Hockey ends year with losses to Central Michigan

Forward Hunter Windy avoids the opposing team while looking to pass the puck to a teammate during the Dec. 7 game against CMU. Vanguard Photo | Brooke Elward

SVSU fell 3-2 to Central Michigan on Saturday, Dec. 7. After a strong start, the team faltered in the third period.

Coach Brendan Ryan was optimistic heading into its conference games with CMU, noting that the team was able to rest and recover from injuries over Thanksgiving weekend.

“I believe we are ready and prepared to give Central Michigan a good battle. We have added a few important players back into our lineup for this weekend and looked strong after practice this week,” he said.

The team established and maintained puck control in the fast-paced action at the start of Saturday’s game.

A scramble in front of the CMU net led to impressive shots-on-goal by Cardinal forwards, but the game remained scoreless for a majority of the first period despite a CMU minor for tripping. SVSU was unable to capitalize on the resulting power play as a result of CMU’s defensive penalty-kill.

The Cardinals scored first with 2:40 left in the first period.

The team was forced into a 5-on-3 penalty kill after a penalty for roughing and another for hitting from behind by No. 22 Kyle Moran and No. 74 Christian Rawlings, respectively.

Moments after, the team returned to full strength, and Cardinal forward No. 21 Aaron Shahin scored unassisted.

As the period ended, No. 9 Brendan Baker earned a delayed penalty, which would be served at the beginning of the second period as the buzzer rang while CMU retained possession.

With a 5-4 advantage, it took less than a minute of play for a revitalized CMU offense to tie the game. CMU No. 18 Brennan Martin brought the score to 1-1.

The rest of the second period was largely defensive, and neither team was able to take advantage of power plays to tip the game in its favor. With 11:28 on the clock, Cardinal No. 72 Troy McLaughlin traded crosschecking penalties with CMU No. 26 Jacob Lancucki after the players began shoving each other after the whistle.

The second period came to a close tied 1-1 and a CMU offense maintaining an edge on puck control over SVSU.

The third period kicked off with SVSU hoping to regain momentum. A penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct by CMU No. 26 Jacob Lancucki gave the team an opportunity to get ahead. The Cardinals only managed a handful of shots-on-goal before CMU returned to full strength.

With 9:44 left in the game, CMU No. 9 Jacob St. Andre took a wrist shot quickly after a faceoff to make the score 2-1. By the third period, CMU established a firm advantage in winning faceoffs.

As the game neared its end, SVSU scored to tie the game once again with No. 19 Steven Kukla being credited for the goal with No. 25 Travis Nemeth’s assist. However, CMU No. 17 Brendan Nelson answered with a goal in the following play to leave the score 3-2, where it remained at the final buzzer.

Having been shut out 4-0 the previous night, SVSU lost both of its games against CMU. The team will return Jan. 17, 2020, against Bowling Green.

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