Hockey team tries to hold onto its winning ways

Jeremy Juhasz

Coming off an emotional two-win weekend, the Kent State hockey team will play a home-and-home series against Pittsburgh beginning tonight at the Kent Ice Arena.

The team’s approach remains to play one game at a time.

“We’re just trying to focus on what we got to do and try to build off the success we had last week,” said senior captain Kye Budziszewski.

The Panthers, who lost 6-4 Wednesday to Washington and Jefferson, are struggling this season at 4-10 with two overtime defeats.

Pittsburgh head coach Tom Rieck said his club has to come ready to play against the Flashes.

“We’re expected to have our hands full,” he said. “They are a skilled team.”

At first glance, these teams are at polar opposites at this point in the season.

But the Panthers have had the Flashes number the last two years, snatching wins even after their team was outshot and outplayed.

“We’ve been very fortunate the past two years to pull out wins,” Rieck added.

Kent State head coach Jarrett Whidden acknowledged Pittsburgh came away with wins against his club in the past, but it wasn’t necessarily a result of luck.

“I wouldn’t say they got lucky against us,” Whidden said. “They played well against us . The games they’ve beaten us, we’ve outshot them 55-to-13. (When) you got a hot goalie, and guys don’t bury a couple early, they get some momentum and all of a sudden you are in a game.”

Veteran players who’ve played against Pittsburgh in the past aren’t looking to necessarily get even from past defeats.

Instead, it’s business as usual.

“I don’t think we’re going to take it any different than any game we had this year,” said senior forward Dave Brudder. “We don’t have any revenge towards them or anything.”

Contact sports reporter Jeremy Juhasz at [email protected].