Hockey club heads to Iowa for weekend series

Dominic Renzetti, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern hockey club continues its season on the road this weekend, traveling to take on the University of Iowa.

The Panthers and Hawkeyes will play two games, with the first at 6 p.m. Friday and the second at 4:45 p.m. Sunday. Both games are at the Coral Ridge Ice Arena in Coralville, Iowa.

The Panthers are coming off two losses against the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign last weekend by scores of 9-1 and 11-4. The Panthers, 0-4, are still searching for their first win of the season.

Sophomore Andy Insalaco, who has scored in both of the club’s two series so far this season, understands the difficulty that being a young team brings.

“We played some decent teams so far,” he said. “It’s hard being an up and coming team. We’re playing competitive schools with a lot of talent and full rosters. Early on, we ran into some injuries and our roster is starting to slim down.”

Iowa is 1-2 coming into this weekend’s series. The Hawkeyes topped Bradley 6-5 in the opener on Sept. 6, but lost their last two to Waldorf by scores of 4-3 and 2-1.

Junior goalie Zach Peifer knows that it might take time for the Eastern roster to settle in.

“We’re a really young team, so once we find some chemistry and start working as a team, all of the other pieces will fall into place,” he said.

Despite the club’s shortcomings early on, Insalaco, now in his second season with the Panthers, said they won’t go down easily.

“One thing about Panther hockey is we won’t ever give up,” he said. “It’s in our DNA.”

Dominic Renzetti can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].