Hockey: Ohio Advances To CSCHL Championship

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The Ohio Bobcats emerged victorious from their second game of the CSCHL Tournament and have earned the opportunity to play in the championship game Sunday, but they had to take down a familiar foe in order to do so.

Ohio defeated the Lindenwood Lions, No. 9 in the ACHA and a team that the Bobcats have struggled against in recent history, by a score of 5-3 at Bird Arena on Saturday night, thanks to a strong performance from Ohio’s top line.

“For us, Lindenwood is a mental block. It’s one of those things we need to get over, and we needed a game like tonight to get over it,” said Ohio head coach Dan Morris, citing that the Lions “had their number” for some time. “We had been on a skid against them for a while, so it feels good to get that win.”

Ohio’s first line accounted for most their offense, connecting on three separate occasions for goals. Nick Rostek, Brett Agnew and Tyler Pilmore all had a goal and two assists each. Pilmore’s tally would be Ohio’s only power play goal of the night, as well.

Lindenwood opened the scoring just 44 seconds into the game, when defenseman Taylor Wolfe blasted a slap shot from the point past Ohio goalie Fedor Dushkin on his glove side. No more goals were scored in the first period by either team, but the Lions went on to strike early again in the second period, when Grant Gorczyca scored at 1:02 of the second period.

Ohio then rallied to score four times in the second period, thanks to goals by Rostek, Pilmore, Nick Hudeck and Jonathan Pietramala. Pietramala’s goal was a shorthanded marker that came at 12:01 of the period after he and fellow senior Jay Mazzarella hounded the Lions on the penalty kill to force several turnovers that ultimately led to the goal.

The Bobcats recorded 12 of their 32 shots in the second period and held Lindenwood to only three shots.

The third period saw Ohio take its turn at scoring early, when Agnew scored from the slot after receiving a pass from Pilmore at 1:39. Gorczyca added his second goal of the night from a net-front scramble at 10:53 of the third period to cut Ohio’s lead to only 5-3, but the Bobcats hung on for the win.

The CSCHL Tournament Championship will be played between Ohio and the Iowa State Cyclones, who disposed of the top seed of the tournament, Illinois, 4-0 earlier Saturday. Puck drop for the championship is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Sunday at Bird Arena.