Updated Sun, Oct 6, 2013 12:19 am
The Bobcats found themselves on the losing end of a goaltending duel as Liberty beat Ohio for the second straight game. Ohio fell to 2-2-1 on the season after a 1-0 loss to the Flames at Bird Arena on Saturday night.
Liberty’s Matt Pinel recorded a 23-save shutout to secure his team’s victory. On the other end of the ice, Aaron Alkema shined in his first start of the season for Ohio, making 34 saves.
“Alkema stood on his head tonight,” Ohio head coach Jonathan Sheridan said. “I don’t think we could have asked more from him. We wouldn’t have been in that position to tie it up if he wasn’t there.”
Robert Ward’s power play goal with 28 seconds remaining in the first period was the only one of the Flames’ shots to get past Alkema, but it held up as the game-winner.
The power play opportunity came when Mike LaFrenier was sent off for tripping just after another Ohio penalty had just expired. Liberty took advantage of the Bobcats’ tired penalty killers when Danny Logan slid a backdoor pass across the crease and onto Ward’s stick for the goal.
Ward’s tally was the Flames’ only power play goal of the weekend series. Ohio successfully killed four of five power plays on Saturday and seven of eight in the series.
A one-goal game was a much different pace than the previous night’s matchup between these two teams, which finished 7-6 in favor of Liberty. After that game, Sheridan was left with little to say other than, “We need to play better.” Despite a second straight loss, he felt they at least accomplished that goal.
“I thought we played better defensively,” Sheridan said. “It’s nothing major, it’s just the small details that we’re not paying attention to that are costing us.”
Ohio will get the chance to work on the little details in the ACHA Showcase that takes place on Oct. 11, 12 and 13, before coming back home to Athens to play Canisius on Friday, Oct. 19.