Updated Sun, Nov 11, 2012 12:20 am
The Ohio Bobcats managed to come out on top of a thrilling, offensive tug-of-war with the Indiana Hoosiers Saturday night at Bird Arena. The 7-6 victory let Ohio take three of four available points in the weekend series with Indiana, and improved their record on the season to 13-2-1.
At one point in the first period, Ohio wielded a 4-0 lead, but the Hoosiers’ resiliency that they showed on Friday night was on display again as they were able to cut the lead to two by the end of the first, and eventually take a 5-4 lead in the second period.
Bobcat fans’ worst nightmares had become reality as they saw their team lose a significant first period lead on home ice, until Brett Agnew scored his second goal of the game midway through the second period to tie the game at five goals apiece. Then seniors Jonathan Pietramala and Tyler Pilmore scored 43 seconds apart from each other in the third period to earn Ohio its 13th win of the season.
Ohio quickly got off to one of its signature strong starts when Michael Harris got his 12th goal of the season, blasting a slap shot from the blue line past the Hoosiers netminder only 31 seconds into the first period. Harris’ tally was quickly followed by goals from Brett Agnew and Garrett Williams. Just like that, the Bobcats had three goals off of their first three shots on goal in game.
At 12:28 of the first period, Tom Whetsel added to Ohio’s lead by putting on a small-area stick-handling clinic, as Whetsel used a series of beautiful dekes in front of the Indiana net to get around a defender and then used one more move for good measure to beat Indiana’s goalie, Michael Reed, for a short-handed goal.
Whetsel’s beauty gave the Bobcats a 4-0 lead, which prompted Indiana Head Coach Jan Jas to call a time-out. The Hoosiers came out of the time-out firing on all cylinders, and saw strong team play result in five straight goals over the course of the first and second periods.
Indiana dominated special teams play, as they were able to score four power play goals on six opportunities while the Bobcats converted on none of their three power plays.
Ohio smothered Indiana defensively in the final minute of the game when the Hoosiers pulled their goalie, and they were able to cling to their one-goal lead as time expired.
The Bobcats’ next game is Friday, Nov. 16 against Illinois, one of the two teams who managed to hand Ohio a regulation loss so far this season. The puck will drop between the two teams at 7:30 at Bird Arena in Athens.