AMES, Iowa – Another split for the Ohio University Bobcats hit the books against the Iowa State University Cyclones.
The first win came with a lot of work from Jimmy Thomas in the crease. He stood tall and made 40 saves and had a save percentage of 97.56%. His performance allowed Ohio to be productive offensively in that game which was key to securing the first 4-1 win.
Thomas sits at 17 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association list of top goalies. He has a save percentage of 90.9%.
“We can always count on Jimmy to make big saves, he played great on Friday,” head coach Cole Bell said. “We wish we could’ve gotten him the shut out, but still an elite performance nonetheless.”
With him allowing Ohio to produce more shots and take charge against the Cyclones, the score sheets saw the likenesses of Sam Turner, J.T. Schmizzi, Blake Rossi and Zach Frank. This widespread troop of Bobcats was strong on Friday and they were able to play a strong and detail-oriented game.
Their skilled play and positive production with the puck was key to their successful series start.
“Friday we were able to make some plays,” Bell said. “We managed the puck much better and it led to a more consistent offensive attack.”
That style of play has proved to be their own as it has helped them get big wins over top-ranked teams and get them to have a strong start to the season as well. With that, it is something that they can take with them to make sure success comes in the winding down regular season and into the playoffs.
Saturday was a different game in that the production slowed down due to a slower and less detail-orientated style. That lead to their 4-3 overtime loss.
“We worked hard on Saturday, but didn’t work smart,” Bell said. “We were careless with the puck and reacted to a lot of plays instead of being proactive.”
Although, coach Bell mentioned how “the effort was there,” and how the issue was how they handled the puck and their offensive chances.
Timmy Thurnau tied the game up with just under three minutes left to play. That was Ohio’s comeback that sent it to the overtime period. With the play unfolding, Stuart Pearson was able to get a goal past Jimmy Thomas to split the series with a final score of 4-3 Cyclones winning it.
Going into their next series back at Bird Arena, Ohio welcomes in the University of Pittsburgh Panthers as this is their second to last regular-season series.
Their play needs to be hybridized into a combination of both games in this last series. Bell shared his opinion when he said, “We bring effort like that every night and we will continue to find a lot of success.”
That series is to be played at Bird Arena in Athens, and will start at 7:30.