Ohio Hockey Finishes the Weekend with Another Win

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Two games, two convincing wins.  That is how the No. 2 ranked Ohio Bobcats began their season this weekend as they swept the John Carroll Blue Streaks at Bird Arena.

Unlike last night, Ohio’s offense wasted little time getting on the board.  Gianni Evangelisti lit the lamp just 1:53 into the game.  However, John Carroll would respond midway through the period with a goal of their own to tie the game 1-1.

Late in the opening period, Ohio’s Jake Faiella and Evangelisti each cashed in on a power play chance of their own, which extended the Bobcats lead to 3-1 over the Blue Streaks.

After the two teams remained scoreless in for the first five minutes of the second period, John Carroll’s Jacob Kuzma scored a power-play goal of his own.  This cut the Ohio lead to 3-2.

“We always want to have a good power play,” Evangelisti said.  “I think last year our power play was just okay so maybe having a better power play this year will help us go a little further in the national tournament and maybe lead to a national championship.”

However, Ohio quick to respond, as just 62 seconds later sophomore Austin Heakins pushed the puck past John Carroll goaltender Wes Deacon to make it 4-2 in favor of the Bobcats.

Just like in the first period, Ohio would strike score two quick goals on John Carroll late in the period.  Freshman Shawn Baird made it 5-2 in favor of Ohio and then Brock Rumbaugh would put the ‘Cats up 6-2 just 49 seconds later.

Heading into the final 20 minutes of play, it appeared as if the ‘Cats were on their way to a 2-0 start to this young season.

John Carroll made things interesting early on when they scored to cut the lead to 6-3 just 21 seconds into the period.  But despite their best effort, the Blue Streaks would score no more and the Bobcats would tack on three goals in the final eight minutes of the game to win 9-3.

Evangelisti had himself a great weekend as he scored three times and also recorded one assist.

“I am not too concerned about leading the team in points or anything like that,” Evangelisti said.  “Obviously I am going to try and contribute and help the team win and with all the seniors leaving it gives some of the younger guys a chance to step up and play.”

Tonight also marked the first career start for Mason Koster, and overall Hogan was happy with what he saw from his freshman goaltender.

“I thought he played well,” Hogan said.  “I think for the first time playing in front of a big crowd like that, I think he did a great job.”

The opening games in every sport are typically feel out games and teams look to build chemistry.  Ohio looked good overall but the team knows they still have work to do.

“This weekend most importantly we battled through a ton of adversity,” Hogan said.  “That was my message to the guys, between it being hot and the ice being terrible and facing a team that was hacking and whacking at us I think we battled through it.”