For the eighth time this season, the chant "Sweep! Sweep! Sweep!" echoed out of the Ohio locker room.

Ohio defeated Pitt 4-1 Saturday night, giving Ohio its 22nd win and its final win versus a ranked team in the regular season.

The Bobcats dominated the Panthers from start to finish in the weekend finale and rarely allowed Pitt to establish any offensive presence. It didn't matter whether the teams were at even strength or if the Panthers were on the power-play.

In Friday night's game, Ohio relied on the defense to create the offense. Each team was playing sloppy, resulting in six goals coming off turnovers. That was not the case Saturday night. 

Instead, Ohio was more focused and had significantly fewer turnovers. That disabled Pitts' ability to create offense throughout the game. 

"Tonight we played a full 60 minutes," coach Cole Bell said. "Last night, we played a great first few periods, finished off strong in the third but definitely had a dip in intensity."

Goaltender Jimmy Thomas echoed the words of his head coach.

Kyle Craddick (#8) celebrates with Scott Bagby (#24) after Bagby’s first goal of the season during their 4-1 win over Pitt on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 in Bird Arena. 

"I thought we were a lot more focused tonight," Thomas said. "Tonight the guys were engaged. Today, we were very focused, very engaged, and I think everyone stepped up and played well today.

The Bobcats and Thomas allowed just one goal on 30 shots. The defense gave its goalie a lot of help when it came to causing havoc on Pitt's offense.

Penalty minutes was the only shortcoming tonight for the No. 6 team in the nation. Ohio spent 16 minutes in the penalty box but was only short a guy five times. One of the times Ohio was short a man was the only time the Panthers were able to score, though. 

This was a result of a game that was chippy from the beginning. These two teams have a history of physical, scrum-filled battles.

In the third period alone, the Bobcats were on the penalty kill three times. Thomas and the penalty killers were able to prevent the Panthers from scoring, though, and preserved the lead. 

"We are a three-man system back there," Thomas said. "We are always talking, communicating, and helping each other out. We're letting each other know where the puck is or where a man is. We're always helping each other out."

Now that the Bobcats have played their final game against a ranked opponent, this was their last chance to move up in the rankings barring an upset on the top. 

@17_Andrew_

aa816819@ohio.edu