Updated Sat, Nov 16, 2013 12:55 pm
Thanks to the late-game heroics of a freshman, Ohio battled back from the brink of defeat to a 4-3 shootout victory over CSCHL rival Lindenwood at Bird Arena on Friday night.
Freshman Patrick Spellacy scored with 56.6 seconds remaining in the third period to tie the game, 3-3, and then netted the game-winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout to lift the Bobcats to their 13th win of the season.
“[Spellacy’s] been great for us all year,” Ohio head coach Jonathon Sheridan said. “It was no surprise to see him come up big for us there.”
Spellacy’s late-game tally was his 10th on the year and made him one of a few Bobcats to beat Lindenwood’s goaltender Friday night.
The Lions’ goalie, Linus Åhgren, fell to 1-6 on the season with the loss, but made 34 saves in regulation and overtime and then denied three shooters in the shootout. Åhgren’s strong performance caught the attention of many in attendance, including Sheridan.
“Obviously [Åhgren] had a really strong game,” Sheridan said. “He was tough to beat, those European-trained goalies cover the bottom of the net so well, and he did that well. We had to get bodies to front and get traffic and make it hard for him.”
That’s exactly what Ohio did to solve the Lions’ Swedish netminder. Both of Ohio’s goals before Spellacy’s equalizer came with bodies obstructing Åhgren’s view of the puck. Those goals came courtesy of Michael Harris and Mike Kretz.
Harris’ goal came at 13:37 of the first period when he snapped the puck from the top of the left circle and right into the top right corner over Åhgren’s glove. The goal was Harris’ second in two games after ending a slump of no goals in eight games dating back to Oct. 13.
“To get a guy like that going again is huge,” said Sheridan. “To end that slump, I know it was bothering [Harris], so that’s a load off his shoulders. I expect him to get that confidence back and keep it up now.”
Lindenwood technically never trailed in the game, despite being handed the loss. Jeremy Edwards scored the first goal of the game at 10:58 to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. Peppi Sipila regained the lead with only 1:11 remaining in the second period, and then Steve Brancheau made the game 3-2 shortly after Kretz’s power play goal.
The Lions will have the chance to redeem themselves on Saturday night when they take on Ohio for the second time in the weekend series at Bird Arena. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. puck drop.