[Payton Brooker | WOUB]

Third period goals propel Liberty past Ohio

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — On one of the last home games of the year for the Ohio men’s hockey team, they suffered a close loss against the Liberty Flames.

The team fought to the end of the 60 minutes but unfortunately fell short of their goal. Even though goals by JT Schimizzi and John McLaughlin kept them in the match, the Flames firepower was too much for the Bobcats. The final score was 4-2 and the Bobcats will have one more chance to defeat Liberty tomorrow.

The contest started out as close as a game could possibly start.

Not only did the offenses both advance the puck, but also the defenses were able to hold those offenses from preventing goals. Although there were no goals throughout most of the first period there were plenty of scoring opportunities.

The opportunity finally capitalized for the Bobcats at the 3:28 mark. After multiple shots on net none other than JT Schimizzi ripped the puck into the top left corner of the net to put the Bobcats on the board. The first period ended in the same way although Liberty started to gain momentum.

This momentum carried heavily into the second period as it was all Liberty all the time.

Within a minute of the second period beginning, Liberty winger Jason Foltz scored a breakaway goal off a beautiful transition pass from Jackson Verccellono. Not even seven minutes later the Flames added another goal to take the lead. Later At this point in the game Liberty was absolutely dominating Ohio. From the boards to time of possession, the Flames were not even letting Ohio get skaters in the offensive zone, let alone shots.

Both of Ohio’s goals Friday night came when they were in the power play.

“I’m happy that we’re here. We’re producing on special teams,” Ohio head coach Lionel Mauron said. “At the end of the day in those games that’s the difference maker. We need to continue to perform on special teams.”

A little after half way past the midway point of the second the Bobcats rallied and eventually tied up the game. On another power play at the 9:18 mark Freshman John McLaughlin knotted in a goal from almost the blue line. A rocket of a shot into the top left handed corner made it a game all tied up.

The third period started similarly to the second as Liberty clipped on early, at the 16:23 minute. This time is was the sophomore Kam Ottenbreit of the rebound from a teammates shot attempt. From this moment on it was back and forth, Ohio could not score yet Liberty could not take a two goal lead. The game was over by this point and with 1:08 and no sign of momentum by Ohio, Liberty ended it once and for all. The Senior Matt Bartel tapped in the last goal of the match to make it 4-2 Flames. Ohio put up a good fight but the Flames were too hot.

The Bobcats and Flames are back in action Saturday at 7 p.m. from Bird Arena.  It is Ohio’s senior night.