Hockey club unable to finish off last-minute heroics with a win

The team came within one goal of a tie against tough divisional opponent

Katie Wieser, Sports Editor

The Case Western ice hockey club suffered their first home loss versus Gannon College at the Cleveland Heights Recreation Center last Friday. The team will have to work to gain ground in the division to make it to the Collegiate Ice Hockey Association playoffs at the end of the season.

The Gannon team came in strong with a deep bench and a large group of fans traveling along. The team got a few shots off early, earning a goal in the second minute of play. They followed this score up with two more before the Spartans used their home energy to build the pressure, creating multiple power play opportunities before Jason Pickering scored off a rebound in the final seconds to end the period with a score of 3-1.

The Spartans’ game plan started to come together in the second period with the Gannon team still fighting to put the game away. The Case Western goaltender, Patrick Thomas, cleared multiple shots on goal, but breakaway plays by the Gannon offense kept the Spartans on their heels as they ended the second period without another score, down 5-1.

The team refused to give up in the third period and played what can surely be called their best period of the young season against this difficult team. Jonathan Greenberg got the team going with a powerful slap shot into the back of the Gannon net within the first minute of play. Nick Smith got into the action two minutes later off an assist from Greenberg to bring the score to 5-3.

The Spartan defense was unable to hold off the Gannon attack as the opponent found the back of the net one last time for their sixth goal. With half the period gone, the Case Western team kept hope alive with another goal from both Smith and Greenberg with six minutes left in play.

But there would be no last-minute heroics for the Spartan squad as they were unable to break through the Gannon defense to tie the game. The loss brings the team to .500 in both the league and division.

Despite the loss, the team feels stronger moving forward. Pickering, the club’s vice president, expressed positivity following the game. “It felt like, to me, that as a team we showed we were able to overcome hardship,”

Pickering said. “We had a good opportunity to win. I’m definitely excited to see if we can duplicate what we did last weekend, but pull out with a win.”

The division now stands with Gannon in control of the top spot. The only hope for a playoff spot lies with the remote possibility of a Gannon College loss to Allegheny University.

The Spartans will play the Community College of Allegheny Community at the Cleveland Heights Recreation Center in the last game before the winter break. The matchup should be competitive with some tough play on both sides as the Spartans look to break over .500 before the winter break.