Coming off a loss Friday to begin its series against Liberty, Ohio knew what it needed to fix going into a rematch on Saturday night. It made the right adjustments in its 3-2 win at LaHaye Ice Arena, handing the Flames their first home loss this season. Before Saturday, the Bobcats were yet to win a game on the road, but that changed after a well-earned victory.
Here are the numbers to know from Ohio’s win to Liberty on Saturday:
Entering its second game against Ohio (11-7), Liberty had only lost two games this season, both of which were on the road as it was 9-0 at home. The Bobcats ended that streak with a much improved performance compared to Friday night. Now, the Flames have one home loss on the season.
Although Ohio got the first goal on Friday night that was spoiled by multiple late goals from Liberty, Saturday night's opening score was different. Despite a slow start with little action from both teams, Ohio played much more physical Saturday and didn’t let its lead slip away after scoring first in the opening period.
Number 20 Andrew Wells' goal late in the first period was exactly what Ohio needed to get things started Saturday. The goal came with a little under five minutes left in the first period and was Wells’ fifth of the season. Wells got the Bobcats on the scoreboard before the Flames, and the goal was the start of what was to come in an impressive win. With the game ending with a one-goal difference, the first score had a huge impact on the end result.
Goalie Max Karlenzig faced 32 shots on goal Saturday, saving 94 percent and only allowing two to get in the back of the net. Although Liberty led with shots on goal overall, Karlenzig dominated in the net and stopped a number of close shots that came his way. After a late rally from the Flames on Friday, Ohio was able to prevent another from happening Saturday. Although a late goal in the third period put Liberty down by only one with little time to tie it up, Ohio was able to hinder any chances of a comeback.
Saturday night’s game was much more physical compared to Friday night’s, but six penalties were called overall in Ohio’s win. Both Ohio and Liberty had three power plays, but each team was unsuccessful in capitalizing on any of them. The Bobcats had two power-play opportunities in the first period but weren’t able to score on either. The positive for Ohio came in the second period when it killed back-to-back penalties. Even when the Bobcats weren’t at full strength, they still found success with stopping the Flames’ efforts to get the puck in the net.