Flashes go 1-1 against Bobcats

Melissa Sidebotham

Kent State struggles early in both games but splits with Ohio

Senior Chris Hourigan tries to deflect the puck away from an Ohio Bobcat Saturday night. The Flashes won 5-3 and are set to play Western Michigan Friday and Saturday night. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The No. 10 Kent State club hockey team (4-3) split its weekend series with No. 9 Ohio, losing 2-1 Friday and winning 5-2 Saturday at the Kent State University Ice Arena.

The Flashes got off to a slow start Friday night with the score tied at zero to end the first period.

The Bobcats came out strong, scoring a goal 11 seconds into the second period. Kent State goalie Ryan Gregory had a key save on an Ohio breakaway shot to end the second period with a score of 1-0.

The Bobcats second goal came halfway into the third period when a Kent State player deflected the puck into their own goal giving a 2-0 lead to Ohio. Defensemen Steve Simmerer showed his frustration by breaking his stick in half over the Kent State bench after the play.

Kent State forward Chad Melberg scored the Flashes only goal late in the third period. With six minutes in the game left, Kent State had missed opportunities before starting a fight with the Ohio players with 15 second left in the final period.

“We played a solid game but weren’t able to seal with a win,” Kent State forward Chris Hourigan said.

On Saturday night, girls with neon signs lined the entrance of the hockey rink professing their love for the hockey team.

The Flashes responded by having their second slow start of the weekend, when they had a 5-on-3 opportunity to score minutes into the game and couldn’t convert any plays.

Forward Dave Bruder scored a powerplay goal with seven minutes left in the first period to give Kent State the lead.

The Flashes came into the second period struggling with penalties and fighting until forward Mike LePre scored with an assist from Hourigan. At this point, the Flashes confidence grew with Melberg scoring less than a minute later to give Kent a 3-0 lead.

Ohio took advantage of Kent State’s penalties late in the second period to score two goals, giving the Flashes a one goal lead at the end of the second period.

Hourigan kept the crowd on their feet scoring a key goal two minutes into the third period to give Kent State a two goal lead.

“That was a big goal,” he said. ” It gave us lots of momentum.”

Hourigan said the two goal lead allowed him to back up and play some defense.

Gregory was able to get comfortable when Kent State went up two.

“It takes some of the weight off my shoulders,” he said.

The Bobcats pulled their goalie in hopes of a comeback but weren’t able to handle Kent States defense. Forward Jason O’Bannon took advantage of the situation, scoring an open net goal with four seconds left to seal Kent State’s win.

Kent State coach Jarret Whidden was very happy with his team’s performance.

“This win gives us more confidence and will help with our national ranking,” he said.

The Flashes take on Western Michigan at 8:30 p.m. Friday and at 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

Contact student recreation and wellness reporter Melissa Sidebotham at < ahref=”mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected].