Ohio Hockey Sweeps Series Against Rutgers

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Going on the road is never an easy task for any team, especially when they have to travel 500 miles the day of their game. However, the No. 2 Ohio Bobcats put all that aside and were still able to come away with two key victories at Rutgers University this past weekend.

Friday night’s game was a high scoring contest, which saw a total of 13 goals scored, eight if them by Ohio en route to an 8-5 victory against the Scarlet Knights.

“Friday we struggled,” Ohio head coach Sean Hogan said. “We didn’t compete at our highest level, we scored two goals in the first 90 seconds of the game Friday and we didn’t play hard after that. But we got the win.”

The game on Friday night was highlighted by two goals from both senior forward Liam Geither and senior assistant captain Patrick Spellacy. Goaltender Jimmy Thomas made a return to the lineup on Friday and saved 19 of the 24 shots he faced. Bobcats registered at total of 53 shots on goal.

Saturday’s game was a different story according to Hogan, who thought his team played a more complete game than Friday. Ohio won 6-1 and did not allow Rutgers to get much of anything the entire game.

“Saturday was a much better team effort, we competed on the defensive side much harder,” Hogan said. “We had a strong third period which got us four goals.”

Geither scored his third goal of the weekend, which was a good sight for Hogan. Aaron Alkema started in goal for the Bobcats on Saturday evening and had his third consecutive successful start, allowing just one goal on 18 shots faced. For Ohio, they registered 54 shots on goal, which was the fourth consecutive game where the Bobcats had 50 or more shots on goal.

Ohio, who has just six more regular season games left, still has some room for improvement according to Hogan before they begin postseason play in about a month from now.

“Even though we won both games I think we were just average this weekend,” Hogan said. “We need to continue to work on getting to pucks first and our power play and penalty kill need to improve.”

The Bobcats will have a week away from American Collegiate Hockey Association competition as they will host their annual charity game next weekend against the Ice Ghosts before returning to action in two weekends against the Pittsburgh Panthers.

This two week stretch will be important for the Bobcats as they will be without Hogan and four key players, who will be at the 2017 Winter World University Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Hogan knows it is important for his team to continue to play well even in their absence from the team.

“It was important for us (to get the weekend sweep),” Hogan said. “For us every weekend is important, we need to continue to win and play well heading into the playoffs.”