Updated Sat, Nov 9, 2013 11:32 am
The Ohio Bobcats rode a successful night on the penalty kill to a decisive 4-1 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers on Friday night at Bird Arena.
Ohio killed seven of eight power plays awarded to the Hoosiers on Friday, including two different five minute majors in the second period.
“[The penalty kill] did great tonight,” Ohio head coach Jonathon Sheridan said. “That’s something we’ve been working on. It hasn’t been that good for us lately, so to see it be successful is pretty nice.”
Indiana’s lone goal came on the man advantage, however, when a redirected shot slipped between the five hole of Ohio goalie Aaron Alkema with 3:09 remaining in the third period. The goal ruined Alkema’s bid for his third shutout of the year in his first game back from a head injury that kept him out of the Bobcats’ previous series with Illinois.
“Alkema’s been great, and he had another good one tonight,” Sheridan said. “I think the guys in front of him helped him out a lot by blocking shots, which is what we wanted, but when we need a big save, he’s there for us.”
Alkema came up with 21 saves in the game to help him earn his team-leading sixth win of the season.
Two of Ohio’s four goals came from second-year freshman Liam Geither, who accounted for the Bobcats’ first and last goals of the contest. The goals were Geither’s third and fourth goals of the season, and he has already surpassed his total points from last year by four.
Tom Whetsel had Ohio’s third goal of the game, and David Ramos added a goal and two assists of his own, but perhaps the Bobcats’ least likely source of help on the offensive side of the puck came from Mike LaFrenier.
When Ohio lost forwards Matt Hartman and Pat Spellacy to five minute majors and game misconducts for separate hits in the second period, Sheridan was forced to move LaFrenier from defense to offense to fill the void left by the two ejected players.
“I thought [LaFrenier] did well. It’s always fun getting the call as a defenseman to go out at forward,” Sheridan said. “He’s played forward in the past before he came here, so it was kind of an easy decision to throw him up there.
The Bobcats are hoping that they will not have to worry about moving LaFrenier out of his regular position again when both Hartman and Spellacy return to the lineup for Ohio’s second game of the weekend with the Hoosiers on Saturday night at Bird Arena.