The Case Western Reserve University Ice Hockey Club had a triumphant game against California University of Pennsylvania on Saturday, Oct. 23. The night ended with CWRU winning 5-4 against the Vulcans in a hard-fought game. The win was a big turnaround from last season, when CWRU (1-2) lost to CalU 6-2 at home and 12-0 on the road.
The game was full of energy from the start, with a lot of physical play from both teams fighting hard for possessions on face-offs. In the first period, forward Eric Pellish had a close chance at scoring, but the rebound ended up getting onto the sticks of CalU players. The Vulcans tried to counter getting a shot on goal, but goalie Joe Timpona quickly snatched up the puck and for a save. CalU managed to get a plethora of shots off, but Timpona held strong in the crease, allowing one goal in the first period.
Early in the second period, center John Stockmann attempted a few slapshots but the CalU goalie was able to make several saves. With 10:29 left in the period, Pellish scored on a power play, assisted by winger Anthony Perugini. Pellish and Perugini were crucial to the Spartan’s win as they linked up for three of CWRU’s five total goals.
Defenseman Peter Thompson would beat the Vulcan keeper a few minutes later, giving CWRU a 2-1 lead. Thompson said that his goal was a product of “the power of the new socks and simple maneuvers.” At the end of the period, the score was 3-1, with Perugini scoring on a Pellish assist.
The third period started out fairly slow, but picked up pace dramatically halfway through when CalU scored making it a 3-2 game. CWRU held onto their slim lead, blocking shots and continuing to press forward. Their effort paid off when Stockmann scored with 4:44 left on the clock to double the Spartans lead.
The 4-2 lead sparked the Vulcan offense as the CWRU defense got caught twice in the next minute and twenty seconds, scoring a pair of goals, evening the score at four goals apiece. However, the Spartans wouldn’t quit, and with 0:56 left in the final period, Perugini scored his second goal, and ultimately the game-winner, on an assist from Pellish. The crowd inside Cleveland Heights Rec Center went wild, sensing the team’s first win was just seconds away. CalU scrambled to score but Timpona held strong, facing over 50 shots the entire game, allowed just four.
All of the team members spoke highly of Timpona’s exceptional netminding throughout the game. Perugini and other players cited great teamwork and player chemistry as key factors in their first win of the season.
“We played our hearts out and got good results,” said forward Mike Malone.
Players put the needs of the team before their own, playing through the pain of injuries and cramps. Having greatly improved effort and teamwork, the Spartans were also able to stay out of the penalty box—there were only nine penalties committed by both teams throughout the game. The CWRU Ice Hockey club is extremely enthusiastic about their win, and hopes to their streak alive at home against a pair of Buffalo, NY, teams this weekend; Medaille College tonight at 9 p.m., and D’youville College Saturday at 8:30 p.m.