Freshman nets a hat trick to send the Bobcats onto the semifinals.
Ohio and Oakland split their regular season meetings. Brett Agnew didn’t record a point in the series.
On a much bigger stage, Agnew helped lead the ‘Cats past the Grizzlies.
A frantic, back-and-forth pace led to Agnew beating Oakland goaltender Alex Pikunas to open the scoring midway through the first period. John Luciana and Zach Tisdale assisted on the goal.
A few minutes later, Grizzlies forward Brandon Johnson retaliated with a boarding minor.
The leader in power-play goals knew what to do.
Great puck movement from Tyler Pilmore and Michael Schultz set Agnew up perfectly to put the Green & White ahead 2-0.
Just 52 seconds later, Luciana added to the momentum by netting his first goal of the tournament. Tisdale set up the Chicago native for his second assist of the period.
Towards the end of the period, Oakland bombarded goalie Blake MacNicol. One shot almost got past him, and sat right on the goal line for a few seconds before it was swiped away. MacNicol finished the period with five saves.
Down 3-0, it appeared the Grizzlies were hibernating during the first 20 minutes. But they woke up angry in the second period.
On the power play, Oakland got on the board less than two minutes into the session. Adam Novak was credited with the goal while Frank Matyok picked up an assist.
Pikunas turned up his play as well, neatly stopping every attack Ohio came with.
Halfway through the second, Jesse Worrell closed the Bobcat lead to just one. Kevin Kranker assisted on the goal that made it 3-2.
With Oakland closing in, it was up in the air about how the third period would be played out.
Everyone in Fred Rust arena quickly knew the answer.
Thirty-three seconds from the opening puck drop in the third, Pilmore put the ‘Cats up 4-2 on a set-up from Zack Barbis.
The momentum was shifting Ohio’s way.
Five minutes later, Defenseman Jake Holzemer lit up a shot that beat Pikunas to increase the lead to 5-2. Schultz collected his second assist of the day and third of the tournament while Holzemer has now scored in both tournament duels.
Thirty-seven seconds after Holzemer lit the lamp, Agnew poured salt on the Grizzlies’ wounds with a hat trick! Ben Gilles earned the assist.
Ohio’s staunch defense prevented Oakland from scoring again and with the victory the Bobcats punch their ticket to the semifinals.
Ohio had 33 shots in the contest, while MacNicol made 16 saves between the pipes.