Bad luck has started Ohio’s season off on a sour note, and in eerily similar fashion. The Bobcats had hoped to turn their fortunes around following its first loss of the season to Lindenwood. They had been outshot 39-21 in game one, but it was a two-game series. The Bobcats could bounce back.
However, their bad luck at the Centene Community Ice Center persisted, and the Bobcats (0-2) fell to the Lions 4-1 on Wednesday. Ohio’s record has dropped to 0-2 and the Lions’ improves to 6-0.
Wednesday started off just like game one. Both Ohio and Lindenwood looked evenly matched from puck drop, and both played a solid defensive game, with several blocked shots and very few scoring opportunities allowed. Shots on goal were only 6-6 more than halfway through the first period.
But with 1:34 left in the first period, Lindenwood defenseman Brendan Murphy barely snuck the puck past Ohio goaltender Max Karlenzig to give Lindenwood the early 1-0 lead. Forward Aiden Grieco responded with a goal of his own to tie the game just before the period ended, but it wouldn’t last. Grieco would be the only Bobcat to find the net on Wednesday.
By the end of the second period, it was a two-goal game.
Just like the day before, Ohio kept battling, trying to come from behind. However, both teams struggled to find the net. Karlenzig and Lindenwood goalie Cooper Seedott were locked in and shut down any scoring opportunities for the remainder of the game.
As the clock ran down, Ohio decided to pull Karlenzig in an attempt to catch up to the Lions. With 0:39 remaining in regulation, Lindenwood forward Andy Willis scored an empty-netter to seal the deal at 4-1.
For the second game in a row, Ohio was outshot. Lindenwood peppered Karlenzig with 46 shots on net, more than double Ohio’s 20.
Karlenzig put up an impressive performance, stopping 42 of those shots. But with Lindenwood controlling the puck in Ohio’s defensive zone for large portions of the second and third periods, the goaltender had no time to relax.
While Ohio struggled with penalty minutes, it did manage to force the Lions into the same position. The Bobcats spent 26 minutes in the box on Wednesday, and the Lions were hit with 21 minutes.
A majority of those penalty minutes came from the second period, when Murphy was speared and was seen crawling off the ice. Multiple scrums broke out, and many unpleasant words were exchanged between the Bobcats and the Lions.
Similarly, a fight broke out in the third period between Shawn Baird and Lindenwood forward Caleb Ernst, who dropped the gloves behind the net and threw multiple jabs at each other while on the ice.
It was a tough, physical game and the Bobcats fought to stay alive until the end. But ultimately, the issues from game one continued to haunt them.
Ohio’s next game is Feb. 8 at Bird Arena. They will be taking on Liberty (2-3).