Ohio lost its fifth-straight game Thursday night to Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan. The Bobcats are still winless to start the season after the 8-4 setback against the undefeated Bulldogs.
Ohio (0-5) was clearly the underdog against Adrian (8-0), but the Bobcats made many mistakes throughout the entire game that made things unnecessarily more difficult for themselves.
Here are the numbers to know from Ohio’s 8-4 loss to Adrian on the road:
The Bobcats were outshot by the Bulldogs 50-28, a 22-shot difference.
Ohio has had shot problems all season so far, managing to only tie its opponent in shots-on-goal once this season in a loss to Liberty. When the team cannot create scoring opportunities for itself, the defense can only do so much when the puck is in its territory throughout most of the game.
Last year, the Bobcats almost always had the more aggressive offense on the ice even during losses thanks to producers like Gianni Evangelisti. This year, the offense has struggled. The team has plenty of talented potential scorers but has yet to find a working system to make things easier on the defense.
Ohio gave up four goals to Adrian in the second period, which is the most it’s allowed so far this season. Ohio coach Cole Bell said himself that his team was not built to win shootouts but rather win in close, defensive matchups. The offense managed to save the second period from being a complete disaster thanks to goals from Andrew Sacca and Kyle Craddick. But the situation still put Ohio in too bad of a spot going into the third period, and this isn’t the first time this has happened this year.
After a first period that was mostly dominated by the Bulldogs, but still saw the Bobcats keep it close, it was clear that Adrian had the superior adjustments going into the second period. Ohio’s defense has been at its best in the first period of games this season, but it has to match its opponents’ adjustments if it wants to win games.
The most glaring and obvious number is also the most disappointing. The Bobcats gave themselves challenging opponents this year, and while they’ve kept it close in most of the games, they’ve been unable to finish the job.
Ohio has started its season with five losses, something that seems foreign to a team that’s used to starting its season with hot win streaks. The Bobcats have had many things go against them, such as getting a late start to the season and having its schedule rearranged early on. Still, with its next three games being against Adrian, 0-8 is a worrying possibility.
Ohio will get a rematch against Adrian on Friday night, but this time the game will played in the Bobcats’ territory in Bird Arena. Adrian is still favored against Ohio, but if the Bobcats can adjust as well as the Bulldogs after the first period, then they’ll have a good shot at their first win of the season.