By Brandon Hillary, Staff Writer
The 18-3 Redbirds look to further secure their spot at the top of the Central Region this weekend with wins over last year’s top team, the Michigan Wolverines, at 9:10 p.m. Friday and 5:50 p.m. Saturday at the Pepsi Ice Center in Bloomington.
“Both teams are power houses of the Midwest who are contending for a prime spot in the Central Region,” Jordan Swiderski, forward, said. “Both games will be fast and physical, but the team who can capitalize on the most opportunities will come out on top this weekend.”
The Wolverines come to Normal this weekend with a record of 9-2-1, holding the No. 4 spot in the Central Region with big wins over Boston College and New Hampshire. They are led by sophomore forward Andrew Copp, who has eight goals and five assists on the season.
While head coach Brian Corley and his team both know the importance of this game, Corley’s policy is to come ready to play every day, no matter who the opponent is.
“Every game is a big game,” Corley said. “The rankings are so important. Right now we’re ranked No.1 in the Central Region, but a loss could change that dramatically.”
Facing nine out of the top-12 teams in their region this season, the Redbirds don’t get to take any nights off.
ISU looks to bounce back after giving up an uncharacteristic five goals in their last meeting against Missouri State. Connor Anderson and Tim Talty were able to give the Redbirds a boost, each with a goal assisted by the other, and an additional unassisted goal for Anderson. Anderson leads the team with 22 goals through 21 games, and Talty leads the ’Birds with an impressive 26 assists.
The duo hopes to help ISU further its record-setting start to the season at home this weekend.