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Ohio forward Drew Magyar (#23) trips toward the Niagara goal during the second match of the two-game series between the teams on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Niagara beat the Bobcats in overtime at Bird Arena both nights of the series.

Hockey: Ohio collapses as it loses 4-3 to Niagara in overtime

Going into Saturday, Ohio had one main goal: Don’t repeat the same mistakes it made on Friday, and don’t let Niagara win on the road in overtime again. 

Well, it happened again. 

The Bobcats let the game get away from them, falling to Niagara in overtime for the second straight night. They were leading 3-0 going into the third period, which only made the loss sting worse. Before the Bobcats knew it, Niagara had come back from behind to embarrass them at home.  

When the game got going, it looked like it was going to be a typical home contest for Ohio. The team likes to put on a show for the fans at Bird Arena and oftentimes scores over five goals in games at home. It seemed like Ohio was on track to do that again Saturday after Drew Magyar and Phil Angervil both scored goals within about a minute of each other in the first period. However, Ohio didn’t do much more after that. 

Instead of coming out of the locker room strong in the second period, all aspects of Ohio’s gameplay started to dwindle. It seemed like the second period dragged on forever because neither team could get past the other. Ohio only came up with one more goal the rest of the night, and its defense started to deteriorate going into a brutal third period. The Bobcats let Niagara score four unanswered goals after two periods Saturday. 

“I honestly think we stopped working,” Ohio coach Lionel Mauron said. “Our effort wasn’t good enough and we tried to make easy, cute plays. We stopped trying to make hard passes. We tried to cheat the game and we got punished for it.” 

Throughout the game, the Bobcats were involved in multiple scuffles, leading to penalties. They finished with 12 penalty minutes to Niagara’s 10. But as the teams took shots and chirped at each other during the night, it was Niagara who used one of these scuffles to get going on a run. 

Three out of Ohio’s six penalties on Saturday were for roughing, and many of them were avoidable. Spencer Schons was called for roughing in the first period after hitting a Niagara player with his stick then throwing some hits. Angervil was called for roughing after knocking a player to the ground after a play in the third. It was after that penalty that Niagara scored its first goal. If Niagara never got on the power play, perhaps it wouldn’t have gotten a goal and kicked off its scoring run to win. 

It was a disappointing end to 2021 for Ohio, which started the season off on a high note. The Bobcats started the season 6-1 but are now 13-7-2. They had a chance to finish off the year with two attainable wins but dropped both of them. 

“I think we have a lot of work to do,” Mauron said. “I think not only on the ice, but as a group figure out who we are and what we want to do here.”


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