Bobcats bounce back, end DII Flames' six-game win streak
November 22, 2013 | Lynchburg, Va.
Facing Ohio University in the first game of its weekend Showcase Tournament, Liberty University's ACHA Division II men's hockey team had its six-game winning streak halted by one of the streakiest teams in the nation, Friday night at the LaHaye Ice Center.
The Flames (17-4) gave up two goals off of putbacks in the first seven minutes of play before allowing an empty-netter in the final minute of a 3-1 loss to the Bobcats (8-7).
Ohio lost its first seven games and has now won eight in a row.
"They're definitely a top-15 team," Liberty Head Coach Chris Lowes said. "They were able to keep our guys in check and keep our skill guys from capitalizing on our chances, limiting our outside shots.
"All in all, we played a sloppy game," he added. "Our legs weren't moving and we didn't have the intensity we needed. We made a couple mistakes and couldn't recover from them. The guys missed some opportunities that we had and our power play went 0-for-4."
The Bobcats, meanwhile, converted their first goal on a power play, cleaning up the rebound of an initial shot saved by sophomore goalie Nick Devine just four minutes into the action.
Ohio went up 2-0 just three minutes later when a shot from the point deflected off of Devine right to another Bobcat cutting through the crease.
"He was just going to the net for a rebound and it bounced off his chest and into the goal," Lowes said.
Liberty's only score came not on a power play, but shorthanded with the Flames working the puck in Ohio's zone. With eight minutes remaining in regulation, sophomore forward Paul Ingles redirected assists from junior defenseman Lucas Ebel and sophomore forward Eric Burke into the top corner of the cage.
Pressing to complete the comeback, Lowes pulled Devine from the goal in the closing two minutes. But the move backfired as the Bobcats picked a loose puck out of the corner and put it into the empty net for the final score with 56 seconds left.
After managing just seven shots in the first period, Liberty outshot Ohio, 38-31, on the night.
"We didn't have enough high-quality shots, though," Lowes said. "We hit the goalie's chest a lot."
Devine made 28 saves on night.
"(Devine) made some big saves, there were just a couple rebounds he'd like to have back," Lowes said.
The Flames will host Monmouth (0-9)in the second game of the Showcase today at 6 p.m. before concluding the weekend tournament Sunday at 2 p.m. against North Carolina State (9-2).