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Ohio forward John McLaughlin (11) checks the glove of Stony Brook goalie Thomas Sullivan (35) to see if he caught the puck after a scramble at the net during the match at Bird Arena on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. The Bobcats lost four to three in shoot outs.

Hockey: Ohio blows lead in 4-3 shootout loss to Stony Brook

Ohio had victory in its sights.

It held a confident lead over Stony Brook heading into the last two minutes of the third period. Ohio appeared primed to snap its three-game losing streak and split its series with the Seawolves. All it had to do was hold out and keep the puck away from its net. 

Even when Stony Brook scored with 1:22 left on the clock, the Bobcats didn’t stress. They were still up by a goal, and there was little time left. In addition, Stony Brook pulled goalie Thomas Sullivan in the final minute of regulation, which opened up the door for Ohio to possibly score again. 

But Ohio didn’t score. Stony Brook did. It scored with 35 seconds left in regulation and forced overtime. Ohio couldn’t score in overtime and eventually lost 4-3 after a shootout.

“It’s a tough ending,” Ohio coach Lionel Mauron said. “I thought we played really well up to the last 10 minutes of the game and then we got kind of got on our heels, started waiting and Stony Brook took advantage.”

The Bobcats did everything right until the waning minutes of the game. Their mistakes from Friday had been corrected. Instead of falling behind, the Bobcats snatched the lead after Phil Angervil scored the first goal of the night.

The Bobcats also maintained better control of the puck and created more traffic in front of the net when the Seawolves tried to score. Through the first two periods, goalie Max Karlenzig made 24 saves and only allowed the Seawolves to score once.

But the lead got to the Bobcats’ heads.

“I think once we went up 3-1 we actually thought we didn't really have to create anymore,” Mauron said. “Then we sat back and that's when we run into trouble.”

Instead of creating more opportunities to score while in the lead, the Bobcats chased the puck and wore themselves out. They were drained in the final minutes and couldn’t buckle down for the win. 

“The small mistakes that we made tonight, we really paid for it,” Mauron said. “On the other end, I thought we didn't take advantage of their mistakes good enough.”

When the time for the shootout came, Mauron knew Ohio had no room for error. Stony Brook is ranked 11th in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, and Ohio doesn’t perform well in overtime. Mauron understood this and thought carefully about which of the Bobcats to play during the shootout.

Ohio and Stony Brook both missed their first two shot attempts. Ryan Higgins, who’d scored in the second period, went first but didn’t make the shot. Andrew Sacca, who Mauron trusts to come up in desperate moments, was also unsuccessful.

Ohio’s final chance at saving the night came down to one of the most dependable players on its roster. Sam Turner, one of Ohio’s anchors this season, went head-to-head against Sullivan on Ohio’s third shot attempt.

But he missed, and Stony Brook’s Brandon Avezov scored right after.

Ohio blew a win that it had in hand until the final minutes. It’d blown a two-goal lead and sputtered when overtime came knocking. Ohio had victory in its sights, but it blinked and left Bird Arena with disappointment.

@molly_burchard8

mb712319@ohio.edu

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