Hockey looking to heat up during winter games
The Wright State hockey team dropped the puck on the second half of their season this past weekend and fell in their opening two games to the Cincinnati Bearcats 7-4 and 2-1.
WSU’s record now stands at 7-14-1 on the season. The team didn’t play during winter break and had not played a competitive game as a team since Dec. 1 when the Raiders defeated Indiana 6-2.
Prior to this weekend, WSU had won three of its last four games, including a shootout victory over Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 10. But the Raiders are now on a two-game skid with the rival Dayton Flyers coming to the Kettering Rec Center this Friday at 10:00 p.m.
WSU had a 3-2 lead over the Bearcats last Friday after one period, but a goal just a couple of minutes into the second period tied things up. UC piled on two more goals in rapid succession towards the end of the second period to take a 5-3 lead into the intermission.
A goal through the five-hole for WSU started off play in the third period to bring the Raiders within a goal, but the celebrations were to be short-lived after another two UC goals put the game out of reach for WSU.
Sophomore defensemen Paul Case said his team took their foot off the accelerator in the second period, which opened the door for the Bearcats.
“We seemed like we backed off for some reason,” Case said. “We didn’t skate as hard in the second [period].
Cincinnati was able to complete the two-game sweep of the Raiders the following evening in the Queen City, as a power play and a shorthanded goal proved to be the difference in a 2-1 Bearcat victory.
Ty Hoglund was the lone goal scorer for WSU in Cincinnati.
“They got us when we made a few mistakes where as we didn’t them in theirs,” Case said.
Despite the second setback in as many nights for WSU, Case believes that lack of effort Friday night was not a contributing factor in the 2-1 defeat.
“We out worked them for the most part Saturday,” Case said.
Chris Sands has returned to the bench as head coach of WSU hockey after his resignation earlier in the season. Case said Sands came back to the team after hearing from his players how much he meant to the program.
“We just told him (Sands) how much he meant to us because this team would be nowhere without him,” Case said. “We told him that if he wanted to come back, he was welcome whenever he was ready.”
Sands and his team are looking ahead to a rivalry matchup against the cross-town Dayton Flyers, a team who has gotten the better of WSU in recent seasons.
Case said a victory over the Flyers would mean a lot to a program seven years removed from their last Division III national championship.
“We need to get back on the winning side of this rivalry,” Case said. “I hope we have a crowd.”
The puck drops at 10:00 p.m. Friday night at the Kettering Rec Center. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults.