Agnew, Alkema Propel Ohio To Win Over Canisius

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Brett Agnew scored a hat trick, helping Ohio overcome a slow start and come back to defeat Canisius, 11-3, at Bird Arena on Saturday night.

The Bobcats trailed early in the game after goaltender Scott Boyd allowed two goals on three shots. Aaron Alkema came in net in relief of Boyd just after the Griffins took a 2-0 lead only two minutes into the game, and Ohio bounced back immediately.

“I had to pull Scotty Boyd, something I didn’t want to do, so the guys would get the message,” Ohio head coach Jonathon Sheridan said. “Sometimes you have to do something like that, and the boys responded.”

Agnew recorded his seventh, eighth and ninth goals of the season and added an assist to help generate Ohio’s potent scoring attack. His hat trick-clinching goal came with eight minutes left in the second period on an extended four-on-four.

In addition to Agnew’s third goal of the night, Ohio scored two other times on the four-on-four, getting goals from Matt Hartman and Tyler Pecka. The four-on-four was generated by offsetting five minute major penalties assessed after an altercation between Ohio’s Derek Rahme and Canisius’ Mike Mangone. The offensive outburst that ensued while both teams were playing a man down came as no shock to Sheridan.

“We have a lot of fast players and a lot of skilled guys that can make plays with the puck in the open ice,” Sheridan said. “So when you give them the time and space like that, they’re going to do something with it and make something happen.”

Alkema made 18 saves during the course of the game after he replaced Boyd in the first period, but perhaps no save was greater than one he made midway thought the first period. With Ohio trailing by only one goal at the time, Alkema stretched his legs post-to-post to deny Canisius’ Jesse Hackett on a breakaway opportunity. Without that save, the entire outcome of the game could have been altered.

“If [Canisius] popped one more in there, it would be a different game,” Sheridan said. “[Alkema’s] breakaway save was a huge turning point in the game. He made the save, and the boys fed off of it, and helped spark our comeback.”

Alkema allowed one goal, a power play tally by Hackett that ruined Ohio’s bid for a perfect night on the penalty kill. Ohio successfully killed off five of their six penalties and only allowed three shots during that time.

David Ramos, Patrick Spellacy, and Garrett Williams all came close to matching Agnew’s big night. Each player recorded two goals of their own during the course of the game.

Ohio’s next test will be against Iowa State, as the Bobcats will participate in league play on the road for the first time this season. The first match of the two-game series with the Cyclones is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Ames Arena.