Flashes down No. 5 Iowa State in weekend doubleheader

Jeremy Juhasz

Power-play goals key in hockey wins

The Kent State hockey team won two games this weekend, topping Iowa State 5-2 Friday and 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday.

Kent State dropped out of the top 10 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s national rankings prior to the weekend, and hosted a top-five Cyclones squad poised to prove their worth.

The wins were due, in large part, to special teams. Power-play efficiency and penalty killing was key.

The Flashes (7-4) scored five times on the power play on the weekend.

“We looked pretty resilient,” senior forward Kye Budziszewski said. “Hopefully we can keep that up.”

Also key was the play by senior goalie Ryan Gregory. He frustrated the Cyclones, pouncing on rebounds, making big stop after big stop and playing the puck up to his forwards.

Gregory’s 39 saves Friday night and big stops to preserve the shootout win Saturday had his teammates pleased.

“He played incredible,” Budziszewski said. “He is our best penalty killer. He was on the game on Saturday, and he’s probably the best goalie in the country.”

Gregory isn’t afraid to move the puck up to his forwards to start an odd-man rush the other way. It’s a play Budziszewski said helps relieve pressure off the defensemen.

Kent State coach Jarrett Whidden agree.

“He is our backbone, and he relieves a lot of the pressure from the rest of the team,” Whidden said.

Multiple members from the team said this weekend was a chance to climb back up in the standings. The team dropped to 19th in the ACHA polls.

Iowa State entered the weekend 8-2 and ranked fifth. The Cyclones’ only two defeats were to unbeaten Lindenwood College, last year’s national champions.

“The fact of the matter is that they’re ranked where they should be,” said Whidden. “They play like a No. 5 team. I don’t think we’re a No. 19 team.”

Contact sports correspondent Jeremy Juhasz at [email protected]