Club hockey team honors seniors

Carolyn Drummond

Senior forward Eddie Martin gets in one last fight at Kent State University Ice Arena during the senior night game against Pittsburgh. Martin was ejected from the game, and recieved a standing ovation from the crowd as he was taken to the locker room. Rac

Credit: DKS Editors

The Kent State club hockey seniors skated off home ice for the last time Friday after a 6-3 loss to Pittsburgh.

“It’s bittersweet,” senior captain Chris Hourigan said. “It’s been a great four years. We’ve been really close, and we’re going to keep our friendships through the years.”

Defenseman Ben Millard represented the seniors on the scoreboard with a goal at the end of the first period. He tied the score at two shortly after a Pittsburgh goal.

“That goal felt amazing,” Millard said. “The lane just opened up for me. It was a great feeling on Senior Night.”

Despite the score of the game, Friday night was full of highlights for the seniors.

Before the game, the seniors and their parents were recognized in front of a packed crowd at the Ice Arena. Each senior gave a rose to his mother and took pictures at center ice.

Between the first and second periods, four teams of children from the Ice Arena’s learn-to-play program scrimmaged. Smith and Hourigan coach the beginning hockey players.

“We have a lot of fun,” Smith said. “We want them to have a good time and to love playing hockey.”

David Pfeiffer, father of 7-year-old Logan, said his son looks up to the Kent State players.

“These guys are like celebrities to him,” Pfeiffer said. “When Stu or Chris gives him a high-five going onto the ice, he is electrified. They’re like big brothers to him, and they’re good guys.”

The second period was all Pittsburgh, with two goals. Hourigan said the Panthers used every Kent State slipup to get ahead.

“We outplayed them, but they capitalized on our mistakes,” Hourigan said. “There were a lot of weird bounces. Sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don’t.”

With less than two minutes left in the game, and Pittsburgh up by three, senior forward Eddie Martin took his aggression out in a fight that got him ejected from the game. The crowd gave him a standing ovation as he went to the locker room.

On Saturday, the Flashes bounced back with a 5-4 shootout win over Adrian.

Kent State hockey seniors

#2 John Stefani

#3 Eddie Martin

#4 Ben Millard

#10 Nick Robillard

#11 Jason O’Bannon

#12 Ryan Nawrocki

#13 Chris Hourigan

#17 Chad Melberg

#24 Nick DiLorenzo

#25 Mike Nelson

#28 Stu Smith

Senior forward Stu Smith had two power-play goals that helped bring the Flashes up 4-2 at the start of the third period. Adrian responded to tie the game with two minutes left.

“We knew we were in a desperate time,” Smith said. “We have to win to get to nationals.”

That desperation came out on the ice during the shootout period. After both teams scored twice, Hourigan was called out as the sixth shooter, and his goal won the game.

The Flashes will head to Athens to take on No. 9 Ohio this weekend in their last game before the Central States Collegiate Hockey League playoffs.

Contact club sports reporter Carolyn Drummond at [email protected].