On Friday Oct, 14, the Keene State men’s club hockey team had their first game of the season at Keene Ice. They found themselves facing a tough UNH squad. Coming into the game, Keene sported a record of 2-0-1 while UNH was 2-2.
Keene found themselves on a power play less than two minutes into the game. The Owls wasted no time as Andrew Pierce banged home a loose puck to give the Owls a 1-0 lead.
Later in the first period, the UNH team tied the score with a power play goal of their own. The first period ended with the score tied and Keene having a 9-8 shot advantage.
With about 12 minutes left in the second period, UNH had another power play and a long wrist shot from the point eluded goaltender Carlin Testa.
Testa made a glove save on another UNH power play with less than two minutes left in the second period.
The second period ended with UNH holding on to a one goal lead. Each team had 16 shots through both periods.
In the third period, Keene managed to kill off a UNH two-man advantage.
With about five minutes left in the game and Keene on the power-play, Andrew Pierce made a rush and threw the puck on net. It just squeezed by the UNH goalkeeper and the game was tied. Andrew Karlin and Kyle Carignan picked up assists on Pierce’s equalizer.
With 11 seconds left in the game, Brian Mello of the Owls was the hero as he put home a loose puck to put Keene in front. Chris O Hara picked up the assist on Mello’s late goal.
Pierce added an empty net goal with less than a second remaining to complete the hat-trick. Cooper Hines assisted on the Pierce goal.
Carlin Testa put forth a strong effort for the Owls finishing the game with 26 saves on 28 shots.
Senior and forward Trevor Theroux said they work really hard to get to where they want to be. “We’re a team with an incredible amount of heart and dedication. Everyone puts in 100 [percent] all the time,” Theroux said.
Head Coach Bobby Rodrigue was very pleased with his penalty kill. “I certainly wasn’t happy to see our penalty kill so often, but… very satisfied with our penalty killers. The five on three kill was huge.”
Keene was also very proficient on the power play going 2-5 on the night. “Our power play has been clicking well and that’s in spite of missing a couple of pieces due to injury, so I think that speaks well to how the boys have worked in practice,” Rodrigue said.
The Owl’s next game is against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Saturday, Oct. 22 at Keene Ice. The puck drop is at 6:10 p.m.
Austin Sanidas can be contacted at Asandidas@kscequinox.com