate Scott Hicks made anyone he could find pay for bringing the puck onto his side of the ice as he repeatedly abused Xavier’s forwards by checking them against the glass before clearing the puck and sending it up the ice to his offense.
“This past weekend’s games were fun. They were a little relaxed since the level of competition was lower than we’re used to, but it helped us work on the little things that will pay off when we play tougher opponents like UC this coming weekend,” Hicks said. This stifling defense went hand-in-hand with the offensive production that made this Norse team look unstoppable.
The team was definitely inspired by the student section in the audience, who showed up to cheer on the Norse. The Norse faithful kept the Northern Kentucky Ice Center loud all night as the players came up with creative cheers, clapped, danced and pounded on the glass before every faceoff. In return, the Hockey team gave them plenty to cheer for
The Norse will take on the University of Cincinnati Bearcats at UC’s campus Nov. 3 and 4.