The Stony Brook hockey team was unable to complete a third-period comeback Friday night, when the team suffered its first loss of the season 5-4 in overtime against the Ohio University Bobcats.
The Seawolves met adversity with resilience throughout the third period, erasing one-goal deficits on two separate occasions to force overtime. It did not take long for the Bobcats to end three-on-three action, however, with sophomore defenseman Jacob Houston scoring 44 seconds into the extra frame.
“I brought [their resiliency] up in the locker room after the game,” head coach Chris Garofalo said. “I said ‘What I liked was your character. You guys kept going and didn’t get nervous, which is a good quality to have.’ They just kept going, kept their heads down and said, ‘We’re going to battle through this.’ It was good to see that.”
Though they were unable to take away a win from their efforts, the Seawolves did many things right in the loss. One bright spot in particular was the play of captain and senior defenseman Frank Sherding, who picked up one assist on the night.
“Frank had a second gear tonight,” Garofalo said. “He was pushing the puck, his skating was quicker, and he truly led like a captain should lead. He just kept going and was the example that everyone else should emulate. He was making plays, strong in front of the net, and it was nice to see him go hard and set an example. I think he was one of the best players on the ice between both teams.”
Stony Brook took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission off sophomore forward Kevin Murphy’s fourth power-play goal of the season. Twenty-four seconds into the middle period, junior forward Brad Riccardi tacked on another goal to extend the lead to 2-0, where it remained until late into the second.
With 1:54 to go in the second, sophomore defenseman Thomas Evans scored to pull Ohio within one goal of the lead. Then, with six seconds remaining, freshman forward Shawn Baird capitalized on a Stony Brook turnover to knot the game at two after 40 minutes of play. Ohio picked up right where it left off after the second intermission, taking a 3-2 lead with a goal from junior defenseman Grant Hazel.
Despite the difficult span of goals scored against him, Stony Brook sophomore goaltender Payne Yoder looked sharp throughout the game and kept his team in it, turning away 28 of 33 shots.
“Every time your goalie makes a big save, it always picks the bench up,” Garofalo said. “He made a few really key saves and kept us in the game. He gave us a chance to win, which is all you can ask a goalie to do.”
The bench responded to Yoder’s strength in the net, and freshman forward Ian Bernes scored his team-leading seventh goal of the year to tie the game up at three. Then, with 3:53 remaining in regulation time, Bobcats junior forward Gabe Lampron struck to recapture the lead.
With little time to spare, Seawolves sophomore defenseman Kyle Huhn responded 37 seconds after the Ohio goal with his first of the campaign to tie the contest and force overtime.
In three-on-three play, the Seawolves won the opening draw but were unable to register a shot on goal. The Bobcats quickly gained possession and capitalized on their only chance of the period, ending the game with Houston’s blast.
The Seawolves will look to get back into the win column Saturday night at 7 p.m. when they play the second game of the weekend set in Ohio.