From The University Daily Kansan
By Gabe Daniel
Battling adversity remains a challenge for a young Jayhawk Ice Hockey Club, as they moved to 1-9-0 record after a weekend sweep at the hand of Dordt University.
The Defenders had full control over Friday night’s game, taking an 8-3 win. Early in the first period, freshman center Luke Hansen shot a goal in the back of the net to give the Jayhawks the lead. Although it was short-lived, as Dordt answered back with two goals to take the lead heading into the second period.
During the second period, things began to ramp up for the Defenders, adding four goals, including a power-play goal. Junior forward Alex Adler added another for the Jayhawks, off an assist from senior forward Steven Siavelis, but Dordt still held a 6-2 lead.
The third period saw freshman forward Jack Gerber adding one more goal with assists from freshman forward Aiden Mathey and Hansen. Dordt added two more in the final period, winning 8-3.
In the second game on Saturday, the Jayhawks opened up the game scoring, against the Defenders. Mathey netted one with assists from Gerber and Hansen, a line that came together during that weekend series.
Coach Andy McConnell was thrilled with the performance from the trio of freshmen.
“If you’re being physical as a line, then you’re playing well,” McConnell said. “Aiden Mathey, Luke Hansen and Jack Gerber’s line came together this weekend exactly when we needed a line to come together. I’m very very happy about that, I hope that stays, I think it will and I’m looking forward to seeing them just continue to grow.”
Unfortunately, that would be the only goal scored by the Jayhawks that game, as Dordt tied the game. The first period ended 1-1.
Things fell apart for the Jayhawks in the second period, despite a strong start Dordt came out on fire scoring four goals in the period, having full control after the second period leading 5-1.
Heading into the third period, the Defenders scored two more goals, completing the weekend sweep winning 7-1.
Aidan Pearson, a senior defenseman from Mahtomedi, Minnesota said that being such a young team fighting to keep up was what did the Jayhawks in.
“I think the biggest struggle for us since we’re such a young group is trying to deal with adversity a little more,” Pearson said. “I mean, both times we were up 1-0 and they scored a couple quick ones after that and then the flood gates just opened and kind of dropped our heads and it spiraled from there.”
Coach McConnell focused on highlights from the weekend. With physicality being one of the most important aspects of hockey, he felt that his team showcased those strengths.
“We added another step to our game,” McConnell said. “We were a very physical team. I haven’t been with them every weekend, but I have not seen them play that physical.”
While the score looked like a blowout, Pearson believes that it was not that big of a difference.
“Both of those games didn’t reflect the score that much,” Pearson said. “They were a lot closer than what the score actually was. It’s just a matter of chipping away one goal at a time and not getting so caught up in the six-goal deficits.”
Looking to their upcoming series against Iowa State, he believes the mindset will need to reset.
“I think the mindset is that there isn’t one, we hit the restart button,” Pearson said. “If we want to make it far in the playoffs and continue the season, it’s gonna be like I said, chipping away games one goal at a time, we need to chip away games one team at a time.”
The Jayhawks travel to Ames, Iowa where the puck will drop at 9:45 p.m. Friday night.
(Originally published at https://www.kansan.com/sports/kansas-hockey-swept-over-weekend-by-dordt/article_453bbe5e-3684-11ec-a45e-ff7126bb04d5.html)