Kent State hockey beats Merychurst on senior night

Erik Svensson

The Kent State Hockey Club (19-14-1) beat Mercyhurst University (11-16-4) 4-2 in its final home game of the regular season.

“We gave a full 60 minutes and we got to send our seniors off with a big victory,” head coach Jim Underwood said. “It was important that all six remained on the ice for the final seconds of the game.”

“It was one of our more complete games of the year,” said Alex Compean, captain of the team.

It was also senior night for the team, who was honored by not only starting the game, but also finishing the game on the ice. The six seniors are Compean, Bobby Rhue, Casey Barile, TJ West, Curtis Swan and Phil Haywood.

“It was a lot of fun getting a win for the home crowd and with the other seniors on the team,” Haywood said.

“We’ve gone from a record of 7-24 my freshman (year) to almost 20 wins,” Compean said. “It was definitely a rise for us.”

“All these guys have been here from the start and they’re a big factor in the reason that our program is where we are today,” Underwood said. “These six guys have dedicated their time and effort to the program and they’ll be ingrained into our success in the future.”

For some of the players, it was the first game that their family was able to attend.

“It was a blast. My mom and my brother got out here from St. Louis to see the game,” Barile said. “I got to play with a bunch of guys I’ve been playing with for years.”

“It was a night to remember. I’ve been waiting for tonight for about three and a half years,” West said. “Growing up in Arizona, my mom didn’t get to come out here. It was her first chance to see Kent, Ohio and watch me play.”

The seniors also looked back on the four years they had played together.

“It’s been a long four years and it’s fun to see how we’ve grown. I got to be out there and win with my guys,” Swan said.

“It was one of my favorite memories of playing Kent State hockey,” Compean said. “It was good being able to end it with the people I’ve been playing four years with.”

Erik Svensson is a sports reporter, contact him at [email protected]