Updated Fri, Sep 28, 2012 2:25 pm
This year's Ohio club hockey team will look to continue the program’s storied tradition and chase another CSCHL championship after falling 4-6 to Lindenwood University in last year's championship game. The Bobcats roster is set, and the chase for the title is on.
Ohio has lofty goals this season, but the team will face a learning curve with 14 out of 27 players having never touched the Bird Arena ice before this season.
“We really won’t know a lot about this team until we are tested more, but my general outlook is positive,” said Ohio head coach Dan Morris.
Morris, now in his 12th season at the helm of Bobcat hockey, is no stranger to having a team with big goals. Morris has compiled quite an impressive résumé in his tenure at Ohio, bringing five CSCHL regular season and four CSCHL tournament championships back to Athens along with an ACHA Division-I National Championship and a National Coach of the year award in 2004. Morris will attempt to guide this group of youngsters to the promise land again, understanding the challenge that lies ahead.
“All these new guys, they are good hockey players, but a cause for concern I have are the little things like special teams and chemistry on the ice,” Morris noted.
The road to a CSCHL title will be no easy task, as the conference is always tough and considered one of the best in the nation year in and year out.
“Our conference is the best out there, off the top of my head I know Robert Morris, Illinois, and defending champ Lindenwood will all have excellent teams and are all very well coached,” Morris said.
Ohio has a tough schedule and will be competing against several much larger schools such as Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Penn State to name a few.
This year’s squad will be captained by senior forward Tyler Pilmore, and senior forward Nick Rostek will also be key for the Bobcats offensive attack.
The schedule is tough, and expectations are high, but the sky is the limit for the young Bobcats in 2012-13.
Ohio is 2-0 so far on the year and will play host to the Pittsburgh Panthers this Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Bird Ice Arena.