Liberty forwards Quinn Ryan, Brock Thompson and Cole Gammer have been Bobcat killers all year, helping keep Ohio 0-6 against the Flames up until Friday night.
But on Friday, Liberty’s offense went dark, while the Bobcats shined bright.
Thanks to another strong defensive performance, Ohio defeated Liberty 3-1. This was the Bobcats’ third win in four games.
The Bobcats (4-13) got on the board first with Kyle Craddick scoring on a terrible angle from the goal line. And when Drew Magyar made it 2-0, it seemed like Ohio was cruising. A quick response from Liberty (6-3) caused some nervousness as the Bobcats only maintained a one goal lead, but Timmy Thurnau managed to bury one home at the very end of the third period to give Ohio a comfortable lead for the remainder of the game.
Coach Cole Bell had previously said that his team had found their groove, were playing hard and were “playing the right way.” This was the case Friday night.
Here are some of the main takeaways from Ohio’s Friday victory against Liberty:
Karlenzig and Co.
Thanks to the strong play in net to complement Ohio’s defense, the Bobcats have only allowed two goals in the past four games. They were once again able to control the game defensively as well as prevent Liberty from getting rebounds and were able to move the puck up ice.
This was on clear display with Karlenzig on top of his game, shutting down almost any scoring opportunity Liberty got.
One of the key moments of Friday’s game came at the very end of the second period. Following Magyar’s goal to give Ohio a 2-0 lead, Liberty’s Tom Nagle quickly responded to cut the lead in half.
As it appeared the Bobcats would head into the third period with a one goal lead, Thurnau scored with .2 seconds left on the clock to give Ohio a 3-1 lead. This was the first time against Liberty that Ohio had a two-goal lead to start out the third period.
From that point on, Ohio was in control of the game, managing to slow down the pace and preserve its lead.
Containing Ryan and Gammer:
Starting nearly every game for Liberty, forwards Quinn Ryan and Cole Gammer have been the two biggest thorns in Ohio’s side this year.
But Friday night, Ryan and Gammer were rendered useless, as they were unable to produce any offense for the Flames.