Hockey team splits series vs. Lindenwood

Ben Putano

Flashes get revenge against No. 1 Lions

Kent State’s club hockey team went 1-1 over the weekend when they traveled to Missouri to face the Lindenwood Lions.

The top-ranked Lions routed Kent State 10-3 in Friday’s contest. The Lions took advantage of power-play opportunities early in the game, forcing the Flashes to play too aggressively.

“We suffered from mental breakdowns throughout the game, and the strength of Lindenwood’s offense hindered us from making a comeback,” Kent State coach Jarret Whidden said. “We have to play at the top of our game to beat Lindenwood.”

The Flashes evened the series on Saturday with a last-minute, game-winning goal by junior Jon Canniff that put them ahead 5-4. Sophomore defenseman Josh Martin tallied the assist on Caniff’s power-play goal.

As stunned as the Lions may have been Saturday night, Whidden knew his team could pull off a victory.

“After our 10-3 loss, my assistant coaches and I made some adjustments that would hopefully limit the mistakes we were making,” Whidden said. “I reminded the players of how Lindenwood lost to Ohio University, a team we have beaten this year. Saturday was a new day for us.”

Kent State’s next games are at home against Eastern Michigan starting Feb. 5. The Eagles are currently placed last in the Central States Collegiate Hockey League, but Whidden and his players know better than to take them lightly.

“We may have beaten the top team in our league, but the season is not over.” Whidden said. “Eastern may be in last place, but we have a tough league. We have to play our game like we did against the Lions on Saturday.”

Kent State is 20-11-1 overall and placed sixth in the CSCHL. The team hosts Eastern Michigan on Friday, Feb. 5 at 7:15 p.m. and again Saturday, Feb. 6 at 7:15 p.m. Both matches will be held in the Ice Arena.

Contact sports correspondent Ben Putano at [email protected].