Hockey: Ohio refuses Oakland a victory in either game this weekend

Ohio’s Brett Agnew moves the puck toward Oakland’s net. The Bobcats won both of their weekend games against the Grizzlies, 4-3 and 6-0. (Nate Smallwood | For The Post)

After Saturday’s series finale against Oakland, a gaggle of star-crossed children waited outside Ohio’s locker room, braving the loud noises and pungent smells that surrounded it. All they wanted was an autograph or a stick.

Finally, a group of players emerged from the locker room with a whole stick, signed by several Bobcats. A group of six kids pushed, shoved and kicked each other to gain control of the stick, but parental intervention was needed to pull the stick away and find a diplomatic way to share.

Unfortunately for Oakland, no parent could break up the 6-0 thrashing the Bobcats gave the Golden Grizzlies Saturday night.

The Bobcats controlled action from the drop of the puck through the final whistle, blitzing the Golden Grizzlies for 37 shots on goal, notching their fifth consecutive win and fourth shutout victory of the season.

Sophomore forward Nathan De La Torre, who had previously netted five goals the entire season, scored two goals and earned coach Dan Morris’ praise as a “goal scorer.”

“That’s what he’s supposed to do,” Morris said. “He’s coming into his role, he’s getting confidence in his game and he’s starting to play like the player we expect to play. … Now that we’ve given him more responsibility, he’s playing well.”

And graduate student goalie Matt Michno excelled Saturday, stopping all 19 shots that came his way, including several crucial saves on an Oakland 5-on-3 advantage midway through the second period.

But Michno, who has only given up three goals in his last 162 minutes of play, shifted credit to the defense.

“I had a couple of challenging saves, but (the defense) really made it easy on me,” Michno said. “The team defense we’ve been playing the last couple weeks has been near perfect, so it’s making it a little bit easier for the goaltenders.”

But the ease with which Ohio dispatched of Oakland on Saturday was not present on Friday, as it took the Bobcats almost a full 60 minutes to take their first lead.

Ohio battled back from a deficit that was as large as two goals in the second period and had the game tied at three late in the third period.

Before a faceoff on the left side of the Oakland zone with 7.6 seconds remaining in the game, assistant coach Jon Sheridan called for only one substitution. He added junior defenseman Jonathan Gulch, who had scored in both games against Robert Morris the previous weekend.

Senior Nick Rostek, who had scored in the first period, won the faceoff and moved the puck back to Gulch, who wristed a shot from the point past Oakland sophomore goalie Corey Hrischuk.

Morris gave praise to Sheridan, for getting Gulch on the ice in that situation, and Gulch for his efforts throughout the contest.

“(Gulch) gets the touch assignment defensively and is one of those kids who can play the whole game,” Morris said. “And he’d rather play the whole game because then he’s into it … (Credit) his involvement.”

ch203310@ohiou.edu
 

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