Indiana club ice hockey has had a good start to the season, but it got even better over the weekend as it swept Bowling Green State University in Bloomington, improving to a 5-3 record. The Hoosiers outscored the Falcons 19-3 across the pair of games, winning 10-2 on Friday and 9-1 on Saturday.
Through 120 minutes of play this weekend, the Hoosiers never trailed. Friday got off to an even start, but Indiana scored first from a nice pass by freshman forward Matt Spears to sophomore forward Aidan Simoneau, putting the Hoosiers up 1-0 in the first period. Shortly later, freshman forward Jack Gustafson put one through the five-hole on the Falcons’ sophomore goalie Leo Lapata to end the period.
To start the second period, Bowling Green sophomore forward Luc Kuhr scored his first goal of the year, putting it five-hole past Indiana goalie Sammy Bilis and getting the Falcons on the board.
Four minutes and 47 seconds into the second, sophomore forward Ithan DeLorenzo was tripped up on a breakaway and was put into a penalty shot situation. The left-hander was able to wrist one past Lapata and put the Hoosiers up 3-1.
Not long after, Gustafson scored his second of the night with a tipped goal, widening the gap to three goals. The momentum never slowed down, as Gustafson had an apple to freshman forward Nick Castracane, making the score 5-1. The second period was dominated by the Hoosiers, as DeLorenzo and sophomore forward Will Gerami added two skillful goals, putting the club up 7-1 to end the second.
Just over three minutes into the third period, freshman defenseman Henry Whittlef slapped one in the net, giving the Hoosiers a lead by seven. Castracane scored his second of the night, and on a power play, the club’s first man-up goal of the season came from Will Gerami.
The Falcons’ sophomore forward Camren Horvath put a dent into the deficit, but it wasn’t enough with the Hoosiers taking a 10-2 victory.
Before the games this weekend, head coach Andrew Weiss said the team was excited to be playing in Frank Southern Ice Arena for the first time this season.
“I think our crowd doesn’t get enough credit for how much they propel us.” Weiss said.
Saturday was much of the same as the Hoosiers could not be stopped. The club made a goalie switch, once again putting freshman goalie Jack Thomson between the pipes for the second game of the doubleheader in hopes of getting him his first win. The Falcons also made a switch at goalie in hopes of getting a different result, giving the start to junior goalie Zach Brown for the second game of the series.
Freshman defenseman Constantinos Raftis scored his first goal of the year with 11 minutes to go in the first, putting the Hoosiers up 1-0 early. Gustafson followed just 30 seconds later, intercepting a pass from the Falcons and converting it to put the Hoosiers up 2-0. A backhander from sophomore forward Jack O’Flaherty to an open lane shot from Whittlef put the club up 4-0 in a span of just over five minutes.
The Falcons were on a power play five minutes into the second when freshman winger Luke Slaven scored shorthanded and put a statement on how the game was going as even when playing in a man-down situation, Indiana was able to score.
Sophomore forward Chase Nitschke was able to put one past Thomson while in a 3-on-1 situation, giving the Falcons their first and only goal of the game. Indiana responded when freshman forward Emiliano Arana scored a crowded goal with about eight minutes left in the second, and the game began to get chippy with a fight forming after the goal.
After scoring three more goals, including another shorthanded goal, Indiana ended the second period leading 8-1.
With just one period left, the game was in the Hoosiers' favor and the time of possession was too large for the Falcons to retaliate. The last goal of the game came on an Arana deflection from a Gerami shot.
The Hoosier won the second game 9-1, and Thomson’s impressive performance gave him his first win of the season.
Indiana finally had the weekend it wanted — going 2-0 — and will now look forward to the Atlantic Coast Conference Invitational in Vinton, Virginia where it will face North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, and University of North Carolina on Oct. 21, 22, and 23, respectively.