Kent State hockey gets most victories in a season in eight years after weekend sweep


A Kent State defender reaches out for the puck as John Carroll senior defenseman Grant MacMullen skates past. 

Chad Flannery

Kent State hockey recorded two strong victories during yet another weekend sweep against Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  

This pair of victories brings the team to 21-6-1 on the season.

After jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead in Friday’s game thanks to goals by forwards Lucas Ethington and Rob Ferrari, IUP clawed its way back into the game and made it 2-2 midway through the 3rd period.

Senior forward John Buttitta responded fairly quickly by netting a goal to put the Flashes up, 3-2.

Buttitta would go on to score an open net goal after IUP pulled its goalie for an extra attacker to make the score 4-2 to seal the victory for Kent State in the final moments of the game.

“We played in a hard-fought game tonight, and our guys were able to battle through and get the win,” coach Jim Underwood said.  

The Flashes were in for a tougher fight on their home ice Saturday.

Both teams remained scoreless through the first period.

It wasn’t until early in the second period that IUP was able to find the back of the net. After the Crimson Hawks gained a 1-0 lead, Kent State junior forward Xavier Sudlow was able to net two goals to put the Flashes up, 2-1. Sudlow’s first goal came while he was down on the ice and poked the puck past the goalie, while the other was a quick one-timer off an assist from Buttitta.  

After Kent State dominated puck possession for most of the third period, IUP tied it up midway through to force the game into overtime.

However, overtime was very short-lived.

17 seconds into the overtime period, sophomore Sean Moore won the game for the Flashes on a 2-on-1 and was orchestrated by a beautiful pass by Buttitta yet again. The assist was the 100th of Buttitta’s career.

“It was a great accomplishment for me,” Buttitta said. “I didn’t realize it until coach said something in the locker room, but it feels great.”

The win Saturday was the Flashes’ sixth straight and their 21st overall, which is their most in a season since 2008.

“We have a lot of experienced upperclassmen on this team who can lead us,” Underwood said. “Also, everyone is buying into what we are trying to do here, and everyone is playing their part, whether it be good goalkeeping, strong defensive zone or scoring goals when we need them.”

Kent State returns to the ice at 7:30 p.m. Friday, as the team hosts a weekend series against Oswego State.

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