Updated Mon, Mar 4, 2013 1:05 am
The Ohio Bobcats will advance to the Final Four of the ACHA National Tournament after coming from behind to defeat the Iowa State Cyclones, 3-2, in overtime.
The game-winning goal that thrust Ohio onto the next round and effectively ended Iowa State’s season was an odd one at the 17:38 mark, as a botched face-off in the Cyclones’ zone resulted in the puck going from forward Nate Percy and into the net. The goal was eventually awarded to Ohio forward Michael Harris after the game.
“A goal like that was what it was going to win this game,” head coach Dan Morris said. “Both teams were playing well, and both goalies played great, a dirty goal was what it was going to take.”
The Bobcats fell behind 2-0 in the first period after goals by Austin Parle and Antti Helanto, which is when Coach Morris decided to pull goaltender Matt Michno in favor of Fedor Dushkin.
“[Dushkin] won us that game,” Morris was quick to say after the game. “He was ready to come in, and Matt, who’s been hot lately, didn’t have his best game. So we put Dushkin and he was great.”
After entering the game in the first period, Dushkin went on to stop all 31 shots he faced in 67:02 minutes between the pipes.
On the other end of the ice, Matt Cooper of Iowa State stopped 48 shots during the game, posting a .941 save percentage in 77:38 minutes of gameplay.
Each team had only two power play opportunities each, but their conversion rates were very different. The Cyclones went 0/2 on the man advantage, while Ohio scored once on the power play and again just seconds after a penalty expired.
As Parle exited the penalty box for a two minute roughing penalty, Brett Agnew forced a puck past Cooper from behind the goal line at 14:15 of the first period.
Tyler Pilmore scored the game’s only power play goal at 7:52 of the second period with a strong shot from the slot. With a goal and an assist on Agnew’s goal, Pilmore earned his 226th and 227th career points in an Ohio uniform.
The Bobcats will play the tournament’s No. 3 seed Minot State on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in Chicago in the ACHA National Tournament’s semifinals. The two teams played twice at Bird Arena in Athens during the regular season. Ohio won the first game, 6-5, while the Beavers came back in a convincing fashion to beat the Bobcats, 7-1, the following day.