Ohio’s Andrew Sacca (18) scored a goal in Ohio’s game against Adrian College on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (PHOTO: Chris J. Day/WOUB)

Ohio Bobcats Hockey: Ohio Falls to Adrian, now 1-6-0 on Season

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 ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – After a week off, the Ohio Bobcats Hockey team returned to action Friday night, against a familiar foe in the Adrian Bulldogs. Last week, Ohio notched its first win of the season against the Bulldogs, and on Friday night, Adrian avenged last week’s loss with a 5-2 win over Ohio thanks to four third period goals.

Ohio came out with a strong opening 40 minutes. Freshman goaltender Max Karlenzig, stopping 21 of the 22shots he faced in the first two periods. The defense was playing well around him, limiting a lot of second chance opportunities. Karlenzig wasn’t afraid from making a few highlight-reel saves from point-blank range as well.

On the other end of the ice, Ohio created a lot of great scoring opportunities and held the puck for long periods of the time in the Adrian end of the ice. Ohio found the back of the net twice. First, Timmy Thurnau scored a beauty of a wrist shot as he beat Adrian’s Michael Barrett high, upper left corner off an Adrian turnover.

Ohio's Andrew Sacca (18) skates with the puck in the offensive zone during Ohio's game against Adrian College on Feb. 19, 2021. (Photo: Chris J. Day/WOUB)
Ohio’s Andrew Sacca (18) skates with the puck in the offensive zone during Ohio’s game against Adrian College on Feb. 19, 2021. (Photo: Chris J. Day/WOUB)

The Bobcats would make the score 2-1 with 2:24 left in the second period after Kyle Craddick circled around the net and found Andrew Sacca on the back door who buried the puck in the gaping net.

“The first 40 (minutes) was great. It was exactly how we drew it up. The boys were playing well, and we were confident heading into the third period,” Ohio head coach Cole Bell said.

It took only 40 seconds for Adrian to find the equalizer in the third period as Matteo Digiulio jumped on a rebound and scored on the powerplay. Digiulio would find the back of the net again on a 2-on-1, burying another rebound to make it 3-2 just over four minutes into the third.

Despite the solid 40 minutes, Karlenzig struggled handling the puck in the third period as Adrian scored their fourth and fifth goals from Austin Kuhn and Luke Burke off of a few mishandlings of the puck. On the fifth goal in particular, it looked like Karlenzig caught the initial shot with his glove, but the puck squirted out and Burke was there to put it in the back of the net.

Ohio was unable to score any of their three power play opportunities and had trouble creating quality shots on the man advantage. On top of that, Ohio took a lot of penalties at inopportune times, including a penalty that led to the game-tying goal in the third.

“It certainly hurts especially when you get things going and you have guys going to the penalty box. It definitely killed momentum,” Bell said. “We can’t spend so much time on the (penalty) kill if we expect to win hockey games.”

Adrian has won two of the first three against Ohio, and this win improves their record to 9-1-0 on the season. For Ohio, this loss drops them to 1-6-0 on the season. Fortunately for the Bobcats, they won’t have a whole lot of time to think about this one as they will travel to Adrian and take them on in the series finale on Saturday night.

“The easiest way to get this loss out of your mind is get right back at it. That’s the beauty of how the schedule in college hockey is set up. We get an opportunity to even up the series against Adrian. Going 2-2 against them isn’t too bad,” Bell said. “The guys are competitors and will look forward to that tomorrow night.”