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Ohio forward Nick Erker (#2) handles the puck in the offensive zone during the Ohio Bobcats game against the Liberty Flames on Friday, March 5, 2021, at the Bird Arena in Athens, Ohio. (FILE)

Hockey: Instant takeaways from Ohio's 4-1 loss to Liberty

After a disastrous loss against Liberty the week prior, Ohio came into the weekend looking for its second win of the season. It showed improvement Friday night at Bird Arena but fell to the Flames again 4-1.

Ohio (1-10) has lost five straight games and five overall to Liberty this season. Friday’s loss looked similar to many of the Bobcats’ previous setbacks as well. 

Here are three takeaways from Ohio’s 4-1 loss to Liberty:

The energy is still there

Despite so many things going wrong for the Bobcats this season and hitting rock bottom the previous week, Ohio is still playing with the energy and enthusiasm of a winning team.

Early in the game, the Bobcats were making quick and smart passes to each other to give themselves solid scoring opportunities, even taking an early lead in the first period after a goal from Drew Magyar. When the Bobcats were down late in the game, they still pushed it to the limit for the faint chance of a third period rally. The Bobcats clearly want a win, but they need to capitalize off their own energy.

Groundhog Day

Ohio is probably sick of the unfortunate routine it has been experiencing this season. In almost every loss, it’s seen similar things occur.

The Bobcats and their opponent are close for the first period, but their opponent goes on a rally in the last 20-40 minutes to win. Ohio’s opponent finishes the game with more shots. The Bobcats come so close to game-tying goals in the second and third periods, only to be just inches away from the net. These and many other problems have become staples Ohio needs to remove going forward.

Ohios age shows

With so many young players on its roster, Ohio is still figuring itself out. That, combined with such a tough schedule, the Bobcats have trouble getting over the same humps they’ve seen all year.

That’s not to say the younger players aren’t having their moments. Aiden Grieco, Sam Turner, Matt Server and plenty of underclassmen have already proven to be undeniably talented. The key for the future is for them and the rest of the team to not drop the ball midway through games and to have strong finishes instead. 

@elifeaz  

ef195418@ohio.edu 

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