Ohio dropped its first of two games against Miami in its first home game since playing against Bowling Green on Oct. 14.
As you would expect in a rivalry game like this one, both teams came out very physically to open the game. Bobcats and Redhawks went back and forth exchanging big blows. Ohio had a lot of shots on goal early in the period, but couldn’t connect.
“I thought we came out and matched up pretty well,” Nikalas Jozefiak said. “We honestly took some momentum there to begin with.”
Miami would score the first goal of the game when Jake Massey put one past Matthew Zazon. Joseph Trinkala would be credited for the assist. From here, Ohio struggled for a while to get the puck off their end of the ice.
Caught cross-checking, Trinkala would put his team down a man for two minutes. This didn’t seem to impact the Redhawks much though, as they were quick to score once again. Forward Johnny Fratto landed a shot past Zazon in the upper-left corner of the goal to take the 2-0 lead.
Ohio wouldn’t waste time coming up with a response. The Bobcats quickly pulled it together offensively looking much more coherent and together. That paid off almost instantly when Nick Piccioni got the puck to Jozefiak, who put one over Miami goalie, Noah Kinsinger, to make it a 2-1 game with 2:13 remaining in the period. Miami would take this one- goal lead into the intermission, but not before Ohio could get a couple more good looks on goal.
The second period opened in a very similar fashion to the first. Both teams continued with their chippy and scrappy play and the refs continued to let them do so.
After three straight Ohio shots on goal, Miami’s Gabe Dombrowski would take the puck to the other end of the ice and score, putting the Redhawks up 3-1.
Throughout the period the Bobcats continued to put lots of pressure on the Miami defense, but couldn’t connect on anything. That is until Peyton Botich scored off of an assist from Ryley Scanlon. Miami would remain up 3-2 going into the final period, but the momentum would feel a lot less in its favor.
Things would continue to be physical throughout the third with players from both teams throwing extra shoves when given the opportunity. The tension was still there as Nick Coward cross-checked Miami’s Daniel Gerling over the Ohio bench. Coward would take a two-minute penalty. Both teams would put pressure on the opposing goalie, but nothing would come of it for either team.
Ohio would be given a solid opportunity in the final three minutes as Miami’s Tyler Behl would take a seat in the penalty box. His teammate, Fratto, would join him in there shortly after as well, leaving the Redhawks down a man for the remainder of the game. The Bobcats would pull Zazon from goal, opting for more offensive pressure. Ohio got a couple of good looks, but couldn’t make anything of it. The Redhawks would get the puck back and Michael McCormick would send it into the empty net to take the 4-2 lead.
Ohio will look to bounce back in game two of the series in Oxford.
“We’ve just got to keep playing our game,” head coach Zach Hill said. “Set the tone right away and keep playing how we did. I thought we didn’t play badly today. That’s a good team we played, so we’ve just got to fix a few things and we’ll come back and win tomorrow.”