Ohio Machine Machine lock down for win No. 2
The Ohio Machine rallied around a hat trick from attackman Marcus Holman and a staunch second half effort from goalkeeper Kyle Bernlohr to win their second game of the season on Saturday night in Fortress Obetz versus the Dallas Rattlers, 14-12.
After last week’s disappointing fourth quarter effort, where Ohio was up 10-9 only to give up five straight goals and lose 14-10, the Sheens put on a second half defensive clinic thanks to Bernlohr’s 11 second half saves with seven in the fourth quarter alone.
“Overall, we did awesome down the stretch and (it was) a gritty win, not the prettiest, but that’s what you get in this league,” he said after the game.
Both Bernlohr and the Machine offense began slowly with the second-year starter only stopping two out of five shots on goal as Dallas (3-2) jumped out to a 3-1 first quarter lead.
For the first 11 minutes of the second stanza, it looked like two heavyweights slugging it out with neither wanting to go down. Only the two heavyweights looked sluggishly punch drunk as only six total shots on goal were taken, six turnovers were committed and 13 ground balls were scooped up.
Finally, it was Dallas attackman Ryan McNamara who ripped the net on an unassisted two-point powerplay to give the Rattlers a 6-2 lead.
That was with under four minutes to play in the first half and it was looking bleak for the Machine heading into the locker room.
They could not move offensively and Dallas goalie John Galloway was in a complete zone, looking like a brick wall on the way to snagging nine saves against 11 shots on goal.
But that’s when Holman happened, finally catching his groove – as well as a dandy pass from teammate Tom Schreiber – and zipped his first goal of the night past Galloway to inch the Sheens back into the game, 6-3.
Less than a minute later, Holman struck again to put Ohio within two, 6-4.
And with only a minute and thirty seconds remaining in the half, Holman slid to the middle of the field inside the Rattlers’ arc, caught a razor-pass from Jake Bernhardt, put on a quick spin move back to the inside and laced his third straight goal for the game’s only hat trick to make it a one-goal Dallas lead, 6-5.
However, the Rattlers would strike back with eight seconds remaining to take a 7-5 halftime lead but at that point, Holman had definitely put his stamp on the game and gave the Machine the offensive spark they needed.
Even if he didn’t think he played very good.
“I was glad, personally, to be able to provide a spark for us tonight but … that’s a true team win,” Holman said. “Everybody had their hand in the win but it’s kind of funny, I would say I didn’t play a very good game other than that brief three minutes.”
Those three minutes would be all Holman would need to lead all scorers with three goals for the game.
Head coach Bear Davis said he kept his halftime locker room speech simple.
“We go into halftime and I start telling the guys, ‘just do your job’, you know. Everyone’s really great at three things, we don’t have to be great at four or five things. Just do your job and let the game come to us a little bit more.”
The Machine picked up the start of the second half how they ended the first and shredded the nets for five straight goals to take a 10-7 lead halfway through the third quarter.
The two teams would trade goals after that, giving Ohio a three-goal edge, 12-9, and all of the momentum on their side.
Luckily Bernlohr was on their side, too. And it looked as if he and Galloway had been traded at halftime with Bernlohr doing his best Galloway impression, snaring seven saves against 10 shots in the final quarter.
Bernlohr said it was all about weathering the storm.
“Dallas is an interesting team, they have really good shot selection so it’s tough to get into a rhythm versus them. They’re patient, they take good shots (and) that leaves a goalie going a couple of minutes without a shot. They score, then you have the next couple of minutes to think about what you could have done. So it’s just weathering the storm versus that team and just kind of controlling the tempo when you can.”
Bernlohr finished the game with 15 saves against 25 SOG. Galloway also finished with 15 saves but saw 29 SOG.
Schreiber led both teams with four points on three assists and one goal.
Bernhardt finished with two points on two assists.
McNamara led Dallas with five points on two two-point goals and one assist.
The Machine (2-1) have a bye next weekend with their next game at Charlotte (4-0) on Saturday, May 26.