All season long, players and coaches at Ohio have stressed that the only thing that matters is winning championships. On Sunday, they came up just short of its goal.
No. 1 Lindenwood defeated No. 4 Ohio 9-4 in the annual Central States Collegiate Hockey League Championship.
A defensive collapse occurred for the Bobcats in the championship game. Stand-out goalie Jimmy Thomas played in only the first 20 minutes of the game as sophomore Jackson Chilberg filled in for the remainder of the game
In his 40 minutes of playing time, Chilberg let in seven of Lindenwood’s nine goals.
Offensively speaking, Ohio was able to find ways to score against the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s best team.
Forwards Tyler Harkins, Zach Frank and Ryan Higgins all managed to find the back of the net as well as defenseman Jake Houston.
Penalties also disrupted Ohio’s opportunity for a more even-keeled game as it totaled 66 minutes of penalties that included three game disqualifications. While the Lions too had their share of penalties — 64 minutes — the No. 1 team behind solid goaltending claimed the 2018-19 CSCHL Tournament Championship.
While the Bobcats may not have found success in the championship game, they did find it in the semifinals against Iowa State.
Ohio defeated Iowa State 2-1 with goals from Frank and Garrett Jenkins.
Thomas posted a .966 save percentage against the Cyclones with the one goal scored on a breakaway opportunity.
During the regular season, Ohio won the season series 3-1, backed behind a sweep over the Cyclones in Athens on March 1-2. The two teams have gone back-and-forth in the American Collegiate Hockey Association national poll with Ohio landing in the No. 4 spot for the national tournament.
Iowa State will face off against No. 12 Stony Brook in the ACHA National Tournament in Frisco, Texas.
Ohio will face the winner of No. 13 UNLV and No. 20 Robert Morris-Pennsylvania in the ACHA National Tournament on March 22. Ohio defeated UNLV in overtime in last season’s ACHA National Tournament.