ATHENS, OH–The Ohio University Bobcats tuned up for the upcoming American Collegiate Hockey Association National D-1 Championship tournament by winning the Central States Collegiate Hockey League playoffs. The games were held this weekend at Bird Ice Arena on the Ohio University campus here in Athens, Ohio.
The Bobcats won Sunday afternoon’s final over the Iowa State Cyclones 4-0 as goal tender Matt Michno turned aside 33 shots to claim the shutout and lead his team to capture of the CSCHL Championship Trophy. He got support from four different scorers as the Bobcats tallied in all three periods.
Michno outdueled Iowa State’s Matthew Cooper who came into the Championship game riding two straight shutout wins. Cooper who was hit for three goals previously shutout Robert Morris University and the University of Illinois in the preliminary rounds before running into the high scoring Bobcats.
Ohio University reached the Championship round by ousting Indiana on Friday night 7-0 and besting Lindenwood of St Charles, Missouri 5-3 before a full house on Saturday evening. In today’s matchup the Bobcats opened the scoring at 3:10 of the first period as Garret Williams scored by hammering a low shot past a sprawling Cooper. Nathan De Latorre and Tom Whetsel got the helpers on what turned out to be the game winning goal.
The Bobcats struck again this time in period two as James Howard combined with Brett Agnew and Nicholas Hudeck to take a 2-0 lead at 11:18 of the period. The team’s skated off at the end of the second intermission with Ohio University seemingly in full control.
The tide initially seemed to shift early in the third period as Iowa State pressed to get on the scoreboard. They had a number of great chances but an ill timed penalty proved to be their undoing. The Bobcats power play unit struck quickly with less than ten minutes left in the game scoring the game’s only power play.
It came off a Michael Harris laser of a slap shot from the far side circle that hit the near sided post and deflected past Cooper shoulder high. The strike was set up by Mike Kretz and Nick Rostek. The goal effectively eliminated any thoughts of a Cyclone comeback. Next up Jonathan Pietramala added an empty netter with less than two minutes left in the game. He was sprung loose off a nice pass from Tyler Pilmore to run the score to the final 4-0 margin.
Both teams previously advanced to the 2013 ACHA Men’s Division One National Championships that will be hosted March 1-6, 2013 by Robert Morris University at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, IL. Twenty teams will vie for the National Title in a single elimination format.
Contact the author at Phil.Brand@prohockeynews.com