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Ohio defenseman Shawn Baird (#14) chases down the puck during the Ohio Bobcats game against the Liberty Flames on Friday, March 5, 2021, at the Bird Arena in Athens, Ohio

Hockey: Ohio faces a tough loss in a shootout to Liberty 4-3

Ohio wrapped up its home schedule with a game against Liberty at Bird Arena on Saturday night. The Bobcats were in dire need of a win after losing eight of their last nine games. However, they’re still waiting on a win after losing 4-3 in a shootout.

From the beginning, Ohio was aggressive despite a few hiccups. It moved past those quickly, though. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first period, but that was due in part to both teams having phenomenal goaltending. Ohio goalie Jackson Chilberg ended the first period with 11 saves.

However, the shutout ended there. Liberty scored at the 2:53 mark to put itself a step ahead of Ohio. But, the Bobcats did not stay down long. Nick Carretta tied the game not two minutes later with a goal of his own.

The Flames had back-to-back power plays in the second period. The Flames were able to show the Bobcats the fight they had, especially while the Bobcats were down. Despite this, the Bobcats were able to thwart the Flames’ attempts while they were on the penalty kill.

“I think we built a lot of momentum killing the five on three,” Ohio coach Lionel Mauron said. “Obviously they scored on kind of a flunky goal, that was really hard, but then we overcame it.”

Ohio created opportunities all over the ice to score and moved the puck with ease. But it was also able to stop the puck and redirect on defense.

The Bobcats broke through in the third period. Andrew Wells scored his first goal of the night, and Carretta scored again to inch Ohio closer to potentially taking the lead. Both of these goals came at the right time for the Bobcats. The late goals bumped the score to 3-3 at the end of regulation.

Ohio is no stranger to overtime, though. It entered overtime with no fear, but it left without a win either. It was time for a shootout.

For Ohio, the end result was an all too familiar feeling. The shootout went longer than usual, and the Bobcats left Bird Arena empty handed. Liberty got the puck in the net on the second attempt, but Carretta did the same. The score remained tied until the seventh round.

Liberty’s Brett Gammer scored while Ohio’s Phil Angervil couldn’t find the net. After five shootout saves from Chilberg and a well-fought game, Ohio lost its final home game.

Only one series remains for the Bobcats in their regular season, and with that, they have minimal time to make the necessary improvements before playoff time comes. 

“I think our system is really coming together,” Mauron said. “We need to improve our place with the puck coming out of our d-zone and have a little more confidence which is not easy because our results are not where we want them to be.”


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