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Ohio's Tyler Pecka skates toward his team as members of Oklahoma's team celebrate their win after a hockey game on February 7, 2015, at Bird Arena in Athens, Ohio. Ohio lost the game in overtime with a score of 3 to 2. 

Ohio’s losing streak doubles as it drops two games to Oklahoma

The Bobcats fall to 0-4 without Team USA members as Oklahoma earns a weekend sweep.

After getting swept by Robert Morris last weekend, No. 3 Ohio was out to prove that the losses were not indicative of what this team would look like in the final weeks of the season.

While it struggled to find chemistry and opportunistic scoring on the ice, Ohio allowed Robert Morris just enough leeway to hand them a series sweep, their first two losses of the season at home.

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This weekend was supposed to be different. And that’s what had associate head coach David Nies “at a loss for words” following a second consecutive sweep.

No. 8 Oklahoma fought through a penalty-filled Friday night game to defeat Ohio 3-1 in front of the Sibs Weekend crowd. Saturday, after playing most of the game with a lead, the Bobcats fell victim to better shooting by the Sooners and fell 3-2 in overtime.

“We battled hard, obviously the guys really wanted this win, but Oklahoma was able to put some pucks on the net that we weren’t,” Nies said. “We’ve got to dig deeper, and that starts this week in practice.”

Friday’s game began with a scoreless first period, despite Ohio (24-6-4) dominating the puck, outshooting the Sooners 18-4 going into intermission. Oklahoma then drew first blood less than a minute into the second period, and held that lead entering the third.

View more photos of Saturday's game, taken by an Ohio University "sib"

Logan Pfeffer was able to finally get the Bobcats on the board with just under ten minutes to play in the third period, tying the game at one. Oklahoma (23-7-2) was quick to respond, however, and regained the lead just four minutes later.

The Sooners would go on to add an empty net goal. Ohio saw Saturday’s game play out much more in their favor but, similar to last Saturday’s contest against Robert Morris, failed to maintain the clutch defense necessary to hold the lead down the stretch.

The Bobcats were the first team on the scoreboard in Saturday’s game, thanks to Patrick Spellacy taking a Tom Whetsel pass and landing the puck in the net just five minutes into the game.

This time, the Sooners were slower on the draw and wouldn’t match the Bobcats’ effort until there was less than nine minutes remaining in the second period. Just under a minute later, the Bobcats answered with Spellacy’s second goal of the night to regain the lead.

Ohio continued to outwork Oklahoma for the majority of the third period, but were finally caught off guard with 4:11 left in regulation, as the Sooners’ Senate Patton snuck a shot past Bobcats’ goalie Ryan Heltion to tie the game.

Oklahoma took just over a minute to end the game in sudden death overtime, finishing off a second straight sweep in Bird Arena at the expense of Ohio.

“We’ve just got to bare down and finish,” Spellacy said. “The D-zone’s got to be working hard, and (the offense) has to work just as hard as the D-zone. We’ve done a good job of that all season, and I’m not sure why we’ve collapsed a little bit at the end of games.”

The Bobcats once again fell victim to the same power play inefficiency that plagued them against Robert Morris. After going 0-11 with man advantages against the Eagles, Ohio turned out a 0-9 showing against Oklahoma.

“It’s going to take a greasy, greasy goal just to get us off the power play schnide,” Nies said. “I think we had a lot of good puck movement (Saturday), we possessed the puck and we got shots on net. We just didn’t have the bodies down in front.”

The sweep brings Ohio’s losing streak to four games, all at home, as it prepares to enter its final weekend of the season, hosting Illinois. The series will be an important opportunity to salvage momentum for a team that just two weeks ago was 17-0 at home but could enter the league tournament riding a six game losing streak if it is swept a third straight weekend.

“We’ve just got to go out and compete and battle,” Spellacy said. “Next weekend is senior night, and those guys want to go out on the right foot. We need to make stuff happen and be a hard team to play against.”


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