By Mia Cadle
In a game full of penalties, Kent State’s hockey team fought — sometimes literally — Lawrence Tech into overtime Sunday but fell 3-2.
A total of 20 different penalties were called between the two teams. Two players from Lawrence Tech and one player from Kent State served a 10-minute misconduct penalty, which is given to a player for unsportsmanlike behavior.
In the end, the teams played to a near-standstill. According to American Collegiate Hockey Association rules, an overtime win is treated like a tie. Each team receives one point for the game.
Kent State’s record is now 1-1-1. Lawrence Tech is 2-0-1. It was the Flashes’ first home game.
After the Flashes split their first two games at Syracuse last week, coach Zachary Nowak said he wanted his team to focus on defense and putting the pressure on the opponent.
“I thought this game was better and that we were more physical,” Nowak said. “That is what we’re looking for — being able to go out and be aggressive, closing down time and space. The improvement is not fully there yet, but we’re going to get there.”
Lawrence Tech picked up its first penalty about 17 minutes into the game. It was penalized again 30 seconds later.
Nowak said the main goal of the game was to make sure the Flashes did not “take the bait.”
“We knew that John Carroll (Lawrence Tech’s opponent Friday and Saturday) got killed,” Nowak said. “John Carroll was on the penalty kill the whole game. That was a really big focus for us coming into this game because we knew it was gonna be physical.”
Nine more penalties were called in the second period. Forward Jack Kinsman said keeping a cool head and remembering the team is what is important in those moments.
“You fight for the guy to your right, you fight for the guy to your left,” Kinsman said. “You’re not fighting for the name on the back of the jersey. You have to do what’s best for your teammates and the team.”
Nowak said the game was especially important to the Flashes because Lawrence Tech ranked 26th in the ACHA last year.
“The guys really know where we want to be, — we want to be at Nationals,” Nowak said. “(Kent State) is a team that has a history of being able to compete as a top 25 team.”
The game was tied 1-1 after Zachary Zwierecki scored Kent’s first goal. It was then tied 2-2 at the end of the third period. Kinsman scored KSU’s second goal.
In overtime, neither team scored in five minutes of 3-on-3 play. In the following shootout, Lawrence Tech’s John Horn put a shot between Kent State goalie Nick Beck’s legs. Kent State missed on its first shot.
Beck said the game still feels like a win.
“Tying up with a top 25 team is a huge win for us,” he said. “Overall, I really like where we are headed.”
The Flashes are back at the Kent State Ice Arena Oct. 15 against Toledo.
Forward David Rankin said the team still has a lot of work to do.
“It’s a good game to build off of,” he said. “We haven’t played a team that aggressive, and we need to get used to that. But we’ll get back to work.”
(Originally published at https://kentwired.com/87623/uncategorized/sunday-night-rumble-hockey-gets-knocked-out-in-overtime-battle-against-lawrence-tech/)