On Saturday, Oct. 22, the Keene State College men’s hockey team found themselves facing off against the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers. The Owls took home a 3-1 win over RPI.
The Owls were riding a four game unbeaten streak, sporting a record of 3-0-1 in those first four games. Rensselaer had a record of 5-2 coming into the game.
In the first period, both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm early on. Both teams settled down and by the end of the first period each team had came close. RPI and Keene both hit the crossbar in the first period but scoreboard still showed zeros. The shots were in Keene’s favor, 10-6.
In the second period it was Keene who broke the tie. Leading goal scorer and alternate captain Andrew Pierce, lit the lamp with a beautiful shot over the goalies shoulder to give the Owls a 1-0 lead. It was a power-play goal, and Pierce’s 6th goal of the season. Captain Kurt Mitchell and Andre Karlin picked up the assists on Pierces goal.
Keene ran into some penalty trouble towards the end of the second, and it came back to haunt them as the Engineers managed to get one by Carlin Testa. The player tried to pass the puck in front but it ended up deflecting off a Keene defender, and the game was tied. The period ended with Keene holding the shot advantage 22-16.
It only took 14 seconds for the Owls to regain the lead in the third. Andrew Pierce zipped a nice, cross-crease pass to Kurt Mitchell, who jammed home the puck for his first goal of the season.
About five minutes later, Matt Girard scored the insurance goal for Keene. Josh Bell and Jeff Rossman picked up the assists on Girards goal. That goal stood as the backbreaker for the Engineers as they couldn’t put anymore goals on the board. The game ended with the final score 3-1 Owls.
Carlin Testa put forth another strong performance, making 22 saves on 23 shots.
The Owls next game is against Boston College, at Keene Ice on Friday Oct. 28 at 3p.m.
Austin Sanidas can be contacted at ASanidas@kscequinox.com