Updated Sun, Feb 17, 2013 8:13 pm
With no time left on the clock, the Ohio Bobcats leapt off the bench and converged on goaltender Matt Michno to celebrate as the newly crowned CSCHL Champions. With 33 saves, Michno led the Bobcats to a 4-0 shutout victory over the Iowa State Cyclones at Bird Arena in the CSCHL Championship Game.
Michno, who made 15 saves in a shutout against Indiana on Friday night, finished the Tournament with 48 saves – not one goal against – and was named the tournament’s most valuable player during the post-game awards presentation.
“It feels good to win,” Michno said. “The biggest thing is for the guys who were here last year, this was a bit of redemption for not winning it all on home ice last year and losing in the championship game to Lindenwood.”
Ohio did fall to the Lindenwood Lions on home ice last season in the final game of the tournament, but Sunday’s game marked the fifth consecutive time the Bobcats have reached the CSCHL Tournament final and the third time Ohio has won the championship in those five attempts. The victory is also Ohio’s eighth CSCHL Championship in program history.
Perhaps slightly numbed by the team’s constant success during his tenure, coach Dan Morris appeared far from overwhelmed after the win, but was quick to sing the praises of his players.
“There’s a great sense of accomplishment in the room,” he said. “I hate to keep reiterating that we have 15 new players on our team, but I give a lot of credit to our seniors for teaching them what it takes to win. Whether it’s a league championship or a national championship, these young guys have to experience what it takes to play in those games.”
The youth and inexperience of the Bobcats did not appear to be a hindrance, as three different freshman scored Ohio’s only three goals when Iowa State goalie Matt Cooper occupied the crease. Garrett Williams, J.D. Howard and Michael Harris each scored in a different period to give Ohio its 3-0 lead. Senior Jonathan Pietramala would add an empty net goal with 1:28 remaining in the game for insurance.
Harris’ tally, a slap shot taken from the top of the right face-off circle, was Ohio’s only power play goal, as the Bobcats went 1-for-6 on the man advantage.
Ohio has two weeks before it heads to Chicago to compete in the ACHA National Championship Tournament as the No. 4 seed.