Hockey: Ohio Beats No. 2 Robert Morris

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In their first game in Athens in 2013, the Ohio Bobcats managed to pull off one of their more impressive victories of the season. Ohio defeated No. 2 Robert Morris in a heavy-hitting contest at Bird Arena by a score of 5-3.

Head Coach Dan Morris was visibly excited after the game, mostly enjoying the fact his team had effectively ended its recent slump.

“We got off to a slow start to the new year, but as 2013 moves on, I think the guys realize the chances you get to play a good team at home you have to take advantage of them,” Morris said. “It feels good beating a team that’s ranked above you and a really good team like that.”

Ohio’s penalty kill became the story of the game, as they effectively killed all six power plays awarded to the Eagles, including a lengthy two-man advantage in the third period to preserve a one-goal lead.

“They had their skillset guys out there, and our guys were able to effectively keep their opportunities to the outside,” said Morris on Robert Morris’ five-on-three power play in third. “Five-on-threes are all about discipline, and we were able to stay disciplined, not over-extend ourselves, and things ended up in our favor as a result.”

Ohio controlled most of the play in the first half of the game, jumping out to a 4-1 lead in the second period courtesy of goals by Mike Kretz, Derek Rahme, Nathan De La Torre and Jay Mazzerella. However, the Bobcats were given a scare late in the period, when the Eagles scored two goals in the final two minutes to cut their lead to 4-3.

The third and final period of play remained scoreless until 16:06, when captain Tyler Pilmore ripped a shot off the post and behind Robert Morris goaltender Andy DiCristofaro to give Ohio the insurance marker en route to the 5-3 final score.

Ohio goaltender Fedor Dushkin was shining in net, stopping 26 of 29 shots Robert Morris fired at him.

“We tell [Dushkin] that all he has to do is make the first stop, and we’ll clear everything else out. He was able to do that, we just didn’t do our jobs in front, and that’s where those three goals came from,” Morris said.

Robert Morris will be looking to bounce back from this defeat, as they get another shot at the Bobcats in the second game of the weekend series between these ACHA heavyweights. The puck will drop on the rematch Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Bird Arena.