Photo Credit: Jeffrey Zide – WOUB

Crandall Nets Winner as Ohio Tops Liberty

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A 4-2 win for Ohio over Liberty gives the Bobcats their tenth series sweep of the season. With the win, Ohio also sweeps Liberty for the season, but the Flames again didn’t go down without a fight.

Down 1-0 with time dwindling in the first period, Ohio’s Matthew Hartman continued his stellar second line play by netting a goal with 44.8 seconds left. The ‘Cats had been suffering under the Liberty pressure, but finally came through and gained some steam before the second period.

Ohio gained the lead in the second with a goal by Michael Harris. Liberty had the puck and was threatening, but an errant pass was picked up by Patrick Spellacy who passed to Harris for the open goal.

Drew Crandall put Ohio up 3-2 in the second before it turned into relatively physical play. Ohio goalie Aaron Alkema stopped a Liberty shot in the third and tempers flared. Four players, two from each team, were sent to the penalty box giving way to three-on-three play.

Down, Liberty had a chance to tie with the offensive friendly three-on-three play. Ohio was playing the defensive, but Hartman took control of the puck and passed to Matt Rudin for a score.

“I saw [Hartman] got the puck and I called for it,” said Rudin. “He knew I was somewhere around so he just threw it. Threw it a little bit behind me, but I was still right in the spot to pick it up. Then I just spun around and put it right over his glove.”

Ohio stayed firm posting a 4-2 final score. The ‘Cats improved defensively from Friday’s game as they were aided by the return of key players from injury.

“We were much better tonight. I think defensively we were really good,” said Coach Hogan. They had some opportunities but [Alkema] is good in the net and was better tonight than he was yesterday for sure.”

No. 7 Ohio (23-4-1) looks for a challenge in Arizona next series. The Bobcats will play Arizona on Thursday, followed by a series with Arizona State on Friday and Saturday. Arizona State is a Division I NCAA team.