Bobcats Complete Comeback vs. Oakland

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Despite being down by two goals halfway through the game, the Ohio club hockey team was able to stage a dramatic comeback for its fourth consecutive win. The No. 5 ranked Bobcats scored in the dying seconds of the third period to lift themselves to a 4-3 win over the No. 11 Oakland Grizzlies at Bird Arena on Friday night.

“We were confident that if we kept playing the same way, we were going to get our chance to win,” Ohio head coach Dan Morris said following the victory. “We had three goals off of three face-off plays. We dominated face-off play. Those little things add up, and you can see tonight that they were big.”

Defenseman Jonathan Gulch played the hero’s role, as he tucked a wrist shot from the point underneath the blocker of Oakland’s goaltender, Corey Hrischuk, with only 7.6 seconds left in the third period for the go-ahead goal.

Hrischuk was shining in net for the Golden Grizzlies, stopping 34 of the 38 shots Ohio fired at him over the course of 60 minutes.

“Their goaltender played great,” Morris said. We were getting our looks, getting the shots we wanted, and their goalie was making incredible saves, but over time if you rely too heavily on your goalie as a team, your luck is going to run out.”

Oakland jumped out to an early lead, as captain Brian Baker scored on the Grizzlies’ first shot of the game just 2:53 into the first period.

Ohio answered the bell and tied the game at 15:53 in the first with a goal from Nick Rostek right on the doorstep after being fed a clean pas by Brett Agnew.

The Golden Grizzlies added two more tallies in the second period courtesy of freshman forwards Drew Parus and Patrick Smiatacz, the latter of which came off of a bizarre bounce off the end boards behind the Ohio net that thrust the puck directly on to Smiatacz stick for the 3-1 lead.

Brett Agnew scored when he picked the corner from the slot on a four-on-four opportunity to cut Oakland’s lead to 3-2 at 17:05 in the second period.

Jonathan Pietramala scored the Bobcats’ game-tying goal in the third period of play at 3:22 by sliding the puck through Hrischuk’s five-hole after an offensive zone face-off win.

Both teams failed to score on the power play during the course of the game, but Ohio’s 0-6 on the man-advantage was a glaring shortcoming that they were ultimately able to overcome in the end. When asked if he was concerned with the power play’s lack of production in such a tight game, Morris responded, “No, not at all. You can’t score on every power play. We managed tons of attack time, those opportunities wear down a team, and like I said, their goalie robbed us a few times. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing, and then we’ll be due for some goals in the next game. I’m not worried.”

Ohio plays the second game of a two-game series with Oakland Saturday.