Ohio was racking shots up. The goals didn’t come though.
The Bobcats recorded 49 shots Friday night in Bird Arena. Only two of them went in. Those two goals weren’t enough, as Ohio lost to Kent State 3-2.
It looked just like any other Ohio game: pouring in tons of shots, dominating puck possession as the game wore on. The only difference? A lack of scoring.
It looked like that typical game the Bobcats play. But something was off.
“We just didn’t play our game,” coach Sean Hogan said bluntly.
Hogan is a realist about his team. He praises the good, and he isn’t afraid to call out the bad. When Ohio plays like it did, Hogan’s aggravation is clear.
There was a lot missing for the Bobcats on the 47 shots that didn’t find the back of the net. A shot too early with the back side opening for a one-timer from the slot that never happened. Too late of a shot that there was no angle to shoot from.
That all comes down to Hogan’s simple analysis of what went wrong. His team didn’t play within its structure, within itself. The fundamentals were lost, and with that, so was the game.
“Nobody worked hard,” Hogan said. “We didn’t work. We overlooked the team completely.”
The game wore on, and Ohio’s lead in shots grew. It had four more shots than Kent State at the end of the first period — with not a lot of offensive zone time. In the middle period, the Golden Flashes only had four shots. The final difference ended at 35 more shots.
If one of those 35 shots weren’t saved by Kent State’s goalie Alex Okicki — who had to be stretchered off the ice late in the game after a collision with Tom Pokorney — Ohio might not have lost Friday’s game. No matter if that potential win would have came in overtime or in regulation, the reality of the loss stings just as much.
To play a game that fits the mold of what Ohio is, with the tons of shots and tons of puck possession, and lose the way it did hurt Ohio.
Hurt its coach, with Hogan calling it one of the most embarrassing losses of his career. Hurt the team, with frustrations clear on the ice, and off the ice in the locker room. Hurt the Bobcats’ chances at a first round bye at the American Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament.
No matter how it hurt, or how much it hurt, the Bobcats have to return to the ice tomorrow and send their seniors off for their last game at Bird. The hope within the team is that it’s going to go better, but it’s going to take a reversal back to the team, to its fundamentals, to get the results it wants.
But for Friday, the game could only be summed up one way: straight-forward.
“That was atrocious,” Hogan said.