Hockey upsets Davenport, advances in postseason tournament

Erik Svensson

Kent State’s hockey team beat the University of Davenport 5-2 Friday night. The Flashes’ victory eliminated the Panthers from the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League playoffs.

Kent State is ranked No. 24 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and Davenport is ranked No.8. Kent State came into the tournament the seven seed of nine teams, with Davenport at the two seed.

“We showed up ready to go,” coach Jim Underwood said. “They were here early watching games, and I think that showed them the kind of intensity they needed to bring.”

“It was desperation,” team captain Alex Compean said. “We played hard knowing we would have a good game. When we show that, every night we’re going to be able to compete with any of these top ten teams.”

During the first two periods Kent State (19-14-2) held a 2-0 lead and extended it to 3-0 in the third period.

In the final ten minutes of the game, Davenport (26-6-1) scored two goals. In the last minute of the third period the Panthers pulled the goaltender from the net to put an extra player in the game.

Kent State scored two goals on the empty net in the final minute of the game, the first of which was followed by a Davenport player breaking his stick over his knee.

Positive reinforcement helped the players keep calm throughout the game.

“Having our fans cheering for us when we came out in the third helped,” Rubin Chavarria said. “It definitely pumped us up.”

Members of the team also tried to support one another.

“They were constantly encouraging,” Underwood said. “All 21 of us played like a team for the full 60 minutes. We’re gonna need to bring that again for the next game.”

The Flashes will face Adrian College (30-1) Saturday at 2:15 p.m. in the Kent State Ice Arena.

“Adrian’s a tough team,” Underwood said. “They’re the top seed in the tournament and ranked No.2 in the ACHA. It’s gonna be another dogfight for a full 60 minutes.”

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