Kent State hockey breaks even with University of Pittsburgh


Kent State forward TJ West carries the puck through the offensive zone during the Flashes’ 9-2 victory over John Carroll on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. [FILE]

Morgan Dunlop


The Kent State club hockey team improved to 3-1 with a win over the University of Pittsburgh Saturday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Freshman Justin Bioni scored two goals for the Flashes. Bioni gave the Flashes the lead in the second period with five minutes to play and another goal in the third period to give the team a 3-1 advantage. The team went on to score one more goal by Chance Taylor to ultimately win 4-1.

“Bioni is adapting very well to what we ask him to do,” coach Jim Underwood said. “With him being a freshman, he is still learning how to play in a college game. Right now, four games into the season, he has the potential to have a really good year.”

Bioni has four goals this season. Two of those goals helped his team win by putting them ahead late in games. 

“Our five on five is solid,” Bioni said. “Working more as a unit and barring our chances is something we need to improve on. We really tried to work on our penalty kill and make sure we crack down on the little mistakes on the defensive zone.”

Underwood is excited to see what is ahead for the team and is optimistic about the way things are heading.

“Things are starting to come around,” Underwood said. “It is exciting to see some of these things fall into place. I like seeing players like Bioni get comfortable on the ice. A lot of good hockey is coming from our top guys.

The Flashes lost to The Panthers on Friday night, 3-2, with goals coming from Ian Hermann and Sean Moore. This game was the Flashes first loss of the season leaving room for improvement.

“I think our team needs to improve on winning battles in the dirty areas including the front of their net,” Sean Moore said. “We have left a lot of pucks still laying in front of the net because we don’t want to get into those areas.” 

Underwood said the team did not play well as a unit on Friday night. 

“We did not do a good job on Friday supporting the puck,” Underwood said. “We had a lot of guys making one-on-one plays a lot of odd-man situations skating and moving without the puck.”

There were strong points on Friday night, however, the team could not sustain it for a significant amount of time.

“We were very inconsistent,” Underwood said. “We will go two or three minutes where we are executing everything then there are a couple minutes when the wheels fall off and we look unorganized, tired and slow. Moving forward we need consistency for a full game.” 

Penalties and power play goals are something that the team must eliminate for a better chance of success moving forward. 

“We are struggling at the penalty,” Underwood said. “We allowed two power play goals one minute apart. That is something that needs to be fixed quickly.” 

Although the penalties were a big hindrance for the Flashes, they were able to put up an abundance of shots on goal.

“We were able to control the pace of the game,” defenseman Jake Parry said. “Our speed and toughness allowed us to put up nearly 49 shots on their net.”

Goaltending for the Flashes is something Underwood and the players are considering a strong point. Sophomore Goaltender Tyler Geloneck got his second start of the season Saturday at Pittsburgh.

 “Tyler had the best game I saw him play in two years,” Underwood said. “He was really aggressive in net and did a phenomenal job at controlling the rebound.” 

The Flashes are back in action Friday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. at Oswego State.