Published Sun, Jan 29, 2012 2:11 pm Dateline
Bird Arena was sold out and buzzing with excitement as the standing-room only crowd was ready to see Ohio avenge Friday night’s heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the number one ranked Penn State Icers.
However, Ohio’s fans were left in the cold as Penn State won 4-1 a dominated most of the game.
The Bobcats came out of the gate hot, as Jonathan Pietramala scored only three minutes into the game off of a Duncan Green assist.
The Icers were quick to answer Ohio’s score as Penn State’s George Saad snuck one past Ohio goaltender Fedor Dushken in the middle of the first period. The Icers scored yet again in the period as Peter Sweetland slapped in the Icers’ second goal with about three minutes left.
Both teams were playing with intensity in the opening period; the shots on goal were pretty evenly matched as Penn State took 11 shots, and Ohio took 10. Penn State had a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.
The second period opened with physical play as Ohio’s Jonathan Gulch and Penn State’s Chris Cerutti got into a scuffle near Ohio’s net. Gulch pulled a fast one on Cerutti and left him blinded for a few moments, as his jersey was pulled over his head.
The crowd at Bird Arena enjoyed the action, but both players were sent to the penalty box as a result.
The chippy play continued as the Bobcats’ Duncan Green was ejected from the game in the middle of the second period, the reason why was unclear, but it appeared as though Green had been mouthing off to the refs after a big hit. The penalty boxes for both teams seemed to be occupied for the entire game.
Fedor Dushken came up with a huge one-on-one save with six minutes left in the second period, only to let up his third goal of the night moments later to Penn State’s George Saad, who was assisted by Eric Steinour.
The Bobcats began to make many small, yet costly, errors in the second period. Many of the Bobcats’ passes were off target and the defensive play was subpar, those are mistakes you can’t make against a top-ranked opponent like Penn State.
“We’ve played many good teams this year, and Penn State was one of them, we just didn’t play well enough to win the game,” Ohio coach Dan Morris said.
In what seemed like a déjà vu type of experience, Dushken made yet another great one-on-one save with six minutes left in the third period, but then gave up a goal moments later to Penn State’s Justin Kerchhevel.
The Icers’ goal was eerily similar to the goal scored in the second period and it seemed to be the dagger for Penn State.
Ohio dropped both of this weekend’s games to Penn State, and while the losses are not devastating, they are certainly some missed opportunities. The Bobcats’ next game is Feb. 3 at Bird Arena against the American Cancer Society Ice Ghosts.