David Almeda—Staff Writer
Cody Durrwachter scored a hat trick, and the Kennesaw State club hockey team used a monster first period and physical defense to get back on track, taking a 5-3 win over Life University at the Ice Forum Saturday night.
“We’ve had stretches when we’ve had trouble scoring but we were clicking in the first period,” head coach Sean Bernhardt said. “We got power plays; we put pucks in the net.”
Right from the first faceoff, KSU (7-3-1) attacked Life’s defensive zone, breaking through early with Durrwachter’s first goal of the game with 18:01 left in the first period. After the Eagles knotted things up at one, Larry Adegoke fought for the puck out of a faceoff near Life’s goal and found a clear passing lane to Devan Bousquet, who cashed in for a goal to give KSU the lead with 11:32 to go in the first.
Adegoke then helped the Owls’ cause, scoring off an assist from team captain Dylan Conklin. With 2:31 left in the frame, Durrwachter extended the lead again when he broke away from Life’s defenders and put the puck in the corner of the net. Less than a minute later, Durrwachter struck again, off a Cory Prinzbach assist, to put the Owls up 5-1 by the end of the first period.
In the second, the Owls committed some penalties that cost them. As a result, KSU’s zone was battered throughout the period and Life inched closer with two goals in the frame.
“Once we came back out, we kind of let off the gas a little bit and got in penalty trouble,” Bernhardt said. “We had a talk after the second, got everybody calmed down going into the third and we got back to our game.”
The third period was a defensive battle between the two teams that became testy at times. Things began to boil when one of Life’s players targeted Conklin’s knees, beginning a fight with 3:22 left in the game that took a while for officials to sort out. Conklin and Prinzbach were ejected for their roles in the tussle and will not be allowed to play in the team’s next game according to league rules.
After play resumed, the Owls continued their solid defense and held on to take the 5-3 win.
“We have a lot of big bodies so we want to be a physical team,” Bernhardt said. “I don’t think our defensemen played their strongest game this year but the forwards picked them up and it was good enough to get it done.”
The Owls will have a week off before they travel to North Carolina to take on Coastal Carolina, East Carolina and Florida Atlantic on Nov. 7-10. The team’s next home game is Nov. 14 against Florida State.