Ohio Hockey Ready to Use Nationals Experience This Season

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Last season the Bobcats went on a thrilling run in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) national tournament that saw Ohio go all the way to the national championship game.  Ohio will look to build off that successful run this season under fourth-year head coach Sean Hogan.

This season will be Ohio’s 60th season, which starts on Friday night at Bird Arena when they take on the John Carroll Blue Streaks.

Ohio’s roster will have a different look than last year, as only three seniors are on the roster this year.  The Bobcats will be a younger team. However, the majority of the players on the team have the experience of going to the national championship game, which is something Hogan hopes will help the team this year.

“Those guys [on the roster] have a lot of national tournament experience,” Hogan said. “They have a lot of experience in playoff-type hockey games and that should bode well for us as long as we use that experience the right way.”

Senior captain Jake Faiella echoed Hogan’s comments and said the experience the team gained from last year’s run is one of their biggest advantages heading into this new season.

“The biggest thing [for this season] is that three-quarters of our team has national championship experience,” Faiella said. “Now think about that, it is pretty impressive and  not many other teams can say that.”

The Bobcats schedule features 36 regular season games, 24 of which will be at the friendly confines of Bird Arena.

Ohio enters the season ranked No. 2 in the ACHA, which will put a bigger target on the back of the team.  According to Hogan though, that is not something that will phase the team one bit.

“We know we will definitely have to play harder, we are always a big name on team’s schedules,” Hogan said.  “That just means we have to be ready to play every night, and in my four years here that is the hardest thing to do, to be ready every single night, especially during the long season.”

As for their first opponent, John Carroll,  Ohio has had their number in past seasons. But Hogan stressed the importance of not overlooking them this weekend.

“I want our team to be hard to play against,” Hogan said.  “I don’t want us to try and do things individually, I think we need to stick to our systems and if we do that we play really well. I want us to be aggressive, fast and look quick and do a lot of the little things because that is what builds great teams.”

For the several new additions to the team, Hogan hopes they are amped up to play and he wants to see them use that pent-up energy to their advantage against John Carroll this weekend.

“We want them to bring the juice, I want our guys out there playing with super high energy, playing fast and being in that moment,” Hogan said. “Obviously as the season goes on and we get to the playoff games, we want our guys to take a breath and get composed but for game one we want them coming out with high energy.”

With the combination of this being the 60th year of the hockey program here at Ohio as well as the team’s run to the championship game last year there will be a lot of extra attention on the team this year.

Although there will be that attention, Hogan and the team are not phased and welcome the extra attention because it is something they have sought out for quite some time.

“We want eyes on our program,” Hogan said. “We know we have something special here and we want people to come see what we’ve got.”