Ohio Hockey Returns to Bird Arena

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The 2016-17 Ohio Bobcats team will be both an experienced team, and a team trying to incorporate nine new freshmen to their program this season.

Ohio’s senior-led team will begin the 2016-17 regular season against the John Carroll Blue Streaks at Bird Arena this weekend. This will be the fifth consecutive season the Bobcats open their season playing against the Blue Streaks.

In the previous eight games the Bobcats have had the upper hand against John Carroll, winning seven of the eight games and outscoring the Blue Streaks 47-12 in those eight games.

Even though Ohio has proven to have the Blue Streaks number over the years, head coach Sean Hogan knows it is important limit their number of opportunities.

“We try not to get too nervous about our opponents,” Hogan said. “But John Carroll is a very opportunistic team and opportunistic teams are hard to play against because they are kind of all over the place, they are up and down the ice and can create strange turnovers and those loose pucks can find their way into the back of the net.”

Although Hogan sees his team as the better team on paper, he was quick to point out a hockey game is never won on paper.

“If you were going to go by what is on paper then I think are clearly the better team,” Hogan said. “But I don’t think you ever want to say that because hockey is not won on paper, it is won on the ice.”

Ohio will return six of their top seven scorers from last season, so there will be plenty of leadership for the nine new freshmen who are just beginning their time with Ohio hockey.

Bobcats senior assistant captain Patrick Spellacy stated the goal for this weekend is quite simple,

“We have to come in and do what we do and try to win a hockey game.” Spellacy also pointed out where he believes Ohio’s best advantages are and how they will try to use those advantages this weekend, “We can use our size and speed to get the puck going, then hit the open guy and put the puck in the net.”

With the ice conditions still not 100 percent the team has been limited in the amount of practice time so far, so to begin the season Hogan is mainly looking for hustle, energy and effort from all of his players.

“We haven’t had a ton of time to practice and work on the little things but fortunately a lot of our guys this is their third year playing for me now so it is not a lot of changes and they kind of know what to expect, now it’s just getting the new guys to get into those habits.”

Hogan does not believe he needs to do or say anything extra or special to his players, he is certain that they know how important this first weekend is and he expects them to be ready to battle with John Carroll this weekend.

“Usually the first weekend, the home opener there is a packed house so we don’t need to do anything to get the guys going,” Hogan said. “They are already excited to be out there.”