Bobcats get barbequed at “Beat the Buckeyes Day”

Bobcats get barbequed at “Beat the Buckeyes Day”
By Sam Friedman
March 30, 2008

HAMDEN — The crowd was loud. The food was good. The giant inflatable Bobcat was knocked over by the wind, but it managed to stay upright for the team’s introduction. Unfortunately, the only thing missing from the “Beat the Buckeyes Barbeque” was the beating the Buckeyes part.

In the Great Western Lacrosse League season opener for both teams, the Buckeyes (5-3, 1-0 GWLL) made sure that this one was never close. They led 12-2 at halftime, and won by a final score of 18-7 over the Bobcats (6-1, 0-1 GWLL). Ohio State never trailed in the contest. The Bobcats came into the game ceding just over five goals a game but surrendered that many in the first 13 minutes.

Just 45 seconds in, Ohio State got its first goal when Jeff Ryan passed the ball from behind the net to find Pete Poillon on the wing, who quickly shot it past sophomore goalie Kevin Benzing on the left shoulder side. That was Poillon’s first of three goals on the afternoon. Anthony Poerio tied it for the Bobcats at the four minute mark with an unassisted shot past Buckeyes standout goalie Stefan Schroder, but that was the only time the Bobcats even kept the game close.

The Buckeyes added three goals within the span of 2:54 near the end of the first quarter to take a 4-1 lead, including two man advantage goals. Man advantage goals were a problem for the Bobcats, who surrendered seven man down goals on nine man down situations, including three goals in the final minute of the first half from just one penalty, a one minute illegal body checking penalty against sophomore Bailey Tuthill.

The second quarter opened up the way the first did, with the Buckeyes scoring early — just eight seconds in. Senior captain Kevin Buchanan scooped up a loose ball off the faceoff and fired it past Benzing, again to the left shoulder side from the attack zone line. Buchanan finished with two goals and two assists, and moved into a tie with Jim Ash for 15th on Ohio State’s all time scoring list with 128 points. He leads the team with 22 goals. Buchanan is also tied for 10th in Ohio State history with 55 assists.

After the Buckeyes made the score 9-1, Quinnipiac coach Eric Fekete pulled Benzing and replaced him with backup goalie Ryan Andrews.

“Benzing’s played great all season, [but] he was off today,” Fekete said. “Our goaltending was uncharacteristically weak today, that just kind of started the wheels wobbling.”

Nine seconds into the third quarter Jeff Ryan scooped up a loose ball that was knocked away by teammate Nick Carr and raced past four Bobcats to throw it past Andrews to make the score 13-2. It was Ohio State’s 4th man advantage goal scored on Tuthill’s penalty. Quinnipiac finally got its own man up goal, when Gary Messina took a long pass from Jack Oppenheimer and shot the ball in between traffic, and passed a screened Schroeder, who never saw it.

Each team tallied four goals in the fourth quarter, three of them man advantage goals and the rest even strength. Buckeye James Green drew a three minute penalty to begin the fourth quarter with an Illegal cross, meaning that his stick was considered too narrow for use. Although his penalty was non-releasable, the Bobcats managed just one goal on the man advantage.

Ohio State coach Joe Breschi pulled Schroder at the start of the 4th quarter to give backup goalies Bandon Freeman and Bill Curry playing time once Ohio State had an insurmountable lead.

For Quinnipiac, Garret Kerr was held goal-less for the first time all season. He scored 9 goals in the first three games of the season but has tallied just 4 since.

“They came out and pressured us a bit — they moved the ball really well. I give them (Ohio State) credit,” Coach Fekete said.” We just got to fix some stuff and get ready to go next week.”

But Coach Fekete was not concerned about the long term affect of the loss.

“I’m not going to necessarily put on a parachute and get so concerned. We’re 6-1. You got to realize we’re a pretty good club that had a bad day today,” Fekete said. “We just got to get out and get ready to play against Sacred Heart.”

The Bobcats have four consecutive road games before returning home to face Bellarmine in the regular season finale on April 26. They face Sacred Heart on Wednesday afternoon, then fly out to Colorado for games on the 11th and 13th against Denver and Air Force respectively. Then, the Bobcats face nationally ranked Notre Dame in South Bend on Friday, April 18. The conference semifinals are May 2-4.

NOTES: Buckeye junior Joel Delgarno had one goal and four assists. He has now scored a point in 35 straight games — a point in every game he has ever played for Ohio State. Buchanan’s goal streak is at 37. … Delgarno now has scored 16 points against the Bobcats, the most by any Buckeye against QU. Buchanan is second with 12. … Four Buckeyes had hat tricks, with Green, Ryan, and Ventiquattro joining Poillon. No Bobcat scored more than twice. … The Bobcats gave up eight 2nd period goals, after giving up 10 goals in the second period all season.

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