James Tananan Kamnuedkhun
In a battle between two top 10 teams in the country, the No. 4 Lindenwood Lions and No. 8 Ohio Bobcats both secured victories in the Friday and Saturday contests.
On Friday night in the Centene Community Ice Center, Lindenwood had one of their largest offensive outbursts of the season. It started early on with two first period goals by their leading goalscorer, Alex Kalau. Kalau’s first came just over four minutes into the game, when he was set up by Jordan Klimovsky and Caleb Ernst. His second came about eight minutes later when he scored on the powerplay.
A two-goal lead became a three-goal one after sophomore Ryan Finnegan found the back of the net near the end of the first. Finnegan, who has played in just eight games this season, has already scored nine goals on the year, tied with Vegard Faret for the second most on the team.
Not much changed in the second period, as it was Finnegan again who scored for Lindenwood giving them a 4-0 lead just 3 minutes into the second. Tommy Heinzmann scored the next one for the Lions, assisted by Finnegan and Aapo Nurminen. The assist was Nurminen’s 100th point of his career.
Still in the second, Kalau notched his third on the evening less than a minute after Heinzmann’s score. Coltin Craigo scored off of a penalty shot, and then Billy Denis scored his first goal of his career to cap off the scoring for Lindenwood, winning by a final score of 8-1.
The eight goals are tied for the most in a single game this season for the Lions. Cooper Seedott, though denied of having a shutout after conceding in the third period, had another strong outing making 29 saves against the Bobcats.
Ohio stepped up defensively on Saturday, providing a much tighter scoreline than the night before. This started with a scoreless first period as neither side could get going on the offensive end early on.
Just under 10 minutes into the second period, the first goal of the evening was produced from Lindenwood. Brendan Murphy tallied his 10th goal of the season, tied for the most on the squad with Kalau. Ohio responded to this score with two goals of their own, ending the second period with a 2-1 lead.
In the beginning of the third, Braden Shea scored when he was set up by Victor Lombardi and Colton Craigo to tie the game 2-2. Ohio responded by scoring the game-winner with 2:12 left in the period, winning 3-2.
The loss is Lindnewood’s sixth on the year, as they fall to 16-6 in the 2019-20 season. Next up for the Lions is a home date with the University of Oklahoma, starting next Friday night at Centene.