Hockey prepares for home opener

Chris Yamnitsky

The Kent State hockey club is preparing for its home opener against the Western Michigan Broncos following a successful weekend against Eastern Michigan Eagles.  

“Right now we just can’t let off the gas. We have to show up Friday and bring a lot of energy,” said head coach Jim Underwood. “I think it’s important that we get off to a quick start and get working right away. We have to remember it’s going to take a full 60 minutes of hockey to bear Western Michigan.”

The Flashes (2-0), head into its home opener with an understanding of what is needed to be accomplished in order to keep moving in the right direction.  

“I think it was great we got two wins under our belt,” said junior goaltender Phil Haywood. “Regardless, getting the sweep is amazing, but coming back and having games under our belt for the home opener kind of takes a little bit of the nerves out of it. That’s what we want to build on to continue to win.”

Western Michigan brings a much different opponent than Eastern Michigan presented themselves as in the teams’ last two games.

“I think Western Michigan, from top to bottom, is going to be a more skilled team. They typically have good forwards that are very offensive,” Underwood said. “Traditionally, their defensemen are rather big defensemen that take up a lot of space on the ice with big active sticks as well. We are expecting a better, stronger and more skilled opponent in Western Michigan.”

The Flashes face-off against the Broncos on Oct. 9 at the KSU Ice Arena at 7:30 p.m.

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