Hockey: Ohio Completes Sweep Over Pittsburgh

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For anyone who may have said the Ohio Bobcats played their best hockey Friday night, they were wrong.

The Bobcats moved to 4-0 after manhandling the Pittsburgh Panthers, 9-1, in the second game of their 2-game weekend series.

Pittsburgh was given a power play less than a minute into the game thanks to bad subbing from Ohio (too many men on the rink), but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. The Bobcats promptly took advantage, as forward Matthew Hartman scored the game’s first goal less than five minutes in. He was assisted by defender Tyler Pecka and forward Liam Geither.

Defenders Reilly Moore and Paul Sergi helped commence the beat down with Moore scoring the game’s second goal and Sergi earning an assist. Tom Whetsel was also attributed an assist.

The Panthers found themselves in the penalty with less than five minutes left in the first period, leading to a goal by forward Drew Crandall, who was assisted by Whetsel, with 1:53 left to play in the first period. The ‘Cats led 3-0 at the end of the first period, winning the shots-on-goal 13-3.

Midway through the second period, Geither got in on the fun with help accredited to Hartman and forward Nathan De La Torre, making the lead 4-0.

Pittsburgh spurned another power play opportunity they were granted after Ohio forward Adam Steranko was called for crosschecking with 11:50 remaining in the second period.

Although the Panthers eventually did score their first goal of the game unassisted after the power play was over, it was the one highlight of the night for Pitt.

Then the onslaught continued.

Defender Tyler Benson, Whetsel, and forward Joey Breslin all scored goals, with assists from Pecka and two from Geither, to push the lead to 7-1 at the end of the second period.

Hartman earned his second goal six minutes into the third period, and De La Torre became the fourth player with multiple assists on the night, joining Geither, Pecka, and Whetsel.

Paul Sergi scored 14:49 into the third period, with Moore on the assist, capping off what was a stat-booster for the entire team.

Ohio again dominated the shots-on-goal for the game 63-12.

Ohio started Scott Boyd at goaltender, who had 11 saves on the night. Boyd is the third goalie to start this season, even though the team has only given up three points total through the first four games.

“We’re giving all three guys a chance to start. We believe in all three of our goalies. Obviously, [Aaron] Alkema is the biggest at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, but Boyd played well tonight too, so we’re going with the hot hand throughout the season,” said Ohio head coach Sean Hogan.

Their next matchup is next weekend against No. 24 West Virginia University in a home-and-home series. They will host the Mountaineers in Athens at 7:30 p.m. again on Friday.