The Kent State hockey team was defeated by Adrian Thursday night in a 13-0 game.
Coach Jim Underwood saw the loss as an opportunity for players to gain experience playing against a top D1 team.
“When the majority of your lineup is made up of freshmen and sophomores, we are going to sacrifice some wins for our guys to learn how to win games,” Underwood said. “Our guys now kind of know what it takes to compete at an elite level and hopefully our guys can make some adjustments to their preparations for tomorrow’s game.”
Adrian College is a nationally-ranked, number-one team. Underwood feels that the team has learned a lot from the match.
“Adrian never stopped competing and never stopped battling some loose pucks. The score to them did not matter,” Underwood said. “I hope our guys can understand the message that, regardless of who’s up by a handful of goals or if you’re down by a handful of goals, the other team is never going to stop competing. So, we have to continue to compete, battle and work hard for every inch of the ice.”
The team had only three power play opportunities, but set up in the offensive zone for shots on net throughout the power plays.
“Even though we didn’t score on a power play, all three power plays had very positive outcomes,” Underwood said. “As we’ve proven tonight, giving them two power plays is enough to give them two goals, so we now recognize some of their set plays on the power play.”
Captain and forward Rubin Chavarria saw potential in his team following the game.
“A lot of the freshmen stepped up and showed that they could play with this team,” Chavarria said.
While the game was lost, the ability to go up against an elite team proved to be a beneficial realization for the team.
“We’re a young team playing a more experienced team for the first time,” Chavarria said. “It’s a lot faster game than what we are used to, but I think we woke up halfway through the first period and realized we could play with them.”
Chavarria has high expectations for tomorrow’s game.
“I think we know what to expect tomorrow and I think we’ll be ready for it,” Chavarria said. “The guys are a little bit more prepared and know what they have to do.”
Contact Hannah Gooch at firstname.lastname@example.org.