No. 5 Ohio split its weekend series on the road at Central States Collegiate Hockey League rival No. 13 Illinois.

While on paper, the split might be disappointing to some, the Bobcats earned four points on the weekend. They won in regulation Friday night and lost in a three-round shootout in Saturday’s game.

Here’s a closer look at Ohio’s weekend in Champaign, Illinois.

Hot start

Ohio traveled nearly 400 miles to play Illinois. The Bobcats sat on a bus most of the day, tried to get in a quick nap and still had to play a full game.

What’s typical of road games for most teams is the home program has the upper-hand in Friday games. For Illinois, however, this was not the case.

In the Bobcats’ 1-0 win over the Illini, the game’s most exciting offensive moment happened just 10 minutes in.

On a two-on-one rush in Ohio’s favor, forward Gianni Evangelisti surged toward the high right slot and he had two options: pass or shoot.

Without hesitation, the junior passed it to Garrett Jenkins, who buried it on the Illini’s goalie stick-side. Jenkins’ goal was the only goal in the tight league contest.

via @OhioBobcatsHockey on Twitter

For the Bobcats, the win was their first win against a league opponent since Dec. 8 when they defeated the Illini 4-3 in overtime.

Overtime woes continue

The aforementioned overtime win against Illinois was a brief highlight in a slew of downfalls in overtime games this season.

The overtime woes continued as Ohio lost 3-2 in a three-round shootout.

Once again, Ohio got off to a quick start when freshman forward Ryan Higgins scored just three minutes into the game.

Sandwiched by two Illinois goals in the second period, senior defenseman Nick Grose tied the game with three minutes left in regulation.

From there, it was all Illinois, however, as it killed off an Ohio power play in overtime and then ultimately won the shootout after freshman forward Drew Magyar was unable to find the back of the net.

Quick numbers

4: Even though the Bobcats lost Saturday’s game, they still came away with computer points from both nights.

1: Goalie Jimmy Thomas is just one shutout away from tying both the regular season record and the career record. Thomas set the regular season record last year with six. Former goalie Paul Marshall holds the record for career shutouts with 15.

6: Following Saturday’s loss, Ohio now has six overtime losses on the season. That’s tied for the most overtime losses under coach Sean Hogan.


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