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Laker Aldridge is racing for the puck at 102 Oxbow Trail, Athens, OH 45701, on Feb 3, 2023.

Hockey: Ohio keeps Minot State from coming back, wins 5-3

If it wasn’t clear yet that the Bobcats belong among the best of the best in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, they proved it Friday night. 

Ohio earned its biggest win of the season, upsetting Minot State 5-3 at home. Ohio kept the mistakes and unnecessary penalties at a minimum, which helped it not get rattled by the No. 1 team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

Minot State played a different game than the one Ohio is used to right from the start. It was fast-paced, and Minot State held the puck for the majority of the first period. Normally, Ohio is the team controlling time of possession.

The Beavers got out to an early 1-0 lead 6:07 into the game after a penalty by Spencer Schons gave them an extra player on the ice. They scored quickly and also limited the Bobcats’ shots on goal in the first period, as they finished with just six.

However, that didn’t matter for the Bobcats. They got right back into the game five minutes later thanks to Luc Reeve. He scored his 30th goal of the season on an assist from Sam Turner 11:15 into the first period to tie the game back up. 

Only a minute later, Andrew Wells scored his first of two goals on Friday, and Ohio never trailed again. 

The Beavers made multiple attempts at a comeback by scoring a goal in both the second and third period that put the game within one. With under two minutes left to play, Andrew Wells was given a delay of game penalty that allowed the Beavers a chance to send the game into overtime on the power play. 

All of Bird Arena watched in suspense as the clock ticked down. Minot State had scored two of its three goals so far on the power play, so things were looking bleak for Ohio. In addition, Minot State pulled its goalie to give it a better shot at tying the game. Ohio needed its penalty kill to be extra strong.

Not only did they get the penalty kill, but Blake Rossi also scored a shorthanded goal into an empty net for the Bobcats to secure the win. 

Rossi credited his game-clinching goal to the help of his teammates. 

“That's all Reeve just winning the faceoff. All l I did was just throw it down and end the game,” Rossi said. “There's nothing better than being up two goals, especially killing six on four, so it was just great.”

No one appreciated the goal more than Wells though, who was in the penalty box at the time. 

“I was thanking the Lord,” Wells said. “Obviously the penalty I didn’t mean to take, it just happened so I was in the penalty box just praying like ‘please, please no.’ To see a guy like Rossi get (the goal) too, I couldn’t be happier.”

The win could not have been possible without goalie Justin Damon, who had multiple big saves throughout the night. He may have given up three goals, but he also had 33 saves. Some of the biggest ones came on the last power play. 

“He really bailed us out a few times. I think maybe any other goalie (those shots) would be in the net,” Ohio coach Lionel Mauron said. “He made some huge saves, that gives us a lot of confidence.”

The loss was only Minot State’s second of the season, and it may come back Saturday looking to get revenge on Ohio. However, Ohio has all it needs to get a series sweep and potentially take the top spot in the ACHA. 


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