Ohio Hockey kicks off weekend series with 7-0 win over West Virginia< < Back to sports
ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio Hockey kicked off dad’s weekend with a resounding 7-0 victory in front of a near sold out crowd in Bird Arena Friday night.
Usually a cold place, Bird Arena was hot, teeming with thousands of Ohio Hockey fans. The stands were so full it eventually became standing room only. Although men’s hockey is notorious for bringing in large home crowds, Friday’s showing was unprecedented.
“There is nothing like it in our league,” head coach Lionel Mauron said. “It was an awesome atmosphere, probably the best all year.”
Ohio, now two games into their 22 straight home game stretch ranging from late October to mid February, continued their undefeated streak at home. The Bobcats offense at home this season has been impeccable. 34 goals at home thus far, and that number may double or even triple by the end of this season.
“Playing at home with the crowd is a huge advantage,” Mauron said. “We’re going to enjoy it when we get going and we build energy, everybody follows us.”
Yet it would be unfair to generalize Ohio’s offense as only dominant at home. Through 11 games they have scored 62 goals, averaging a little over five and a half per game. Just two losses, both to teams above them in the current ACHA standings and one being top of the league Adrian. So far, year two under Mauron has gone swimmingly.
Friday’s rout over the West Virginia Mountaineers was no different. Two goals within the first seven minutes, including a JT Schimizzi score not even 90 seconds into the game. The Bobcats offense never once slowed down. Along with the two goals scored in the first, they scored two in the second and three in the third.
A 7-0 win is impressive in itself, but the way the Bobcats won gives fans even more optimism for the upcoming stretch of games. Ohio controlled the puck fluidy and frequently. It’s sheer amount of speed, strength, and precision was at a high level compared to West Virginia. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Ohio had outshot West Virginia 55 to 13. A one sided affair was clearly dominated by Ohio.
Three out of the seven goals scored on Friday night were shot in by freshman Laker Aldridge, who also supplied an assist. The six foot forward was everywhere and anywhere for Ohio’s offense. Mauron recognized the firepower Aldridge brings to the table.
“He is an electric wire,” Mauron said. “He can create offense out of nothing. Any pucks within 6 feet of the net, it goes in if he has it.”
Ohio won’t be hitting the road any time soon. Mauron’s Bobcats play nine different teams over the next few months, testing their ability. They will be back in action Saturday evening to finish their double header against West Virginia with puck drop set for 7 p.m.