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Phil Angervil (91) shoots at the goal in Friday's match against Iowa State at Bird Ice Arena in Athens, Ohio, Feb. 2, 2024.

Hockey: Ohio overcomes deficit to defeat Iowa State

The bleachers in Bird Arena were physically shaking under the stomps of at least 1,000 spectators, all watching the final moments of the battle between Ohio and Iowa State.

Ohio earned a 4-3 victory after fighting against Iowa State’s impressive defensive skills for nearly two full periods until breaking through in the third. Despite some tough offensive setbacks, Ohio got a burst of energy in the third that ultimately propelled it to victory, led by the 11th-hour heroics of Laker Aldridge. Assistant Coach Jamieson McVicar knew that the Bobcats had it in them but acknowledged that it took some time. 

“I think we had a good first effort in the first and second, obviously had a couple of bad bounces. We just weren’t in front of the net enough, we needed to get more bodies there…we needed a little bit more effort, and the guys brought it in the third,” McVicar said.

The first period was the most uneventful overall, as it was a defensive stand-off for nearly all 20 minutes. The only action occurred when Iowa’s leading scorer, Everett Bestland, scored the first goal of the evening about seven minutes into the period. The first and second periods also saw quite a few coincidental penalties- which present a challenge for the Bobcats.

“4-on-4 is tough for us, we don’t know if we want play defense or try to score," McVicar said. "We just have to play at both ends and get the right personnel out there. Probably going to be more 4-on-4 tomorrow night, so hopefully, we can play with a lot of speed and just get it done while we’re on 4-on-4.”

The second period once again only saw scoring action from the Cyclones, as Bestland put up yet another goal. Even though the Bobcats’ goaltender, Justin Damon, faltered, he still had a host of impressive saves that played a big role in keeping the Cyclones at bay in the first and second periods. Damon wasn’t the only one putting on an impressive show, as the Cyclones goaltender was credited with being one of the biggest challenges for the Bobcats.

“Their goalie was really good so credit to him,” McVicar said. “They did a good job tonight defensively, so tomorrow we got to adjust and counteract that.”

The third period was when things truly started to heat up. Ohio finally found the back of the net with Luc Reeve smacking one in just about halfway through the period. The action did not stop there as Will Cohen scored two back-to-back to give the Bobcats the lead. This was a big moment for Cohen- and he really felt like he was stepping up. 

“It was awesome. It was much needed. I have been pretty cold lately on the stat sheet, so it was good to have tonight,” Cohen said.

Iowa State was not going to let Ohio run away with the victory easily. Samuel Dorfman tied it up with just two minutes to go. It was looking like the game would be headed into overtime, but with just over 20 seconds left in regulation Laker Aldridge skated up to the net and pushed one in, securing the comeback victory for the Bobcats.


Emma Erion

Managing Editor

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