Ohio University player, Jake Faiella, with the puck in Bird Arena at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, on February 3, 2017. The bobcats won 9-0.

Ohio Loses Regular Season Finale to Iowa State

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Saturday’s senior night at Bird Arena was full of emotion from start to finish. The No. 3 Ohio Bobcats battled tough for 60 minutes but in the end lost a 1-0 nail-biter to No. 10 Iowa State.

The evening began with a pregame ceremony to honor the ten seniors who were playing their final game as a member of the Green and White and all received a standing ovation from the sold out Bird Arena crowd.

After the ceremony concluded, the team turned their attention to the forthcoming game against Iowa State, still needing one victory to clinch the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) regular season title.

However, less than five minutes into the game Iowa State seized momentum when Jonathan Severson ripped a shot past Bobcats goaltender Aaron Alkema to put the Cyclones ahead 1-0. Ohio had their chances in the first to tie the game up but Iowa State goalie Derek Moser once again was on his ‘A’ game, stopping everything that was shot his way in the opening 20 minutes.

“Last night was a gut punch for us,” head coach Sean Hogan said. “We thought we played a good game and deserved to win that one and I think it showed in the first five minutes tonight, we weren’t good in those first five minutes.”

For much of the night Ohio struggled to gain any momentum and their scoring chances were seemingly few and far between. The Bobcats are a good offensive team, but in hockey, when a goaltender gets hot, like Moser was Saturday, it is almost impossible to get even one goal.

“I think we had our chances for sure, Moser is a good goalie,” Hogan said. “We had a ton of chances but the puck seemed to be bouncing funny, we got chances in front but then it seemed to hit a skate, we just couldn’t get (the offense) going.”

As time ran out in the second period, the Bobcats headed to the locker room frustrated, having nothing to show for their effort in the first two periods. If Ohio was unsuccessful at pulling ahead in the final 20 minutes, the regular season CSCHL crown would then go to Iowa State.

An early power play chance resulted in a few scoring attempts but ultimately unsuccessful at tying the game. Moser again made one big save after another throughout the final period.

Late in the period, Ohio brought out an extra attacker and continuously peppered the net with shot attempts hoping one would find its way into the goal, but ultimately were unable to get a shot past Moser. Iowa State’s bench raced out onto the ice in celebration while the Bobcats were in disbelief at what had just happened.

“I feel bad for the seniors,” Hogan said. “They worked hard and it wasn’t a lack of effort (tonight) we did everything we could and Aces (Aaron Alkema) put us in a good position to win.”

Hogan pointed out in his postgame interview that this was the first time in more than a year that Ohio had been swept at home.

Although it was not the way the seniors wanted to finish out their career at Bird Arena, they were still grateful of the memories they have made during their time with the Green and White.

“Tonight we didn’t get the outcome we wanted but this (night) is going to stick with me forever,” senior Liam Geither said. “You saw the crowd and everyone was into it and we were all into it on the bench it just didn’t end up they way we wanted but overall I think this was a very fun night.”

Up next for Ohio is the CSCHL tournament, which will take place in Bensenville, Illinois. The Bobcats will look for their first CSCHL tournament championship victory since 2013.

As Geither headed into the locker room, he turned around, smiled and said, “hopefully I’ll be talking to you guys in a couple weeks with some hardware next to me.”