Ohio Hockey: Navy Preview< < Back to
After an impressive 2-0 start to the season, the Ohio Bobcats will look to keep the early season success alive when they travel to take on the Navy Midshipmen this weekend.
“Progressively throughout the weekend we just got better,” senior assistant captain Mike Palasics said. “From the first period on Friday to the last period on Saturday we could tell throughout the game we were getting better and better.”
Head coach Sean Hogan also thought the team played well in their first weekend series. But as always he hammered home the importance of the team not forgetting the basics because that is essential to playing top-level hockey.
“The effort is there, the work ethic is there so far and the physicality is there but some of our habits aren’t there.” Hogan said. “We are trying to do too much individually at times so we are going to have to continue to hammer home the importance of our habits and playing the right way.
Once again the Bobcats are already showing they are a deep team once again, as 16 out of their 25 players on the roster recorded a point last weekend. This will help the Bobcats moving forward because their opposition will not be able to focus on just one or two lines.
As for this weekend’s matchup, No. 3 Ohio will travel to the Naval academy to face Navy. This will be the first time in Ohio hockey history they travel there to play the Midshipmen.
Every road game is a challenge for Ohio and Hogan knows his team will need to come out early and set the tone.
“The first period is the most important one for us in each game when you are on the road, we want to go out there, set the tempo and not make too many mistakes,” Hogan said. “We want to play at a fast pace and then as the game goes on we get better.”
Palasics echoed Hogan’s comments about setting the tone early, especially in a hostile environment.
“Wherever we go, as long as we set the tone right away and we execute our game plan, I think we’ll be fine no matter who the opponent is,” Palasics said after practice. “If we don’t go out there and set the tone right away, it could be an interesting weekend.”
While going over the scouting report this week, Hogan and the assistant coaches found some areas where the Midshipmen could give the Bobcats trouble. However a specific area of concern brought up is somewhere Hogan actually thinks his team could gain an advantage, if they play smart.
“[Navy] is aggressive, but I think we can take advantage of that,” Hogan said. “They are an aggressive team but we’re playing on a bigger rink this weekend so if we can be faster we’ll have the advantage.”
Especially on the power play Hogan is hoping that Navy’s aggressiveness will be something Ohio exploits, but that will only work if the team can make crisp passes and move the puck efficiently.
Even with the larger size rink in Annapolis this weekend, Hogan does not think it will take long for the team to adjust.
“It’ll take us a few minutes for sure,” Hogan said. “It’ll probably take about a half a period to get up to speed, we just have to go out there and match their intensity because it is their home opener and will be a loud and exciting place to play so we just have to make sure to be ready.”
The team’s main focus is to go out each week and be better than the last game and win games. However the hunger to not only get back to the national championship game but this time win it, is something that drives the team. Especially the three seniors.
“It’s funny, me and [Jake] Faiella and [Drew] Crandall were talking about how we had a bunch of young guys and going that far in the tournament, gaining that experience and knowing what it takes to get there, it drives in every guy’s mind that we can make it back there with the guys we have,” Palasics said. “We know what it takes to get there, we just have to go out there and play our game, if we do that, we’ll be fine.”