Kent State defeats Robert Morris in Saturday’s rematch

Mia Cadle, Reporter

Kent State’s hockey coach Zachary Nowak said Saturday’s victory over second-place Robert Morris shows his team deserves to be higher ranked.

“Robert Morris is a higher-ranked team than us,” he said. “So, I think for us, this is a showing that we do belong a lot higher than we are right now.”

The Flashes beat the Colonials, 4-3, in Saturday’s night game at Robert Morris. Kent State is in sixth place in the College Hockey Mid-America league.

“I think it was a really good showing for our guys,” Nowak said. “We had some ups and downs in the game, but I thought we played a really good game overall.

“We really focused on puck support and team play — not what the guy with the puck is doing but really a heavy focus on what all the guys off the puck are doing. I think that helped us a lot with our breakouts and capitalizing on our opportunities.”

KSU senior Tommy Kilway scored the winning goal halfway through the third period when he moved the puck into the scoring zone and shot the goal through the goalie’s legs. It was Kilway’s eighth goal of the season.

Senior Jake Friedman scored the game’s first goal, his third of the season, 16 minutes into the first period. Jack Kinsman made the score 2-0 about 12 minutes into the second period.

Robert Morris tied the game 2-2 with two goals within a minute and half of each other in the second period.

Hunter Hillebrecht put the Flashes ahead with a goal three minutes later, but then the Colonials tied the game again a minute after that.

“We had about five-six minutes there where we kind of had to weather a storm,” Nowak said. “We gave up a few goals, but the guys battled back.”

“We were never really down in that game. Obviously, when they tied it up, it sure got close, but guys kept battling – guys kept fighting. We had some key plays at the end of the game that got us the win.”

Kent State is now 3-5 in the CHMA. The Flashes are 6-7-1 overall. Robert Morris is 4-3-1 in the CHMA and is 9-7-1 overall.

“We beat this team before [4-1 in Kent on Nov. 18],” Nowak said, “but we also knew that we were coming against a team that felt like they should have beat us. We know that they were going to bring it and try for a little bit of revenge.”

Kent State’s next game is Friday at Ohio University at 7 p.m. The Bobcats are 14-4 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

“Guys are excited – I’m excited,” Nowak said. “I haven’t been back to OU in a few years. We used to be in their league. The last time the guys were at OU, we came through with a split, but that was about four or five years ago. Ohio University is a top-10 team. So if we really think we belong in this space, this is a team we really got to compete against.”

Mia Cadle is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].