One year after sweeping the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio, the Bobcats were looking to repeat the sweep in Hamden on Saturday. But it wasn’t to be. One night after beating the Buckeyes, the Bobcats fell 4-0.
“Our compete level was mediocre,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We didn’t want it bad enough.”
The Bobcats (1-1) gave up three first period goals and were never able to recover. The Buckeyes (1-1) got the scoring started just over nine minutes into the game as Chris Crane managed to find the puck in the middle of a scrum in front of Bobcat goalie Dan Clarke. Crane flipped it over Clarke’s shoulder and into the back of the net.
Coming off the penalty kill, the Buckeyes extended their lead to two just four minutes later. On a 2-on-1 breakout, a streaking Sergio Somma received a pass from John Albert and ripped it past Clarke.
With Zach Currie in the box for tripping, the Buckeyes took advantage to extend their lead to three. John Albert found a loose puck in the slot and fired a slap shot past Clarke.
“We really struggled defensively in that first period,” Pecknold said. ‘We put our goaltender in some tough spots.”
While the Buckeyes were capitalizing on the opportunities, the Bobcats could never get anything past Buckeye netminder Cal Heeter.
“We had four or five excellent chances in the first period, we just didn’t bury them,” Pecknold said. “Heeter, in net, was excellent. He made saves and got a shutout.”
Below, Pecknold and captain Scott Zurevinski speak after the loss:
One of those opportunities came when Loren Barron’s wrister from the point was deflected towards goal but Buckeye goalie Cal Heeter got his stick on it to deflect it wide.
But the Bobcats’ best chance to score came with just under nine minutes left in the first. Zach Davies’ shot from the point was deflected on its way and rang off the right post. Later in the first, Kellen Jones thought he had tied the game just as a Bobcats power play was ending. The referees waved off the goal, though, as Heeter had been shoved back into his net and caused it to come loose.
The Buckeyes added a fourth goal early in the third period. As Kellen Jones’ tripping penalty was about to expire Devon Krough received a pass from John Albert and ripped a wrister towards goal. Clarke got a piece of it with the glove, but not enough as it trickled past him and over the line.
For the game, the Bobcats took five penalties, including two back-to-back in the middle of the second period.
“It definitely was frustration taking over,” junior captain Scott Zurevinski said. “We reacted the wrong way.”
The Bobcats return to action on Friday when they host Bentley in a non-conference matchup at the TD Bank Sports Center.
Photo credit: Vanessa Stier / video courtesy, QU Athletics