No. 18 Flashes get their eighth weekend sweep of the season

Kent State and John Carroll battle for a faceoff as Lobos goaltender Charlie Denner looks on. The Flashes won the game, 9-2. 

Chad Flannery

Kent State was able to get two key victories against John Carroll this weekend, winning 9-2 and 5-3, respectively.

The Flashes have now won 16 of their last 18 games.

Friday night’s home game started with a bang.

Forwards John Buttitta and Jake Hainline were each able to score within the first two minutes of the game to put Kent State up, 2-0, early. After a goal by John Carroll, junior forward Xavier Sudlow added a goal to the score sheet, putting Kent State up 3-1 at the end of the first period.  

After that, the Flashes never looked back.

In the second period, Hainline added a pair of goals to his total, giving him a hat trick for the evening and putting Kent up, 5-1. Forward Rob Ferrari also got in on the scoring adding a goal toward the end of the second period to make the score 6-1 going into the second intermission.

In the third, sophomore forward Sean Moore added a pair of goals and senior forward Kyle Schaefer was able to tack on another. Despite another goal from John Carroll, the Flashes won Friday’s dominating performance with a final score of 9-2.

“It was great to see a lot of the guys get on the score sheet and make a lot of great plays,” coach Jim Underwood said.  

Senior forward and team captain Mike Sullivan was happy with the way the team played.

“This was a huge win and a great confidence booster going forward,” he said. “We need to do this every night for the rest of the year.”

Heading into the second game of the weekend between the teams, Underwood expected a tougher fight as John Carroll was on home ice.

The game remained scoreless for most of the first period until the Flashes went on a power play. During the one-man advantage, Hainline was able to find the back of the net for his fourth goal of the weekend with 2:40 left in the period.  

In the second, it seemed that John Carroll had an answer for every Kent State goal.

Buttitta was able to score five minutes into the period and put the Flashes up, 2-0, but the lead wouldn’t last long.

The Lobos immediately answered back with a goal of their own a couple minutes later to narrow the gap.

With about five minutes left in the period, senior forward Chance Taylor put Kent State up, 3-1, only for John Carroll to fight its way back and score on a power play a minute and a half later, making the score 3-2 entering the third period.

The third period started with another power play goal for the Flashes, this time off the stick of Rob Ferrari, to put Kent State up by two. However, John Carroll came clawing back yet again to cut the deficit back to one. With 12:30 left in the last period of play, Hainline put the Flashes back up by two, and sealed the 5-3 win for his team with his fifth goal of the weekend.  

Buttitta, one of the assistant captains for the team, was feeling good about how the team played.

“If we can play great on offense and great (in the) defensive zone like we did today, I think we will have a great chance to win going forward,” he said.

Although Underwood would’ve liked to see his team stay out of the penalty box, he praised their grit and character.

“The team got some hard-fought, good-character wins this weekend that’ll be a huge confidence booster for us,” he said. “Hopefully, this will get us rolling at the right time, especially with playoffs right around the corner.”

The Flashes have two upcoming games against Indiana University of Pennsylvania next weekend.

Chad Flannery is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].