[Joe Collins | WOUB]

Ohio bounces back in feisty game against Maryville

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – After dropping the first game of its two game series against Maryville Friday night, the Ohio Hockey team bounced back in a big way on Saturday while providing quite the spectacle for the fans at Bird Arena.

The physicality and scrappiness both teams displayed existed all night from the moment the first puck was dropped, with the refs whistling for a power play less than a minute into the first period.

Tempers flared early in the game, and that rough environment would only escalate from there.

11 minutes into the first period, Ohio freshman phenom Luc Reeve scored his league-leading 19th goal, taking the puck at a tight angle and firing a wrist-shot past the goaltender and catching him off guard.

Just over a minute later, Ryan Higgins doubles the lead for the Bobcats by burying the rebound off a deflected shot.

Ohio went on a shooting barrage, and were seeming to be in control after notching its third goal with 5:40 left in the opening period, but Maryville quickly answered with two goals of its own to make things competitive with the score at 3-2 heading into the first intermission.

As the second period wore on, the sparks of violence burst into a flame. There were several fights, skirmishes and complaints to referees.

Jack Glen tries to escape defenders and go towards the puck
Jack Glen tries to move past defenders and go towards the puck [Alex Eicher | WOUB]
Two Maryville players were ejected, and the team amassed 36 penalty minutes throughout the contest. Early in the third period, Ohio scored two goals within 30 seconds to give them a three goal cushion.

One notable reason why the Bobcats were able to go on such a scoring spree after being shut out the night prior is due to the sub-par performance of Maryville goaltender Johnny Massara.

Several shots he faced could have been saved, but a mixture of terrible positioning and overall awareness on the ice contributed to him conceding five goals on 11 shots with an abysmal 55% save percentage.

His replacement Ed Coffey kept a personal clean sheet by saving all of the other 23 shots on target, but his efforts were not enough as Ohio closed out the game, winning 5-3.

Even after the final buzzer, the bad blood between the teams ran deep as fists were still swinging, most notably Ohio forward Laker Aldridge who took on three Maryville players at once.

“My Reeve on the line was getting kind of bodied and the next thing I know, Coach Leo’s pulling me out of the pile,” Aldridge said. “I’m like ‘hey coach, whatcha doing here?’ That was interesting, I got to see his smiling face.”

After all that was said and done, Ohio head coach Lionel Mauron was proud of his team’s performance in a tough victory.

“I think when you do the right things God has a way to get a few pucks and bounces your way and that’s what happened,” Mauron said. “Overall, we deserved that result.”

The Bobcats get a chance to rest up for a bit before taking the ice again at home on Dec. 2 against the Toledo Rockets.