Hockey team sees both ends of the shutout

Carolyn Drummond

The Kent State club hockey team split the weekend with a 5-0 win Friday against West Virginia University and a 3-0 loss Saturday to Mercyhurst College.

The Flashes came out strong Friday with a shutout win. Goalie Ryan Gregory was solid defensively, while forward and team captain Chris Hourigan’s hat trick kept the offense alive.

“This is a big win for us,” Hourigan said. “It’s toward the end of the season now, and every game is real important.”

Forward Jon Canniff put the Flashes on the board less than two minutes into the first period, and Hourigan scored his first goal of the night midway through the period.

Neither team was able to produce during the second period, until forward Eric Horschler scored with a little more than two minutes left in the period.

Eight minutes into the third period, Hourigan scored again.

Hourigan scored his hat trick goal with seven minutes left in the game.

“He’s a real leader for our team, on and off the ice,” Kent State coach Jarrett Whidden said.

Also leading the team was Gregory, who froze the Mountaineers’ offense by blocking each of their 29 shots.

“I think Gregory is the best goalie in the nation,” Hourigan said. “He’s really the third defenseman back there.”

Looking toward Saturday’s game, Whidden wanted to focus on the offense.

“Offensively, we need to bear down,” Whidden said.

Unfortunately, the Flashes were on the wrong end of the shutout Saturday night.

“It came down to discipline,” Whidden said. “We took dumb penalties.”

Kent State was sent to the penalty box 10 times, mostly for roughing. The game consisted of players from both teams getting physical and taking out aggression on each other.

“They (the players) know better,” Whidden said. “It comes down to selfishness. I can’t be in their ear telling them not to punch the other guy.”

Mercyhurst defenseman Dan Wasielewski scored halfway through the first period. Defenseman Tim Martin and forward Brian Stefanski both scored in the second period. The third period was all about penalties, and both offenses were shut down.

“They tightened it up at the end,” defenseman Kye Budziszewski said. “It’s a tough loss. We’ve got to come back with determination.”

The Flashes added an extra attacker to the ice by pulling Gregory with just over three minutes left in the game, but they weren’t able to come away with a point.

“We’ve got to do what the coach says, and we’ve got to go to the net angry next time,” Gregory said.

Whidden said the team had chances – the Flashes took 52 shots – but didn’t want it badly enough.

“They (Mercyhurst) wanted to keep the puck out of the net more than we wanted to put it in,” Whidden said.

Next weekend, the Flashes will travel to Eastern Michigan. The puck will drop at 7:25 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

Contact club sports reporter Carolyn Drummond

at [email protected].