Ohio Hockey Splits Weekend Series, Losses First Game of Season

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Ohio Hockey put their undefeated record on the line this weekend in a battle of top 15 teams, and conference foe No. 11 Robert Morris (IL). It was the Bobcats first road trip of the season after playing and, for the most part, dominating six straight home games.

The Bobcats came out on top Friday night with a 6-4 win, and fell Saturday 5-4 in a shootout. This means the Bobcats now hold a 7-0-1 record and are still unbeaten in regulation play.

On Friday night the Bobcats overcame an early 2-0 deficit before tying it up with just 40 seconds left in the first period on goals from freshmen Jacob Houston and sophomore Grant Hazel. Ohio rode the momentum from the end of the first period into the second, as senior assistant captain, Patrick Spellacy, put the Bobcats up 3-2. That would go on to be the only goal of the period as the Bobcats, yet again, went into the third period holding a lead.

Robert Morris came out with energy to start the third as they tied the game just 2 minutes and 54 seconds into the period, but the resilient Bobcats would answer right back.

Four minutes later, Ohio took the lead on a goal from defenseman Reilly Moore. Then the Bobcats put their foot on the Eagles’ throat as Joey Breslin netted a goal to put Ohio up 5-3. Robert Morris did answer back, but it was too little, too late as Matt Rudin hit the empty net to seal the deal and keep Ohio undefeated with a 6-4 victory.

However, Saturday night was a different story.

With the defeat fresh in their minds, Robert Morris knew they needed a win to keep their top 15 ranking in this young season.

The first period was a defensive struggle as the only goal came from the Bobcats’ Michael Palasics with assists from Grant Hazel and Austin Heakins. In the second period, both teams scored twice exchanging goals back and forth, as the Bobcats started the high-scoring period about midway through with a goal from Jake Faiella to put Ohio up 2-0.

Then in the last five minutes, pandemonium ensued Robert Morris scored with just under five minutes left to cut the Bobcat lead in half. Ohio would answer right back 57 seconds later with a goal from Adam Steranko to regain their two-goal lead.

Yet again the Eagles wouldn’t let the period end quietly, as Ryan Martin beat Aaron Alkema to make it a 3-2 game going into the third. For the eight straight games, Ohio had the lead going into the third period, but this time they couldn’t hold it.

Robert Morris scored two unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead with just under six minutes left before Patrick Spellacy came up clutch for the Bobcats and scored with under two minutes left to send the game to overtime. No team scored in the five-minute overtime period and they went to a shootout. In the shootout Daniel Doyle of Robert Morris was the only one to score, leading the Eagle to a 5-4 shootout win over the Bobcats.

Ohio’s record now stands at 7-0-1 with 15 points on the season. They will host the University of Jamestown at Bird Ice Arena with Friday’s game being broadcast on ESPN3 at 7:00 PM and Saturday the puck will drop at the normal 7:30 PM start time.