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Ohio forward Luc Reeve (8) going after the puck with Maryville defense Ben McArthur (7) during a game against Maryville University in Bird Ice Arena Jan. 27, 2024 in Athens, Ohio.

Hockey: Ohio's overtime loss epitomizes evenly-matched rivalry

Ohio lost a tight game in overtime against Maryville, ending the game with a score of 1-2. Historically when the Bobcats and the Saints play, the games are separated by the narrowest of margins and Friday’s game was no different.

Tonight was the seventh game played between Ohio and Maryville. With Ohio having won three and lost four since the first game in 2022, this weekend's series would serve as a tiebreaker for the two rivals.

“We were all very excited for this game,” Mauron said. “The guys are confident and they feel good.”  

In the first two meetings this season in October, the teams proved to be evenly matched, splitting the two-game series to 1-1. Ohio took home the win the first night with a 3-0 shutout and Maryville battled back the second night with a 3-1 win.

The Bobcats hoped to retake the advantage in the series and continue their winning streak from last weekend against the Rockets. Coming into Friday’s game, Ohio was just one spot above Maryville in the standings. Having been separated by just five points in the standings, Mauron and the Bobcats were prepared for a difficult test. 

“We knew they were very fast and physical,” Mauron said “They like to get after it.” 

Continuing the motif of tight margins between the Bobcats and the Saints, the regulation playing time ended with the teams tied at 1-1. Both teams were very defensively strong on Friday. There was a lot of aggressive energy on the ice; neither team could manage to get a leg up on the other.

In the end, Ohio’s defense was not enough, goalie Justin Damon expertly blocked shot after shot all game. A broken stick ended up being the Bobcats' ultimate demise, allowing a puck to slip past winning the game for Maryville in the last 30 seconds. 

“Obviously when you lose in overtime it is an emotional roller coaster,” Mauron said. “It's a new day tomorrow.” 

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