Transfer student making difference early on


Sophomore Jake Hainline is currently leading scorer for Kent State’s hockey team. Oct. 13, 2015. 

Chris Yamnitsky

The Kent State Hockey Club started its season off strong, claiming victories in three of its first four games.  

The Flashes stand as the No. 1 team in the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League. With two wins against Eastern Michigan, an overtime loss and then a win against Western Michigan, the team gained 10 out of a possible 12 league points to start off their league play this season.

“Our first four games add up to be 25 percent of our league games and we put ourselves in a good position when we get into our league games here in the future,” said head coach Jim Underwood. “By jumping out to a great start, we are.. putting pressure on other teams to play catch up with us. It also gives us an opportunity see where everyone else is going to fall into the standings and help us to control our own destiny in the standings.”

A new face is making a strong contribution early on for the Flashes. Sophomore Jake Haneline currently leads the Flashes with seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) in the first four games for the team.  

“Jake being a sophomore transfer, last year he played Division III in the NCAA, so we knew we were going to be getting a a big, strong, power forward with a lot of speed and grit that can put the puck in the net,” Underwood said.

Underwood said the coaching staff researched Haneline prior to his arrival.

“We did our homework on where he played his junior hockey and saw he had a lot of success scoring goals at that level. I’m not shocked at what we are seeing. He generates his opportunities not by luck, but by working hard and it also helps he has a lot of skill to finish off those plays,” Underwood said.

Haneline, along with line mates junior T.J West and freshman Xavier Sudlow, combine for a total of 13 out of the 38 total team points.   

“I think we have really good balance,” West said. “(Haneline) has a nice shot and (Sudlow) does a really good job of getting in the corners and working hard, which, every good line needs.“

“We forecheck really well and give support down low,” Sudlow said. “We always get a good cycle going and (Haneline) just shoots the puck. I don’t understand it. He just finds the net.”

For Haneline, game one was just beginning and the team has been moving forward from that point on.

“We just came out our first game and it was an instant click. We had a little rough go Friday, but we came back out Saturday and really gave it to them,” Haneline said. “Honestly, we are just a bunch of blue collar guys. We all take the body and,if you notice, we love to block shots. I think that’s going to be a big factor in the upcoming games.”

Haneline expressed similar feelings about his line mates throughout these first four games of the season.

“With me, (West) and (Sudlow), we just hit it off right when we first got put together,” Haneline said.  “We’ve just been building on that in practices and games and just getting better and better each time.“

Haneline and the Flashes will come back next week to prepare for their next home game against Duquesne on Oct. 23.  

Contact Chris Yamnitsky at [email protected].