Ohio Overcomes Early Deficit to Remain Undefeated

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Friday night the Ohio Bobcats hockey team dominated the No. 8 Colorado Buffaloes 8-0. Colorado was coming off a game Thursday night against Lindenwood, in Missouri, which might have played a role in the Buffs getting throttled Friday.

With that in mind, coach Sean Hogan knew the Buffaloes would come out with more energy and desperation on Saturday night. “I thought it was going to be a battle for sure, they have a good team.”

Sure enough, Coach was right. Colorado put the pressure on the Bobcats early, forcing freshmen goalie Jimmy Thomas to stand on his head and make key saves to keep the game close. However, the Bobcats were able to keep pace with Colorado and a few key goals gave Ohio a 5-3 win.

As Ohio began to settle into the game they got an unfortunate bounce off of the end boards and the puck came right back in front to Colorado’s George Gruber VII who put it past Thomas with 13:06 left in the first. That would be the only goal of the period as it was 1-0 Colorado going into the first intermission, but a costly penalty by Grant Hazel with no time left in the first would haunt the Bobcats to begin the second.

Colorado opened a high scoring second period with a power play goal off the Hazel penalty giving the Buffs a 2-0 advantage.

This was really the first time Ohio faced adversity all year, but with the senior leadership, Hogan knew his team had what it takes to answer. “It’s a mental toughness thing our senior leaders did a good job of not getting too down about it and we came right back at them.”

That’s what good teams do when they get punched in the face, they don’t tuck their tail between their legs and walk away, they punch right back and that’s exactly what the Bobcats did.

A little more than a minute after Colorado went up 2-0 the Bobcats answered back with four unanswered goals, starting with a goal from one of the seniors, Joey Breslin. A quick 14 seconds later the game was tied after Freshman defensemen Tom Evans netted his second goal of the season with assists from captain Matthew Hartman and Austin Heakins.

Ohio added two more goals, one from Mike Palasics on the power play and the first career goal from Brock Rumbaugh. “I wasn’t trying to think about it too much, but it feels great to get the monkey off my back,” Rumbaugh said.

With the four goal second period the Bobcats took control of the game and never looked back.

Colorado did find the net early in the third period, but the Bobcats defense was stiff the rest of the way as they added a late empty net goal from Austin Heakins to put the Buffaloes to bed, 5-3, and remain unbeaten.

Next weekend the Bobcats will take their unbeaten record on the road as they travel to Robert Morris (IL) for their first conference series of the season. The games will be played on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 at the Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, Illinois.