Hockey drops weekend games

The starting line for the Kent State hockey team stands across the blue line while the national anthem is played before their against the University of Pittsburgh Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

Chris Yamnitsky

The Kent State Ice Hockey Club came up short in a pair of games over the weekend, falling to Rochester Institute of Technology and Mercyhurst University over the weekend. The Flashes will have a break over Thanksgiving week, with a couple optional practices until their next game on Dec. 4 against Oakland University.

Kent State fell one goal short of a victory on Friday, with a very low action game that resulted in a 3-2 win for RIT.  

“I felt we played down to their level,” coach Jim Underwood said. “ I mean, we outshot them 64 to 27, so we just weren’t strong enough to get the rebounds and jump ahead of them with some early goals.”

The Tigers scored with 45 seconds left in the first period to take the momentum into the second. RIT scored their second goal about halfway through the second with 11:45 remaining in the period.  

Senior forward Chad Parise scored the first goal for the Flashes with the assists going to sophomore forwards Kyle Schaefer and Jake Hainline. The second period ended with the Flashes still down 2-1, but were leading in shots with 39 to the Tiger’s 14.

RIT scored with 11 minutes remaining in the third to regain the two-goal advantage. Hainline scored in the last few minutes of the third period to make it 3-2, but the push to tie ended and the Flashes lost their third straight game.  

“When you let a team hang around, they will come up on you really quick,” Underwood said. “The pressure built up and we began to grip our sticks a little tighter and just weren’t able to bare down and bury those rebound goals.”

The Flashes weren’t able to score on their opportunities and lost their fourth game in a row, 3-1, to the Mercyhurst Lakers on Saturday. Although Underwood doesn’t see the loss as the team playing a bad game.  

“It was a great game from start to finish. We just have a hard time burying on our chances. I do think we did a phenomenal job with our defense of disrupting passes. Mercyhurst likes to hit the guy streaking up the middle and our defense did a good job of breaking that up,” Underwood said. “As far as our offense goes, we did a great job of getting the puck down low and to the net. Again, we just had trouble burying those opportunities.”

With the first period not providing any goals, Hainline scored first for the Flashes on the power play just as one of the two penalties expired against the Lakers. Parise and senior defenseman Andrew Radosevic picked up the assists.

With only nine seconds left in the Flashes’ penalty, Mercyhurst was able to bounce back with a power play goal of their own to make it 1-1. The Lakers scored their second goal with under a minute to play in the second period. The period ended with a score of 2-1. With about five minutes left in the third period, the Lakers scored their third goal of the game to take a two-goal lead and claim a victory.

“We’ll take Thanksgiving week to rest and come back afterwards and get right back to work for the last four games of the semester,” Underwood said. “They are four important league games for us, so hopefully we can get back on track here.”

Chris Yamnitsky is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]