Updated Mon, Feb 6, 2012 12:40 pm
Hockey is a highly competitive sport. Those involved take their performance, both on an individual and team level, very seriously.
Sometimes, though, the competition is put aside for a cause even greater than a win or a loss.
Such was the case this weekend at Bird Arena, as the Ohio hockey team welcomed the American Cancer Society Ice Ghosts for a two-game exhibition series. The Ice Ghosts, many of whom are former Bobcat icers themselves, travel around the country playing in exhibition contests to raise awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society.
Seeing many former players back on the ice was an experience head coach Dan Morris enjoyed.
“It’s a lot of fun to see the guys come back and want to be back. There are a lot of good players on the opposing team.”
In the first game, the Ice Ghosts roared out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back as they were able to top the current Bobcats 4-2. That game, Morris said, was important for his team.
“They played great, and they taught our boys a lesson.”
On Saturday night, the Bobcats exacted their revenge on their former teammates, scoring their first goal in a mere 21 seconds en route to a 9-1 dismantling of the Ice Ghosts.
Morris says that the team plans to continue playing the Ice Ghosts, hopefully to the point of it becoming an annual tradition.
“We’ve got it on our schedule (next year) as the weekend between our league tournament and our national tournament, so we’re going to continue to do it. It’s for a great cause.”
That cause is particularly keen for Bobcats, especially for Jared Fuhs. His brother, Jim, is a member of the Ice Ghosts. The impact of cancer strikes home for both of them, as their mother, Becky, is currently undergoing treatments for cancer. Morris commented on how that fact makes this game even more important for those involved.
“It affects us personally with Jared Fuhs’ mom, going through her cancer treatments, so it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, and now that we’ve finally got a mechanism to get it done, it really makes sense for us to continue it.”
Morris also said that during the weekend, his team had a lot of time to interact with the Ice Ghosts.
“The guys intermingle a lot. There are guys that played with each other. There’s only a few guys in their locker room in their 30s, most of the guys are in their 20s, and our seniors played with a lot of them, so there’s always a lot of interaction.”
Next week, the Bobcats return to league play when Kent State invades Bird Arena. Morris said that he could use the games this week as a gauge for things to improve on against the Flashes.
“We hammered out some things that we needed to work on. I thought, particularly in the first period tonight our puck movement was crisp. Our defense didn’t end up going east, west, or south, they were going north towards the puck. Our transition game was a lot better, so that helped iron things out.”
The Cats look to make it a season sweep of the Golden Flashes on Friday and Saturday night next week. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. both nights.