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‘Keep rolling forward’: Hockey shuts down weekend with double victory

Matthew Brown
A Kent State hockey team member skids into a turn as he snags the puck from the Lawrence Tech hockey team.

This weekend’s battle between the Flashes and Rochester University got pretty rowdy, with plenty of penalties and pauses within periods to break up tension. 

Coach Zack Nowak said the game plan for the weekend was to play fast, considering the opposing team has a history of switching in and out players quickly. 

“Our main goal was to apply a lot of pressure, quick face-offs, and quick play off ice,” he said.

The hockey team is now 4-0, winning 4-3 in the first game and 8-1 in the second. Rochester falls to 0-2. 


Nowak described this game as a struggle — the Flashes had 70 shots with only four goals. 

“We have to play big in big moments…we didn’t quite do that,” he said. “We should have had at least seven or eight goals.”

Forward senior Mitchell Gillespie led off KSU by scoring the game-opening goal, then Rochester followed with one, making the score 1-1 at the end of the first period.

With sixteen minutes left in the second period, senior forward JS Florek scored, tying the game 2-2.

Alternate captain and forward senior Jack Kinsman scored, then Rochester followed, bringing the end of the second-period score to 3-3.

Kinsman leads KSU with four goals scored this season.

Defenseman freshman JJ Creighton scored his first goal as a Flash, bringing the final score of 4-3 Flashes.

“I think we as a team underestimated them a little bit at the beginning, so we had to adjust to that,” Kinsman said. “Later into the second period, our footing was better, which helped us sweep out a win.”


The Flashes displayed the momentum and dynamics to win big against Rochester in game two.

Creighton scored with 1:42 left in the first period, making the score 1-0 Kent State. Seconds later, freshman forward TJ Avellino scored with one minute left in the first, making the score 2-0 KSU.

The Flashes showed out the second period with big plays to defend their rink.

Rochester scored, but shortly after, Kinsman followed with an assist by Mitchell Gillespie, making the score 3-1, Kent State.

Avellino scored again, bringing his season total to three, extending the Flashes lead to 4-1.

Senior forward Joey Gallo scored, assisted by senior forward Zachary Zwierecki, with 1:26 left in the second period. Once again, Kent State struck quickly with a shot by Gillespie assisted by Kinsman as Kent State led 6-1 after the second period.

Gillespie, shortly after, scored again off of a rebound with sixteen minutes left of the third period. The score was then 7-1, Kent State.

With five minutes left of the game, freshman defenseman Nick Falkowski rang in a goal as the Flashes won 8-1. 

This was the second time KSU scored eight goals in a game this season.

“It was a good win — the offense finally broke through from Mitchell Gillespie’s performance, and Jack Kinsman’s leadership made me happy,” Nowak said.“We knew that tension was high throughout the whole weekend, and we did a really good job not feeding into that in the 3rd period.”

Creighton had celebrated his first two goals as a Flash, a Kent State win, and his birthday.

“We have a great group of guys, good chemistry, and are very inclusive teammates, which makes playing with them really fun,” Creighton said. 


The Flashes take on Cleary University at Kent State Ice Arena Friday at 7:30 p.m., followed by an away game at Ice Den Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Epiphany Graham is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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Matthew Brown, Photo Editor
Matthew is a junior photography major. He has a passion for photography and traveling. Contact him at [email protected].

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