Updated Fri, Jan 3, 2014 11:46 am
Despite a slow start to the 2013-14 season, the Ohio club hockey team charged its way to the No. 4 ranking in the country in the final rankings released before the new year.
The Bobcats dropped their season opener to John Carroll, and the team stumbled to a 2-2-1 record in its first five games.
“Things weren’t going our way, but we knew one loss doesn’t determine your whole season,” Ohio head coach Jonathon Sheridan said. “The guys didn’t get too down or too negative and believed in each other … and as a coaching staff we had to reinforce to the team that we will get on the winning side of things.”
The wins then quickly piled up, as Ohio has gone 17-3-0 in its past 20 contests, and strung together a 10-game winning streak during that time.
The Bobcats even took down the No. 2 Robert Morris Eagles with ease, battering their CSCHL rival to a 7-2 win. Decisive victories over good teams like No. 2 Robert Morris, No. 7 Iowa State, and No. 15 Lindenwood helped Ohio ascend higher and higher up the national rankings and put it in the position it is now.
However, Sheridan knows that the Bobcats’ new No. 4 standing doesn’t do much for them on the ice.
“You always want to be ranked high and it’s a good feeling to see people recognize you,” Sheridan said, “but the rankings don’t help you win games. If anything, they just put a bigger target on your back.”
Sheridan also uses the phrase, “Rankings don’t matter, winning matters,” and his Bobcats have been earning quality wins despite losing multiple players to injury during the month of December.
Now well-rested after a three week break since their last game, Ohio expects to get some of those injured bodies back when it puts its No. 4 ranking on the line against rival Lindenwood in a two-game series starting on Saturday, Jan. 4.