The Indiana hockey club was poised to have a successful weekend against the University of Louisville, but it was caught by surprise as the Cardinals won both games of the two-game series this past weekend.
The Hoosiers started strong Friday night at home, with left-wing sophomore Ithan DeLorenzo scoring in the opening period on a breakaway goal during 4-on-4 play. Cardinals’ senior Jake Cicalese retaliated on a power play, using a deflection to tie the game before junior forward Parker Gee also scored for Louisville to close out the first period 2-1.
Hoosier senior left-wing Jack Kissell opened the Cardinals’ defense up in the second period by poking the puck into the net past senior goaltender Cam Walsh. Right before the second period ended, junior forward Cam Costa scored for the Cardinals to retain a 3-2 lead going into the third period.
Sophomore forward Dalton Karl added to Louisville’s offensive success and widened the gap to two. Seven minutes into the third period, the Hoosiers’ leading point scorer, sophomore center Will Gerami, ripped a shot on net and pulled the Hoosiers back within a one-goal deficit. Despite a late push for an equalizer, an empty netter allowed Louisville to win 5-3 against the Hoosiers in game one.
“Billis works best when he faces a ton of shots, and consistent shots,” Indiana head coach Andrew Weiss said. “He’ll be just fine. He’s a world-class goalie right now and one bad game doesn’t define him.”
Saturday, the Hoosiers traveled to Louisville for the second game of the series and got going early again as sophomore right-wing Aidan Simoneau opened the scoring for the Hoosiers in the first period. Three minutes later, Louisville freshman defenseman Jack Bowers scored on a second chance to beat sophomore goalie Jack Thomson.
A pair of fortunate deflections and sequences went the Cardinals’ way, as they scored a deflected goal off a Hoosier defender’s skate and another when Thomson backed up after making a save, which helped push the puck into the net. With two minutes to go in the first period, sophomore left-wing Ithan DeLorenzo wristed the Hoosiers’ second goal into the net but was quickly matched by Louisville junior defenseman Patrick Williams on the other end to close the period 4-2.
Halfway into the second period, the Hoosiers’ power play got involved on the scoresheet as sophomore forward Tommy MacDonald fired a shot past Cardinal freshman goalie Luke Brezezinski to get the Hoosiers within one. Likewise, with three minutes left in the second period, the Hoosiers went on another man advantage and MacDonald tied the game at 4-4 with his second goal.
Sophomore forward Dalton Karl was successful halfway through the third period putting a shot past Thomson to give the Cardinals a 5-4 lead. An empty netter made the final score 6-4 and the Hoosiers came away with two losses in the two-game series.
“We’re still trying to find our identity as a hockey team, and trying to find chemistry, with 14 freshman and younger guys playing in key roles,” Weiss said.
Indiana will be back in action next week when it faces off against Xavier University in an away-and-home series Friday night and Saturday afternoon.