Kent State hockey swept by defending national champ Adrian College

Morgan Dunlop

The Kent State club hockey team (14-4) is off to a good start this season and are currently ranked No. 23 the country. All that made their loss to No. 3 Adrian College (15-1) this weekend was a humbling experience.

On Friday, the Flashes traveled to Adrian, Michigan, where it fell to Adrian, 8-2 On Saturday the Flashes lost 5-0 in Kent.

Adrian has been one of the most dominant teams in during the Flashes current players tenure and are also the defending national champions.

Coach Jim Underwood is still confident about his team’s level of play moving forward through the season.

“We are a very veteran team this year,” Underwood said. “It allows us to be a little bit more creative. It gives us a little bit more freedom to do our own thing on the ice. They understand what it takes to win at this level. We want to continue a winning tradition here at Kent State.”

Defenseman Mike Sullivan has been on the team for four years now and knows what to expect when playing Adrian. 

“From the years I have been here Adrian has always been the top team,” Sullivan said. “They have always been the team to beat. But I know we have a very strong core of underclassmen and a very talented group of upperclassmen.”  

Jake Parry has been with the team for four years and knows not to overreact to the Flashes showing this weekend.

“It is a long season,” Parry said. “We need to stay focused. If we do that, I think it will be a very special season. We are off to a great start. This team is extremely determined to win.”

Coach Underwood said the team is building a “winning culture,” and it is here to stay.

Forward Xavier Sudlow has been with the Flashes for four years now and has never beaten Adrian. 

“We did some good things,” Sudlow said. “They are a national championship level team. We just have to regroup and come back ready for our next game. We have grit and something special that past teams have not shown.”

“Last year was our most wins ever as a program,” Underwood said. “We are clearly on pace to match or exceed that this year. A lot of that is because it takes some time to get recruiting classes in line.” 

Underwood said the goals for the rest of the season are still well within grasp.

“We want to compete for a regular season league title,” Underwood said. “We want to compete for a league championship and a playoff championship. Once you get to the national tournament it is a single game elimination and anything can happen. That is our goal.” 

The Flashes will continue their season Friday at John Carroll (1-10) inside Gilmour Academy Ice Arena.

Morgan Dunlop is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].