The Ohio Bobcats hockey team (11-4-1) took 54 shots in a dominating 9-1 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers (4-7-1) on Saturday night.
Scoring opened up early for the Bobcats. Just five minutes into the game Duncan Green received a pass at the blue line. He fired a wrist shot low into traffic that was deflected by Brett Agnew toward the right side. Though the save was made, Matt Hartman jumped on the opportunity and hammered the rebound home for the first goal of the game.
“We came ready to play, thankfully,” said head coach Jonathan Sheridan. “We’ve been struggling with that after our win the night before, so we really wanted to come out hot and put the game away early.”
It wouldn’t take long for the Bobcats to keep their momentum moving. Three minutes later, Matt Hartman was able to get the steal and toss the puck through traffic toward Patrick Spellacy. Though it was nearly tipped away by the defense, Spellacy corralled it and raced ahead for a breakaway while faking out the goalie and putting the puck just by the outstretched leg.
With that goal came a penalty on the Hoosiers for slashing which gave the Bobcats a big opportunity to take a three-goal lead in just the first half of the period. After setting up their powerplay in the zone, Indiana was unable to get the clear and after a minute of cycling the Bobcats found themselves with a prime scoring chance. Tom Whetsel ran the play from below the goal line and sent it to Liam Geither along the blue line. Geither passed it to the right for Michael Harris, who faked out the defender and threaded the needle with a pass to Whetsel cutting hard toward the net for a tap-in goal.
After another goal from Joe Breslin, the Bobcats held steady on their attack. With a face-off win in the offensive zone, the puck went back to Paul Sergi. He fired a slap shot that was knocked down, but found by Nick Hudek. Hudek fired a no-look backhand pass across the crease and through the defense for a one-timer by Logan Pfeffer which found the back of the net.
The Bobcats would manage another goal later in the period from Garrett Williams and take the 6-0 lead into the first intermission.
“We want to do things our way and play in our system with hard work and getting pucks to the net,” Sheridan said. “I think they kind of got their legs going. I talked about yesterday how we had a slower week of practice, kind of low on intensity. So they had that mindset from yesterday of what to do and they were doing it, came out ready to go.”
It didn’t take long for them to start firing away yet again in the second period. Only two and a half minutes in, a shot by Scott Fasano was deflected in by Nathan De La Torre. Just three minutes after that came a goal from David Ramos thanks to soft hands and great vision from Tom Whetsel. Whetsel stole the puck, sidestepped a defender and made the pass behind him between defenders to find Ramos coming in as a trailer. He held for a moment and fired by the glove.
They found the back of the net once more in the first half of the period where Derek Rahme fired into a wide open net for the 9-0 lead. That goal would be the ninth different Bobcat to score on the evening as well.
“It’s nice when you have guys scoring like that,” said Sheridan. “You don’t have to rely heavily on one line to do it. So it’s a lot more fun when guys are scoring. They’re having a lot more fun.”
Following a penalty call on Jack Mannion for holding, the Bobcats scored yet again on the powerplay from hard work in front. Following what appeared to be the goal, an Indiana player cross-checked Hartman in the back and a near-brawl started. It ended when Scott Fasano and Nick Lucy found themselves helmets and gloves off challenging each other to a fight. Lucy was given a game disqualification, while Fasano sat in the box.
The goal was disallowed due to a holding call on Mike Kretz, and unsportsmanlike conduct was called on both Hartman and Jake Bland, who hit him originally.
The Hoosiers got on the board with just over two and a half minutes left in the period off a tip-in from Andrew Newman.
“There’s a lot of things we did wrong,” said Sheridan. “You have to build up on that. When the games get closer, the small things are what matter, so you have to emphasize that. When the game is 1-1 and you do something wrong, it can end up in the back of your net. We had the 9-1 lead, so it’s nice but you have to focus on the details instead of the big picture kind of thing.”
After an intense second period, the third featured only one penalty and the game ended with a 9-1 victory for the Bobcats. Ohio now travels to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers on Sunday night before returning home again next weekend against Lindenwood.