[Maria Monesi | WOUB]

Ohio Hockey 10 goals Illinois en route to clinching the CSCHL championship

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — They may not have the NCAA label next to them, but the Ohio Bobcats hockey team (23-4-1) may just be the most exciting show in Athens. That show had another sold out performance at Bird Arena Saturday night and its audience was treated to a 10-1 licking put on by the Bobcats to the Illinois Fighting Illini (2-13).

The win also gave Ohio the CSCHL league title. Head coach Lionel Mauron praised the groups resiliency as the reason for being league champions.

 “They’re very resilient,” Mauron said. “I think last night, we had a good talk. We had not really been dealing with adversity well the last couple of weeks, but today was completely the opposite. I’m very proud of them.”


On Friday night, the Bobcats spent much of the night in the box and allowed Illinois to hang around. Going into Saturday, they didn’t want to make that same mistake. Their goal was achieved, it just had a bizarre way of happening.

As the horn sounded to end the first period, a powder keg was lit. What had been a tightly contested 2-1 first period ended with a big hit.

What started as words turned into pushing and shoving, then turned into a legit line brawl. Players on the bench were holding their teammates back in order to prevent any more penalties and from the situation to get any more out of hand. When the dust settled, and the various sticks and gloves were brought back to each bench, a total of seven players were ejected and the Bobcats were given a five-minute power play. 

“It seems like there was a little bit of a fight and one of the Illinois players kinda went a little overboard,” Mauron said. Honestly, it was pretty good because we kept our composure, we got the five-minute power play and then we scored so that turned the game around. It played into our hands like we wanted.”

The Bobcats didn’t just score once, they scored three times on the five-minute power play alone. Then just for good measure, they scored on four more power plays after that, finishing the night five for 12, good for 41.6 percent on the man advantage. Despite being three men down for two periods, the Bobcats who were still left on the ice, turned on the intensity from there on out. These circumstances allowed for other players to step up and showcase what skills they have, such as Andrew Wells and Christian Albertson, who combined for three goals. 

“We have players like Christian Albertson who get more minutes because of it and he does so well because of it,” Mauron said. “We know down the stretch there’s gonna be injuries, there’s gonna be suspensions, so we’re gonna need everybody ready to go.” 

The Grim Reever 

“He’s the best player in the league,” Mauron said. “There’s no debate. He does everything right on both sides of the puck. Just thinking that he’s just a freshman is incredible. We have a diamond here.”

If you’ve been following Ohio Hockey the entire season, this quote by Mauron makes a lot of sense. If not, here’s the story. 

Luc Reeve is a freshman for the Bobcats and all he does is lead the ACHA in goals, points and is tied for the lead in assists. In just 28 games, he has 29 goals, 36 assists and 65 points. Every time Reeve touches the puck, a scoring chance is most likely going to occur.

However, it’s not just on offense where Reeve shines, he also delivers some massive body checks with the speed and intensity he plays with. Despite all of his individual accomplishments, it’s the team that matters most to Reeve. 

“I mean I really like hitting,” Reeve said. “Getting a couple points isn’t too bad, but winning’s the most important thing.”

Reeve had the hot hand Saturday as he finished with two goals and four assists, with five of his six points coming on the power play. He was doing this while two of the other top forwards, Laker Aldridge and Phil Angervil, were both out. 

An upcoming matchup for the ages 

Next week is siblings weekend at Ohio University, but it will also be the site of one of the most highly anticipated matchups in Ohio hockey history. At least seven times, it was mentioned at Bird Arena that next weekend will feature the Bobcats, ranked fourth in the ACHA, hosting the Minot State Beavers (25-1), the number one team in the country.

“I think it’s probably going to be the best ACHA game of the year,” Mauron said. “All across the board, they’re very, very intense and physical. We’re going to need to be very disciplined and structured. It’s going to be elite hockey and it’s sibs weekend here so hopefully it’s packed in here and it’s gonna be one of the best weekends Ohio’s had in a long time.”

This is a matchup that has been building and building throughout the season as both teams have continued to get better and better. Now that game is almost here it’s one the Bobcats are absolutely looking forward to.  

“We’re gonna celebrate tonight, but it’s gonna be short lived because tomorrow we’re going to be working hard and getting ready for Minot (State) next weekend.” Reeve said.