Kent State hockey lost its weekend double-header to Indiana Tech 3-2 and 2-1, on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Flashes were plagued by slow starts and a weak defensive performance in both games.
A lack of defensive led to Indiana Tech coming out with a 3-2 win over the Kent State Hockey Club.
“We were thinking too much offense and not taking care of our own zone,” said coach Jim Underwood. “We got away with a few opportunities today because we were thinking offense before we even had the puck.”
The Flashes (8-2-1) battled through a gritty, first two periods with the score at the end of two periods being tied 0-0. Indiana Tech (8-6-0) scored their first goal of the game at 18:39 of the third period. Just one minute later, the Warriors scored their second goal at 17:39 of the third period.
Sophomore forward Jake Hainline scored the first goal for the Flashes on the power play with the assists going to sophomore forward Chance Taylor and junior defenseman Bobby Rhue.
The Flashes tied the game at 10:05 with a goal by sophomore defenseman Mike Sullivan. Senior defenseman Andrew Radosevic picked up the assist. The Warriors then took the lead with 5:35 remaining to win the game over the Flashes.
Sophomore goaltender Sky Buller stopped 31 of the 34 shots the Warriors threw at him. According to Haneline, defense needs to be an emphasis in tomorrow’s game.
“We were really good down low in their zone. A lot of the shifts we kept the pressure down there,” Haneline said. “We just kind of lacked on the defensive side today. So we just have to bring that offensive mind back out tomorrow and strengthen up a little bit on the defensive end.”
“I felt it was a great skating game on our part. We weren’t fancy at all. We just kept chipping the puck out of the zone, getting the puck down low and beating them to lose pucks,” Underwood said. “Tomorrow I want to see more guys standing in front of shots and kind of selling out their body for the program. We have to bring that type of energy tomorrow in the afternoon.”
Small stints of good play weren’t enough for the Flashes, who fell to Indiana Tech 2-1.
“I felt we played well in spurts but it wasn’t a complete game. For us to be up 1-0 half way through the third period and, again, put ourselves in a bad situation by taking two costly penalties to go down 5 on 3,” Underwood said. “That was enough to swing the momentum in their direction and it cost us. It cost us in points and costs us a win.”
Similar to Friday night’s game, the scoring didn’t start until the third period. Sophomore forward Chance Taylor scored the Flashes lone goal in the game with the assists going to senior defenseman Andrew Radosevic and junior forward T.J. West.
A set of back-to-back penalties by the Flashes gave the Warriors the momentum and they took advantage by scoring the tying goal with just under five minutes left to play in the game.
With overtime not presenting a winner, the game went to a shootout. The Warriors scored on their first two attempts while the Flashes missed on both of their opportunities to give the Warriors the 2-1 victory.
Although the Flashes did come out on top, they did see some success with a problem from the previous game.
“We were better at covering the shooting lanes. We blocked a lot of shots and I think that really showed in our penalty kill. We killed off some big, key power plays for Indiana Tech,” Underwood said. “To sit here and say that we have corrected the problem is crazy. We need to continue to cover shooting lanes and blocking shots to win hockey games.”
The Flashes will practice this week in preparation for next weekends games against Rochester Institute of Technology and Mercyhurst University.
“We need to come ready to work on Monday. We lost too many puck races and puck battles,” Underwood said. “We looked flat in so many aspects of our game. I don’t know if it was because it was a day game or if guys were just tired but we need more effort from top to bottom.”
Chris Yamnitsky is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]