Patrick Spellacy scored the game-tying goal with under a minute remaining and the game-winning goal in the shootout in order to give the Ohio Bobcats a 4-3 victory over the Lindenwood Lions.
The Bobcats attack was aggressive early on with big opportunities for Garrett Williams and Logan Pfeffer. However, the first goal went to Lindenwood just over halfway through the first period following a failed powerplay opportunity. With a tic-tac-toe play, Daniel Rosse carried in on the right side and sent a cross-ice pass to Taylor Wolfe who tapped the pass to the trailer, Jeremy Edwards. Edwards hit a quick one-timer past Aaron Alkema’s glove as he was caught moving side to side and unable to catch up.
“Games like this where you have a rival and a team as good as they are, guys tend to get a little bit excited and that kind of showed,” said Ohio Head Coach Jonathan Sheridan. “You can’t let your emotions get the best of you, you have to keep the highs not too high and the lows not too low. You have to be even-keeled, and I think at times that kind of got to us.”
A response came shortly thereafter. The Bobcats failed on their own powerplay attempt, but as the time ran out on it Michael Harris held the puck in the zone and moved forward. Just inside the line, he fired off a shot that was blocked point blank. The rebound bounced straight back to his stick and he immediately fired it through traffic by the glove hand for his second straight game with a goal after eight straight scoreless.
“It’s good to see him start to score again, he was a great guy for us last year putting pucks in the net,” said Sheridan. “He did struggle a little bit, but guys like that tend to find a way to score. I know it was bothering him a little bit, and there was a relief there to get the goal.”
In the second period, the game seemed to slow down. The Bobcats held Lindenwood to only four shots on goal, but ended the period down 2-1 following a goal by Peppi Sipila with just over a minute remaining in the period. The goal came straight off a face-off win in the Bobcats zone. Alkema was unable to locate the shot through traffic, and the deflection went five-hole.
Entering the third period down 2-1, the Bobcats attacked early on a powerplay just over four minutes into the game. Matt Hartman sent the pass from behind the net to Patrick Spellacy on the left side, and after some patience he fired a pass to Mike Kretz in the slot. The one-timer hit off the goaltender and flipped over him for the tying goal.
“We performed when we needed and we blocked a lot of shots tonight, which is nice when you have guys sacrificing for the guy next to them,” Sheridan said. “We have stuff to clean up for tomorrow, but I think we’ll be ready to play.”
Lindenwood was able to take the lead back nearly four minutes later off a big mistake from the Bobcats. While the defense was spread out, a breakout pass was intercepted at the blue line by Steve Brancheau giving him a wide open opportunity. He took a few steps forward then fired a wrist shot by Alkema’s glove for the 3-2 lead.
The Bobcats would find themselves with multiple opportunities to tie the game, but couldn’t manage to cross the goal line. As the clock ticked by to under a minute remaining, Alkema was called to the bench for an extra attacker. Halfway there, Patrick Spellacy received a pass from Brett Agnew and crossed to the middle of the zone. He rifled a shot five-hole, forcing overtime.
“Great game by Spels,” said Sheridan. “I think he struggled a little at first, and I think he was down on himself for that so it was good to see him come out in the third and bounce back from it and get the two goals at the end.”
Overtime was a stark contrast to regulation, as Lindenwood put up five shots to Ohio’s one. However, neither team was able to find the back of the net and the game went to a shootout. Both teams first shooter scored with impressive wrist shots, but the next shooters would be denied. The fourth round found both teams hitting off the post, but the fifth round would end it.
Patrick Spellacy carried into the zone and drifted toward the right side. He quickly fired the shot to the far side, hitting off the arm of the goaltender and bouncing into the net.
The Bobcats are back in action again Saturday night once again playing Lindenwood.