Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post
Ohio University sophomore Xander Danner (25) gets ready to fight for the puck against Bowling Green University in Bird Arena, Oct.14, 2023.

DII Hockey: Ohio completes comeback to defeat Kentucky

Ohio (17-7) defeated Kentucky (17-9) by a score of 5-3. Ohio’s entire team stepped up and dominated, while Kentucky started strong but fizzled out when it mattered most.

The first half of the first period was all Kentucky, as they scored two quick goals within 9 minutes, 14 seconds of play, the first courtesy of winger Jake Laube and the second from winger Gabe D’amico. The game was heavily tilted toward Kentucky, as Ohio played a sloppy, slow-paced style while Kentucky flew around the rink. 

The complexion of the game soon changed as Ohio answered with two goals of its own. Ohio’s forward, Nick Ventura, put them on the board first, cutting the lead down to one score, and winger Nikalas Jozefiak scored the second goal to tie the game up with around 2 minutes left to play in the first period. 

The game looked like a shootout, as Kentucky scored again thanks to defenseman Nate James. With 3 seconds left, this goal gave Kentucky the lead heading into the second period.

In the second period, Ohio came alive, and Kentucky faltered and failed to come up with a single score. 

Ohio’s first goal came from Jozefiak, his second goal of the game, and tied the game up again with 17 minutes, 25 seconds left to play in the period. Only 2 minutes later, Ohio came storming back to take the lead with a goal from winger Nolan Herubin. 

Kentucky looked noticeably slower in this quarter, as they couldn’t keep up with the fast pace that Ohio was operating with. That continued to show when Ohio got another score, this one coming from winger Peyton Botich. 

Ohio ended the quarter holding a two-goal lead, with the score being 5-3. Kentucky didn’t play with the same pace at all this quarter, as they were very passive in Ohio territory and didn’t get many shots on goal.

The third period of play didn’t contain any scoring, but the game got a lot chippier and Ohio was able to hold off Kentucky to win the game. 

The biggest moment from the third period was at the end of the game when a fight broke out between players from both teams. Tempers had been flaring all game, and earlier in the game, Kentucky had two players called for roughing in the same play. Even before that, small scuffles had been happening.

Ohio Coach Zach Hill was very proud of the team’s hard-fought win and wasn’t worried once his team went down 2-0 early in the first period.

“We know that we were probably the better team,“ Hill said. “We just stuck to our systems. The boys came out and played our game right, and we played a very blue-collar game.”

Hill was also impressed with his defense, as it held Kentucky scoreless throughout the second and third periods.

“Oh, our defense is huge,” Hill said. “You know our defense is up against anyone in this league.”

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH