Hockey trades wins with John Carroll

Erik Svensson

Energy in the chilled air was palpable for two nights in a row as players buzzed across the ice, looking to find the right moment to fire the puck past their opponents and into the net, hoping to come out on top. This Friday and Saturday, the Kent State Hockey Club (16-12-1) played two games — one home and one away — against the John Carroll Hockey Club (13-12-1).

The weekend started off slow for the team, losing 6-4. 

“We play them twice every year,” said coach Jim Underwood about facing John Carroll’s hockey team. Underwood didn’t believe John Carroll represented Kent State’s greatest rivals, but said, “I think there’s something a little extra there.”

The Flashes began the first period with two quick goals, but quickly lost that lead in the second period. They went into the third period trailing 4-2, but quickly scored, giving fans a brief glimmer of hope before falling to John Carroll’s Blue Streaks with an end score of 6-4.

Freshman player Tyler Houmard, who scored the first goal of the third period after just under 3 minutes of playtime, said, “It felt good. It got us back in the game … We played a lot better in the third, and we’ve got a lot of momentum for tomorrow.”

Team captain, senior Alex Compean, felt the team worked well offensively at some points and looked forward to the next game.

“The most important thing to look at for tomorrow probably is team defense,” Compean said, explaining that keeping the puck away from the goal would be a priority.

Underwood said that to prepare for the next game, the team had to give “a little grittier of an effort.”

This paid off one day later, when Kent beat John Carroll as visitors to the team’s home rink. It was a tense game with some very hard hits and extreme speed from both sides.

The two teams spent much of the game tied 1-1 before two goals in the third period by players Rubin Chavarria and Jon Buttitta.

“That felt good, it was good to feel that little boost,” Buttitta said about the goal. “I was happy that we finished it 3-2.”

“I felt it was one of our more complete games,” Underwood said, expressing satisfaction with the team’s effort throughout all three periods. He also complimented John Carroll. “They’re a really good team, they work hard and they gave us a couple of good games.”

Erik Svensson is a sports reporter for The Stater. Contact him at [email protected]