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The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The University of Akron Zips Hockey Team dominates against Cincinnati

UA’s hockey team took the victory in their 2023-2024 season’s home opener series.
Olivia K
Introductions of Zip and Bearcat starting players.

Key Information: 

  • UA Zips won Sept. 29, 2023 (6-3) 
  • UA Zips victory Sept. 30, 2023 (13-2) 
  • Location: 8319 Port Jackson Ave NW, North Canton OH, 44720

The University of Akron Zips Hockey Team brought their skills to the ice during their 2023-2024 season home opener series against the University of Cincinnati on Sept. 29, 2023. The team faced Xavier University on Saturday, Sept. 23, and Sunday, Sept. 24, with a 4-2 loss on Saturday and a close 3-2 win on Sunday against the Division II team.  

Securing a win against the Division II team gave the UA team confidence to face Cincinnati’s newly established Division III team. They approached the young team without an idea of what the Bearcats were bringing to the barn. As they came into their Home Opener weekend, the Zips only had their experience with other collegiate ice hockey teams for reference. 

#86 Colton Gregory. (Olivia Kurylo)

“I believe it will be a good game. We’re not really sure what we’re facing with their new organization. This is the first time they’ve had a D3 team, but we think we’re going to come to this game prepared, so hopefully we do well,Zips’ forward Colton Gregory said.  

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“I think we can win this for sure,” said defenseman Andrew “Bernie” Bernard. 

The Bearcat’s Division III team reflected their youth and brought an aggressive style to the rink. Around the 19-minute, 30-second mark, Cincinnati scored. However, the three-minute mark proved to be a battle as Zips adjusted to Bearcat aggression.  

Zips’ #21 Kessel Richards came through with the first goal, inciting an opposing player to throw his twig. The first signs of unchecked emotions spilled onto the ice as Bearcat players switched lines. With tensions peaking, Cincinnati recovered soon after, leaving the first period up 2-1 and a major penalty that sent Zips’ forward #81 Jake Zenko to the sin-bin.  

With an idea of what to expect, the Zips brought their a-game back to the ice in the second period. At the 15-minute mark, forward #97 Kyle Gavin led the Zips, scoring the first goal of the second period. Forward #71 Kyle Grasha followed suit not long after, bumping the Zips up 3-2.  

#19 Andrew Bernard. (Olivia Kurylo)

#14 Jake Lubic defended the net with intensity as he secured the puck from the opposing team. Lubic took a couple of hits against the boards, but he returned with forceful body checks as he took Cincinnati off the puck and determined his next play. 

“He’s such a good defenseman,” said Brandon Boehm who serves as a defenseman alongside Lubic, though currently out due to injury. “His vision is crazy! He just knows when dudes are biting.”  

By the end of the period, the Zips added two more goals, each play filled with crucial communication from Zip to Zip as they motioned to each other on the ice. The team’s coordination and understanding of each other was unmatched. 

“We’re still building the bond, but we definitely have a bunch of chemistry coming together through past weekends of games,” said defenseman Logan Amore. “We found out we’re able to think like each other and get to this angle.”  

Ending the period with the same explosive energy he initially brought to the ice, Gavin scored his second goal of the game and was assisted by fellow forward #5 Charles Wilson.  

Cincinnati managed to score in the third period. The Zips’ #6 Adam Thomas scored at the four-minute mark assisted by #47 Nolan Lyle. Zips left the first game with a 6-3 win. 

Saturday, Sept. 30, the Zips and Bearcats faced off on the ice once again. With solid confidence from the previous game against Cincinnati, Zips dominated the ice as Wilson scored the first goal of the game assisted by Richards.  

The first period of the second game erupted with back-to-back Akron goals by Wilson and Lyle assisted by Richards and Thomas. Cincinnati dug a trench as Akron overwhelmed the Bearcats with intense power plays which sparked a tilly at the net that left chippy Bearcat #22 with a minor penalty while giving the Zips a one-man advantage.  

#97 Kyle Gavin leading a face-off. (Olivia Kurylo)

As Zip forwards battled for puck possession, they found openings at the net which left the Bearcats reeling from rapid-fire shot attempts. The second period exploded with Zip scores by Wilson and Amore with assists by fiery forwards Gavin and Grasha. Each score and assist was backed by confidence that swept over the ice and settled amongst Akron spectators.  

By the 10-minute mark, the Zips were up 8-0 with assists by Lubic and gained yet another thrown lumber by the Bearcats. As the period wrapped up, Cincinnati received a minor penalty and the Zips lost a player to a double minor penalty, all the consequences of a physically heated game. After intense discussions between the stripes and coaches, Cincinnati came out of the second period with a goal.  

Cincinnati killed off Akron’s penalties in the third period. As Gavin led faceoffs, it was no wonder the Zips were getting shots right off the bat by Grasha and defensemen Dominic Mannarino. Used to being a winger, Gavin channeled physicality from the boards into battling for puck possession. 

The Bearcats scored at the two-minute mark, though The University of Akron Zips left the ice with a dominating 13-2 victory.  

Thankfully no chiclets were lost, but give it time before hanging ‘em up Bearcats. 

The following week, The University of Akron’s Zips Hockey Team took on the Spartans of Case Western Reserve University on Oct. 6, 2023, at 8:40 p.m. at Center Ice Sports Complex.  

For more information about the team and their game schedule, visit 

Find The University of Akron Zips Hockey Team on social using the links: 

Akron Zips Hockey Twitter 

Zipspuck Instagram 

Akron Zips Hockey YouTube 

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About the Contributor
Olivia Kurylo
Olivia Kurylo, Correspondent
Olivia Kurylo is a second-year student majoring in English. She plans to minor in Creative Writing and earn a certificate in Professional Social Media. Olivia hopes to pursue a career in the Publishing and Editing fields. In her spare time, Olivia enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family.  Fun fact: My favorite movie is Little Women (2019). 
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