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Ohio's Joe Pergolizzi attempts to break away from Virginia Tech defenders during a game at Bird Arena on November 11.

DII HOCKEY: Ohio’s offense overpowers Robert Morris in weekend series

Ohio took on Robert Morris in a two-game series over the weekend where Ohio won both games while scoring a combined 15 goals on offense. 


To start the series on Friday, Ohio dominated Robert Morris on offense with an impressive 10-3 victory. 

The first period started pretty slowly until the energy picked up when center Xander Danner took a penalty and a hit that took him out of the game. 

Nick Coward made the most of a power play and score the first goal of the game. Soon thereafter, RMU freshman Parker Smith scored on a power play to tie up the game. However, Ohio’s Ethan Tamborski kept up the energy in the first with a goal of his own to take back the lead.  

With one minute left in the period, Joe Folmer went right around the Colonial defense and snuck one past Robert Morris goalie, Chad Veltri to take a 3-1 lead. Veltri is a tough opponent; he’s a graduate student and boasts 261 saves on the season going into the game. Ohio started the first period with the offensive energy they have shown glimpses of throughout the season. 

The beginning of the second period looked very similar to the beginning of the first. The second period was scoreless until sophomore winger Nick Piccioni made the most of a fast break and scored. Center Matthew Kish led the Bobcats down the ice and had the assist to Piccioni. An errant Ohio shot was deflected by Holden Wilpula past Veltri to lengthen the Bobcats’ lead to four. 

The Ohio offense continued to make the most of the opportunities presented to them. Nolan Herubin scored a very nonchalant power-play goal to give the Bobcats a 6-1 lead which they would take with them into the intermission.

The bleeding would not stop for the Colonials. To open the third period, Nic Capuzzi scored from a distance without a defender near him. With just under 16 minutes remaining in the game, Nik Jozefiak expanded the Bobcat lead even more. 

Jozefiak was not finished, though. He scored once again with ten minutes remaining in the game. 

Robert Morris seemingly rose from the dead with a little over 8 minutes left. Smith sent another one past Saber. Perhaps just for bragging rights, Smith did it again. 

The hat trick from Parker Smith didn’t seem to keep the Colonials motivated for too long. Brandon Williams pushed one past Veltri off of an assist from Peyton Botich.

Ohio’s offense made the most of almost every opportunity handed to them. The defense looked solid, even without Matthew Zazon in goal. Even when things looked like they were starting to fall apart in the third, the Bobcats’ offense pulled it back together. It was, all around, the kind of performance the Bobcats have been looking to put on.


Ohio’s offensive onslaught continued into the weekend as it piled five more goals onto Robert Morris in its second matchup. For Bobcat fans hoping for a repeat of Friday night, Saturday afternoon’s game might have even been a letdown as a more tension-filled matchup, ending in a narrow 5-3 Bobcat victory.

A quiet first period ended with the Bobcats up 1-0 on the Colonials as Ethan Tamborski slipped the puck by the goalie with just under nine minutes to go, but confidence that this would turn into a repeat performance quickly faded as the home team slipped three goals past goalie Ty Morton, setting the score at 3-2 Robert Morris after two periods.

Tension was in the air entering the third. If Ohio pulled off the win here, it would serve as the most dominant series they’ve played this season, arguably trumping the team’s opening performance against Cincinnati, where the team outscored their opponent 12-4 through their two games against one another.

Since that opening matchup, the Bobcats have failed to come away with two wins in a single series. On the bright side, they have yet to go winless in a series, but after a 1-1 series against Bowling Green, Penn State and most recently, a loss in their sole game against Dayton, there was a sense that Ohio needed this second win to establish momentum moving forward.

The air of tension would be drowned out in the third, and eventually, filled with cheer from the Bobcats fans in attendance and silence from the home team fans. One goal scored by Nik Jozefiak was followed by a goal by Brennen Walker and then a third by Gavin Fryer to put a stamp on the series as a sweep.

This is the type of series that the Bobcats have proven, in stretches, to be capable of. Half of Robert Morris’ six goals in the two-game stretch came from one single period. For Ohio, the offense poured in double that and then some with 15 total to get themselves back on track for the rest of the season.

The Bobcats will look to continue this momentum into next weekend’s series against Louisville which will once again see the Bobcats on the road for both games. The Cardinals have put up a respectable season thus far, winning far more games than they’ve lost.

Overall, this weekend stood as a statement for the Bobcats, and a picture of what this team, especially the offense, can be going forward. Expecting 15 goals in each series isn’t realistic, but carrying the momentum the offense built over this series into the next one, and the one after that should be the goal for this team.



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