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Ohio's Patrick Spellacy, left, tries to keep Kent State from scoring during the game on Sept. 30, 2016. Ohio won 4-0. (EMILY MATTHEWS | PHOTO EDITOR)

Hockey: Ohio splits weekend series with Illinois

The Bobcats traveled to Champaign, Illinois for a series with Illinois over the weekend. The series was split, with the Bobcats losing 5-4 on Friday, but bouncing back to win 4-1 on Saturday.

Ohio (24-5-1) now has just two games remaining — a weekend series against Iowa State — before the CSCHL playoffs begin.

Blown Save

The Bobcats scored two quick first-period goals and were clinging to a 4-3 lead heading into the third period of Friday night’s contest.

After conceding a power play goal that tied the game, the Bobcats had a chance to take the lead when a shot hit the crossbar.

The rebounded puck was taken the other way with an Illini 2-on-1 chance they capitalized on, scoring the game-deciding goal.

Although Jimmy Thomas gave up five goals, coach Sean Hogan praised Thomas’ play, citing a lack of help in front of him was the cause of those goals.

“(Thomas) made a lot of saves,” Hogan said. “(Illinois) had a couple breakaways, and that game could’ve been worse.”

Adversity

To say Ohio was dealing with some adversity over the weekend was an understatement.

Four Bobcat players and Hogan were all in Kazakhstan until Thursday night, when they met the team in Champaign for the games. The Bobcats were also without leading scorer Gianni Evangelisti for the weekend.

Those players could not practice with the team all week, throwing off some chemistry on the ice, and it showed in Friday night’s loss.

“It was just disjointed,” Hogan said. “(Friday) was just a weird game.”

After finally getting some ice time as a team, the Bobcats finished the weekend strong with the 4-1 victory, scoring three goals in the third period.

“I was pretty proud of the way the guys responded,” Hogan said. “All that travel and then not practicing together, but we figured it out Saturday, so that was good.”

@spencerholbrook

sh690914@ohio.edu

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