Ohio strikes first, but Panthers rally late to advance to the ACHA Finals.
The Ohio Bobcats and Davenport Panthers knew it would take a near-perfect game to move on to the ACHA Championship game.
Unfortunately for Ohio, they fell just a little short.
The first period brought a high tempo that provided plenty of action. The Bobcats pounced 16 minutes into the period when Billy Hemann beat Panther goalie Joseph D’Elia to go up 1-0. Tyler Pilmore and Michael Schultz assisted on the play.
The pace remained the same in the second period, and once again, brought only one goal-this time for Davenport.
Sean McWhorter notched the lone goal of the period on a power play. Jeff Slusser and Brit Ouellette set up the tally.
With the scored tied heading into the final period, it became a battle of attrition as both teams looked to capitalize.
Davenport broke the tie nine minutes into the period when Sean McKenzie lit the lamp. Phil Wendecker assisted on the play.
Just 15 seconds later, the Panthers attacked again on a slap-shot from Bo Jacobs.
Down 3-1 and on the power play, Ohio won the face-off in the Panther’s zone. Steve Osacky found Zack Barbis who relayed the puck to Schultz who blasted the puck into a wide-open net to cut the deficit to just one.
With time winding down and goalie Blake MacNicol pulled in favor or an extra attacker, the Bobcats couldn’t find the goal before Matt Morang hit the empty net to send Davenport onto the championship game.
Ohio limited the Panthers to just 17 shots. Davenport combined for over 100 shots in their previous two games. The Bobcats countered with 29 shots.
The CSCHL Tournament champs finished the season 29-7-0-2.