Monday, March 5, 2007
OU hockey club takes national championship
In it’s first season in Division I, OU’s men’s club hockey team won the national tournament by beating number one-seeded Penn State in the championship game. The Grizzlies won the national title last year in Division II.
In the first game of the tournament, OU entered the third period down 3-1 but took advantage of their power play opportunities to win the game against Lindenwood 5-4.
"We told the players to stay the course, continue to get the puck deep and try to create turnovers, then capitalize on what opportunities you have," said Head Coach Sean Hogan.
On Saturday, Oakland faced the University of Michigan Dearborn, which had defeated number two-ranked Ohio University in double overtime to advance in the tournament.
The Grizzlies got on the board first, netting two quick goals before the Wolves could even get a shot on net. Tim Michaels and Jeff Einheuser started the scoring early each getting goals under five minutes in. Michaels finished the game with two goals, Garret Kondratek netted one, and Will McMahon scored an empty netter to close out the Wolves 5-1 and move on to the semi-finals against number three-seeded Illinois.
Oakland started the scoring against Illinois in the second period when J.P. Ferrari beat the defender wide and tucked the puck home to give the Grizzlies the 1-0 lead. McMahon added his first of the game midway through the second stanza to double Oakland’s lead at 2-0.
Oakland would do more than that on the ensuing face-off. After JP Ferrari won the draw, Michaels chipped it off the glass and into the neutral zone where Brent Cooper picked it up and drew both Illinois defenders at him. Cooper would then hit Will McMahon on the wing for a breakaway where McMahon would draw the puck back, fake a shot and then tuck it in behind Illinois goaltender Mike DeGeorge with only 59 seconds left on the clock.
"You can’t say enough about McMahon. That might be the biggest goal in OU history. I haven’t seen a move like that in such a pressure situation," said Hogan.
With the 3-2 win against Illinois, the team moved on to face Penn State for the national title.
Penn State scored first and outshot the Grizzlies 12-6 in the first period. McMahon tied it up in the second period and helped the team outshoot Penn State 15-11.
McMahon took over in the third period, scoring two short-handed goals and another during an even strength match up on his way to being named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
OU topped Penn State 5-1 and reclaimed the national title.
For more information on OU hockey, visit the OU hockey club Web site.