12/5: 10:00PM CST
12/6: 4:30PM CST
University of Illinois Ice Arena
IU Travels to the Big Pond to Finish Fall Semester
After winning the ACHA Midwest Showcase in the middle of November, the Hoosiers have had back-to-back weekends off for the Thanksgiving break. Now well rested, IU will be ready to take on the Illini and the "Big Pond".
The University of Illinois Ice Arena has earned the nickname "The Big Pond" because of its immense size. The rink is 197ft x 115ft. For comparison, an NHL regulation sized rink is 200ft x 85ft. Even olympic hockey rinks, which are already wider then normal NHL rinks, are just 200ft x 100ft.
The increased size of rink can wear a team out, but also gives a team with speed, like the Hoosiers, the room to turn on the burners.
Frank Southern Ice Arena doesn't have its exact dimensions listed online, but anyone who has been to the rink could infer that the rink can't be any wider than 70ft. If that were to be the case, that would mean the Big Pond would give the Hoosiers an extra 45 feet of ice to work with.
IU hopes to take advantage of the wide dimensions as they take on the Illini for the first time since moving to Division 3 in 2009.
As of 2005, the Illini and Hoosiers had met 60 times on the ice since 1970, with the Illini holding the series lead 45-10-3. All of these matchups featured Illinois' Division 1 team pitted against the old IU Division 2 team.
This is the first time IU will play against Illinois' D2 team, and both teams will be looking to pick up the first wins in this new series before heading into Winter break.
What to Watch For
This is the last weekend before the 2nd ACHA Rankings are released, so IU will be looking to make a statement to the voting committee before heading to break. The Hoosiers hope a strong weekend against a Division 2 opponent in the Illini matched with a three game sweep in Chicago can help propel them into the Top 15. If the Hoosiers can utilize their speed on the Big Pond and play strong defense, they will have a good chance of picking up a big win or two this weekend.
Illinois Fighting Illini
The Illini check into this matchup with a 7-8 record on the season. Their last two games were Nov 14/15, and both of those contests were dropped to a strong D2 Iowa team 12-5, 7-4. Having the Big Pond on their side will give Illinois a big home advantage not having to adjust to the size of the rink, and the Illini will look to use that to their advantage this weekend. The leading scorer for the Illini is Anthony Altosino who has 15 goals and assists for 30 points in 16 games.
This is the first time Indiana will play Illinois as a Division 3 program.
2010 - present
2010 - present