No. 3 Ohio knew it would find a kink in the machine sooner rather than later. It’s coasted through less-than opponents, up until this weekend when it split its first Central States Collegiate Hockey League series of the year at No. 10 Iowa State.
It’s almost a text book CSCHL game. The shot on goal differential is a single digit margin, the teams take an almost equal amount of penalties and yet, none of that was reflected on the scoreboard as the Bobcats defeated the Cyclones 4-1 on Friday night.
“I thought we capitalized on some really good chances,” coach Sean Hogan said over the phone Sunday. “We did a lot of things we talked about offensively; We controlled the pace of the game.”
The Bobcats scored half of their goals in under a minute during the third period, which is something they’ve done frequently this season.
Ohio’s freshmen were quite active on the scoresheet as three of the four tallied points.
“I’m really proud of them so far this year,” Hogan said. “They’ve all played well and they’ll only get better as the season goes on.”
It looked as if Ohio was still riding the wave it had created the night before. Just 19 seconds into the game, Tom Pokorney scored and at the end of the first period, the Bobcats led 2-1.
The lead, however, was their last, as the Cyclones defeated the Bobcats 5-3 to split the series.
“Saturday was disappointing because we felt like we let a sweep slip away” Hogan said. “We had a ton of momentum and then lost it.”
Ohio’s momentum dwindled once it let Iowa State score a 4-on-3 power play goal.
“You could feel it (the momentum) begin to shift and that’s when we got frustrated.”
The Bobcats frustrations were evident as it took 26 minutes’ worth of penalties compared to Iowa State’s 12.
“It was one of those things I guess where they don’t learn it until it happens,” Hogan said. “All year we’ve been saying that taking dumb penalties will catch up to us and it did (on Saturday).”
Now that the Bobcats have played against talent that’s on-par with theirs, Hogan is hopeful they learned their lesson about penalties.
“We had plenty of chances to win that game, but we didn’t.”
Ohio (7-1) won’t take the ice until Nov. 2 and 3 as it will host Davenport in a non-league series.