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Ohio's Grant Hazel and Derek Rahme move the puck away from Robert Morris' Stan Sojka during a game at Bird Arena on Nov. 20. 

Hockey: Ohio can't get offense going, falls to Arizona

The Bobcats fell to the Wildcats 3-2.

At the beginning of arguably Ohio’s toughest stretch of games this season, the Bobcats needed to jump start their long weekend with a defeat of No. 18 ACHA foe Arizona heading into a weekend series with NCAA opponent Arizona State.

After Thursday’s 3-2 loss at the hands of Arizona, the Bobcats must re-group, and in a hurry.

The No. 7 Bobcats (23-5-1) fell Thursday at the hands of the Wildcats (7-10-3) in a matchup where the Bobcats couldn’t get their offense going enough to catch up with the Wildcats.

“We’re we just slow tonight,” coach Sean Hogan said. “We looked tired. We were a step behind. Maybe it was the trip, but it was disappointing for sure.”

Ohio fell behind early in the first period and had to fight to tie the game twice after that, but couldn’t muster enough offensive firepower to put another one home to tie the game late in the third period.

Both of the Bobcats goals came courtesy of the powerplay, with sophomore defenseman Jake Faiella and junior defenseman Mike LaFrenier scoring with the man advantage.

But each time the Bobcats answered, the Wildcats came back with a counter-attack of their own.

“I think our guys were ready to play, we just couldn’t get it going,” Hogan said.

In the first period, the Wildcats struck on a cross-crease play in front of the Bobcat net and junior goalie Aaron Alkema. A protest by the Bobcats, who said the puck did not cross the line, did not merit any results, and the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead.

“We didn’t think it went in, but it was hard to say,” Hogan said.

The squads went back and forth for the duration of the contest, trading goals until Arizona’s knockout punch in the third frame.

The Bobcats threw everything they had at the Wildcats net in the final period, but a late powerplay couldn’t net any results, and Ohio ultimately fell.

The homecoming wasn't what Hogan or junior defenseman Alex Vazquez had hoped for, both returning to face Arizona for the first time since leaving for Athens.

Ohio won’t have time to rest for the next game, however. It’ll take a 109-mile trip north to take on Division I NCAA Arizona State in less than 24 hours.

“We just need to be faster, flat out faster,” Hogan said. “We just need to get to pucks quicker tomorrow. We’re gonna need to be much much better. We just looked tired tonight.”

@AGill072

ag079513@ohio.edu

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