MIH: Colonels keep rolling


Kirsten Peters

Freshman Nick Fea completes a hat trick on Saturday against Chatham in the Colonels 8-4 victory.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — A wild Saturday night at the Toyota Sportsplex did not fail to entertain fans as the Wilkes University men’s ice hockey team picked up their third victory on the season, beating Chatham University 8-4. Nick Fea got the Colonels first hat trick of the season, contributing to the eight goals the Colonels scored..

Andrew Breda won the opening face-off for Chatham, but the Colonels quickly took over possession.

There were several opportunities for the Colonels to score once they gained possession, but none of the shots taken by Tyson Araujo and Paul Cimilluca were able to find the back of the net.

Wilkes remained persistent in the Chatham zone and finally Fea tallied his first goal just three minutes into the game, giving the Colonels the 1-0 lead.

Shortly after the Colonels goal, Araujo was given a penalty for slashing.

Chatham took advantage of the penalty, and Cory King snuck the puck past the Colonels goalie Liam Murray, leveling the score 1-1.

Both teams battled back and forth for the next several minutes, but the Colonels allowed Chatham to keep the puck in their own zone, eventually leading to another goal, giving Chatham a 2-1 lead.

Wilkes turned up the heat in the last five minutes of the first period, and Dylan Kuipers was able to tie the game at 2-2.

Less than a minute later, Chatham found themselves shorthanded once again with just under four minutes remaining in the first period.

The Colonel powerplay proved to be effective, as Tyler Barrow gave the Colonels the 3-2 lead.

Chatham responded with Chris Lutz scoring to even the game up at 3-3 with three and a half minutes remaining in the first period.

The first-period looked to stay tied going into the second period until Donald Flynn found the back of the net on a power play with seconds to left in the first period.

The ensuing face-off brought the physicality to another level, as Chad Bell of Chatham was called for a cross-check.

Bell was not the only player penalized as Devon Schell was also called for an embellishment penalty.

The second period saw a lot of back and forth action for the first five minutes.

Araujo started a three-goal run for the Wilkes, extending their lead to 5-3.

With just under ten minutes remaining in the second period, Fea found the back of the net for the second time, making the score 6-3.

Less than a minute later, Derek Schrank for Chatham was called for a tripping penalty, and Donald Flynn proved it to be costly as he buried the puck, giving the Colonels a four-goal lead, 7-3.

With less than two minutes remaining in the second period, Clay Plyler was able to cut the Chatham deficit to 7-4.

Going into the third period, the Colonels held a 7-4 lead.

Michael Gurska said the Colonels heard from their coach Brett Riley during the intermission.

“Coach came in and made sure we were all staying on an even keel, one of the things he stressed the past couple weeks is not being too high or not being too low, so we want to make sure we’re being hard on the puck all the time and play the game like it’s 0-0 at all moments,” said Gurska.

The third period continued to move back forth like the rest of the game, both goalies making tremendous saves, preventing the puck from finding its way across the red line.

Murray made 32 saves for Wilkes but stayed humble for the players around him.

“I would say thank you to my defense and thank you to my forwards for throwing themselves in front of pucks, and I couldn’t have done it without them,” said Murray.

The only goal came late in the third period and was an empty net goal, as Chatham pulled their goalie in the last effort to attempt to come back, but Fea had other intentions as he glided the puck into the empty net, putting the Colonels up 8-4.

Fea got the hat trick for the Colonels and finished off an exciting night of hockey with his empty-net goal.

The Colonels not only improved their season record but improved in other important parts of the game, like their penalty kill.

“That’s an area we’ve struggled as of late, we’re playing a team that had the best power play in the country coming in and we responded tonight and did what we had to do,” said assistant coach Tyler Hynes.

Wilkes improved to an overall 3-2 record, 2-1 in UCHC conference play, so far this season with their second win on home ice.

The Colonels get a short break before returning to action Friday, November 16th against cross-town rival, King’s College.