Ohio Hockey Overpowers John Carroll in Opener

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Behind a shutout performance from Aaron Alkema in goal and two goals from senior Joey Breslin, the Ohio Bobcats cruised to their first victory on the season, defeating the John Carroll Blue Streaks 7-0 in front of a packed house at Bird Arena.

Ohio’s offense wasted little time getting on the board as Breslin scored his first goal of the season just 64 seconds into the game and gave the Bobcats the early lead.

“It felt great to get the monkey off my back right away on the first shift,” Breslin said. “The ice conditions weren’t the best but you know we got the first goal and momentum so that was key for us get the momentum.”

The defense for Ohio did quite an exceptional job of keeping John Carroll out of their offensive zone, as the Blue Streaks were limited to just two shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes and four total shots for the game.

Although Ohio managed to put up 17 shots on goal in the first period, they were only able to get the lone goal from Breslin, as John Carroll goaltender Wesley Deacon stood tall in net.

“I was ecstatic that we scored on the first shift,” head coach Sean Hogan said. “Then we did not get anything going the rest of the period, we had a lot of chances and that goalie made a lot of good saves but we weren’t winning that front battle.”

Ohio began the second period just like the first one, by scoring in the opening minutes. Once again it was Breslin who lit the lamp and gave the Bobcats a 2-0 lead. Midway through the period senior Alex Vazquez increased the Ohio lead to 3-0.

Special teams was an area that was worked on often in practice this week and the practice paid off. Ohio was successful at killing off all five of the John Carroll penalties during the game. The Bobcats power play unit also converted once tonight on a Grant Hazel snipe shot into the back of the net, which put Ohio ahead 4-0.

Despite the solid effort from the special teams unit tonight Hogan believes there is still room for improvement going forward, “I thought the penalty kill was okay, our neutral zone penalty kill was good but our in-zone penalty kill wasn’t good, our power play zone wasn’t great, part of that, not to make any excuses, may be the ice.”

The ice conditions in Bird Arena are not great at the moment due to the hot and humid weather, which Hogan as well as Breslin stated could have an impact on the players who are on the ice.

Ohio freshman Jacob Houston was able to shake off some early butterflies that he admittedly had and scored his first goal as a member of the Green and White early in the third period, which put the Bobcats ahead 5-0.

On his goal, Houston said, “It’s always good to get a couple (goals) in and I definitely gripped the stick a little looser and (the goal) gives you a little bit of confidence to play with and makes the game easier once you get that off your back.”

In the final five minutes the Bobcats were able to get two more goals from Brian Lubin and Matt Rudin respectively, which pushed the lead to 7-0 in favor of Ohio, which would end up being the final score.

With game one out of the way for the newcomers, Hogan definitely liked what he saw from the freshmen that played tonight. Hogan is definitely excited about the big, young group of recruits that he has this year and moving forward.

As for the whole game Hogan thought it was good for game one, but stressed that they must play with the same energy and focus and cut down on mistakes tomorrow if they want to complete the sweep of John Carroll.

“We have to do the same thing tomorrow, we can’t come out and let them get an early lead,” Hogan said. “We have to play better.”

Ohio and John Carroll play again tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.