Successful Season Ends
The Ohio Division Two Hockey team finished another successful season with an overall record of 23-11-0, which ties the program record for wins at 23. This is the third straight year the team has finished with 20 plus wins, second straight year reaching the ACHA southeast regional tournament as the #6 seed and first time in program history winning the TSCHL regular season championship. The 2015-16 Bobcats will be graduating eight seniors this year and head coach Philip Oberlin had this to say regarding the senior class, “I’d like to thank the seniors on an excellent year. They have developed as individuals into great young men and it’s been a pleasure working with them over the past 4 years. They are the reason this program has become what it is today.”
As successful as the season was the 2015-16 Bobcats fell just short of their ultimate goals, which included winning the TSCHL Tournament and reaching the ACHA Division Two National Tournament.
The Bobcats went into the TSCHL Tournament ranked #1 and easily disposed of the University of Akron Zips in the semi-final game winning 4-1 and outshooting the Zips 64-14. The win advanced the Bobcats to the championship game were they faced league rival University of Louisville. Both teams came out flying and exchanged goals in the 1st period but it ended with a Louisville lead 3-2. The 2nd period began with Ohio finishing chances and scoring 3 straight goals but Louisville had an answer scoring twice late in the 2nd and sending the game tied 5-5 into the 3rd period. Early in the 3rd period Louisville scored to go ahead 6-5. Late in the game Ohio looked to tie the game with a power play but Louisville had other plans as a blocked shot became a breakaway for the Cardinals and the lead was extended to 7-5. With the goalie pulled Ohio generated chances late but unfortunately was unable to capitalize.
The following weekend found the Bobcats in Dale City, VA for the ACHA southeast regional tournament and facing off against an unfamiliar foe in Rowan University. The game was tight through two periods with a score of 2-1 but as the 3rd period progressed the Bobcats pulled away and finished with a 5-1 victory. The win gave the Bobcats their first win in program history at the regional level and gave the team an opportunity to play for a national tournament berth.
The Bobcats faced a much more familiar opponent in game two and knew it was going to be an uphill battle. The Bobcats had played the University of Miami, OH earlier in the season and lost both contests but were prepared to battle. The game ultimately came down to special teams as the Redhawks scored two power play goals and the Bobcats executed the power play well but were unable to convert on multiple chances. The final score was 4-1 with Miami getting an empty net goal to end the Bobcats season short of the national tournament. When asked about the season as a whole, coach Oberlin stated, “Although, we finished just shy of our ultimate goal, I believe this year has given the team an understanding of what it takes to win a championship. We progressed further than we ever have before and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for the group of guys returning next season. The expectation is higher than ever and we’re going to challenge the guys to reach that next level.”