[Tanner Watts | WOUB]

A slow start and hot goaltending stall Bobcats against Stony Brook

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – The Ohio Bobcats returned to the ice Friday night for their first game action since Dec. 4 as they played host to the Stony Brook Seawolves. The rust may have been an early factor for the Bobcats as Stony Brook opened with three goals in the opening period which was enough to give the Seawolves the 5-2 victory.

“I think you could tell we were rusty,” head coach Lionel Mauron said. “A couple passes didn’t go our way and we were chasing the game, which is difficult.”

Ohio showed some signs of life in the early stages of the second period. Drew Magyar set up Sam Turner who put the Bobcats on the board with his 11th goal of the season 42 seconds into the period. From there, Ohio continued to threaten with more scoring chances and held the puck in their offensive zone for long periods of time.

“Overall, I’m proud of the effort from the guys,” Mauron said. “After the first period, I thought we were the better team and I thought we deserved it.”

Ohio University Bobcat Philippe Angervil, right, skates after the puck during their game against the Niagara University Purple Eagles, in Athens, Ohio, on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Niagara University went on to win 4-3 in overtime. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they ran into a hot goaltender in Stony Brook’s Matvei Kazakov, who played lights out for the Seawolves Friday night. Kazakov stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced, and he made Ohio frustrated.

The defense in front of Kazakov didn’t play a perfect game, but it was Kazakov who would close the door on any potential scoring opportunities. He flashed the leather at times and was the main reason why Stony Brook came out victorious.

The frustration carried over into the third period. Following John Mclaughlin’s third goal of the season to cut the deficit to 4-2, Stony Brook answered on a Conor Dempsey goal to make it 5-2 with 13 minutes left in the game. That was the insurance Stony Brook needed.

Ohio could not get the better of Kazakov and frustrations boiled over into the third period as two Bobcats were ejected late in the game. Both players were given game misconducts. Ohio couldn’t overcome the early 3-0 deficit and find consistent scoring.

For Stony Brook, they found scoring from some of their players who normally don’t find scoring on a consistent basis. Michael Conlin found the back of the net twice on Friday night, giving him his first two goals of the season. Brandon Avezov netted his first of the season and Matthew Minerva scored his third goal of the season. Dempsey capped it off in the third when he got his third goal of the season.

Coming into Friday’s game, Charles Peck, Brendan Pepe, and Joseph Slevin each had ten or ore goals on the season and Ohio held them to no goals on Friday night. The depth players for the Seawolves truly stepped up when the team needed them the most.

Aside from the slow start, the Bobcats held their own for the final 40 minutes. They battled back and fortunately for them; they’ll get another shot at Stony Brook on Saturday night to close out the weekend series with the Seawolves. Ohio will look to start better and not have to play from behind for most of the game.