Following the second period of hockey at Bird Arena Friday night, Ohio appeared to be in control of the game. The Bobcats had just taken a one-goal lead against Adrian.
Ohio found itself in the same position it was in at the same point of the game a week prior, when it came out on top by a goal.
What followed was a period of hockey completely dominated by Adrian (9-1), and Ohio (1-6) would lose 5-2.
Coach Cole Bell seemed satisfied with his team’s performance despite the loss. He noted that the Bobcats played well for a large portion of the game and that Adrian had some lucky breaks that led to its scoring chances.
“I think the first forty minutes we played really well,“ Bell said. “We played exactly how we wanted to, and I thought we controlled most of the game up until that point.”
Even though Adrian outplayed Ohio in the third period, Bell pointed out that Adrian had some luck that led to its goals.
“I think early in the third, they got a couple lucky breaks,“ Bell said. “Knocking the puck out of mid-air and an unlucky call, a power play for them and they were able to capitalize. And I think that was the turning point right there.”
But it wasn’t just being outplayed in the third period that hurt the Bobcats. What hurt them badly was a failure to take advantage of scoring opportunities.
Ohio has been outshot by its opponents in most of its games this season. It was no different on Friday. The Bobcats only had six shots on net in the third period.
It wasn’t just occasional struggles to get shots on net either. The Bobcats had three power plays, which were perfect chances to move the puck around and find scoring opportunities. But on two of those power plays they were unable to get a single shot off.
However, Bell said he was happy with how his team's power play looked Friday night, saying that they had attempts and that they executed their plan well.
“Statistically we didn’t get a shot, but we had shot attempts,“ Bell said. “We had a couple really good looks at it, and just missed some open nets. So really, I’m not unhappy at all with what the power play did. It would have been nice for them to capitalize but I think they played really well, and it certainly executed the way we wanted them to. Just a matter now of putting the puck in the back of the net.”
Ohio travels to Adrian Saturday night for its second game of the series. In the three games between these two teams so far, Adrian has outscored Ohio 14-8. When the Bobcats have chances to get on the scoreboard, they need to take advantage of those chances.