Ohio University player skating for the puck whiling playing against University of Pittsburgh in Bird Arena at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, on February 3, 2017. The bobcats won 9-0.

Ohio Hockey Scores Last Minute to Beat Lindenwood

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From the drop of the puck, you could tell that the matchup between the 8th-ranked Ohio Bobcats and 3rd-ranked Lindenwood Lions would be another classic CSCHL bout. It was not until (literally) the last second until the game was decided in thrilling fashion.

These two teams, who are familiar with one another, both looked to set the tone early on. Throughout the first period, there were several big hits delivered and many crisp passes, but no pucks found the back of the net.

Another factor to the scoreless draw after the first period was the performance of both goalies. Though they only faced a limited number of shots, it was clear both netminders were on their ‘A’ game through 20 minutes.

Much of the same took place in the second period for Ohio, as their offense looked a step slower than normal. The Bobcats defense also seemed to have their issues in the second period too.

In fact, Ohio’s offense was limited to just 12 shots on goal through 40 minutes.

“Our guys were giving them too much respect,” head coach Sean Hogan said “After the first period I reminded the team that we’re 6-4 or 7-3 in our last 10 against Lindenwood, we’re the team that made the national championship last year. They are fired and juiced to play Ohio. We’re the top dogs here, let’s play like we’re the top dogs.”

On several occasions the ‘Cats allowed Lindenwood to get deep into their offensive zone and had more than a few shots at untying the game.

Once again Jimmy Thomas came to the rescue for Ohio, making one spectacular save after another. If it was not for the superb play of Thomas, the ‘Cats could have very well found themselves down one or more goals.

Thomas bounced back well from last Saturday’s game at Illinois. In just over 43 minutes on the ice he allowed five goals and ended up getting pulled. Thomas was back to his usual stellar performance on Friday night and said he quickly forgot about the game last week.

“You can never dwell on the past, there is nothing you can do to change it so you can’t keep looking back on it,” Thomas said. “It is always who is next, that game was out of my mind by the time we got home off the road trip.”

Ohio found themselves in a battle despite not playing their best. The third period began with the score still at 0-0 and both teams pushing hard to get that go-ahead goal.

It looked as if Ohio and Lindenwood were headed for overtime as neither side would budge defensively.

However, as the clock ticked down, Ohio’s Tyler Harkins controlled the puck and shot one final time before the buzzer sounded.

The referee signaled goal and in unison, the fans and players exploded with emotion. Harkins game-winning goal came with 0.3 seconds to play.

“When something like this happens your emotions take over, it’s an unbelievable feeling,” Harkins said postgame.

After the game, the team and coaching staff alike was full of emotion. This was an important victory for the ‘Cats, especially against a team in their own division.

“I was emotionally charged for this [game] I wanted this [win] pretty bad,” Hogan said postgame. “[Lindenwood] is a pretty big rival of ours and we all wanted this one pretty