HED: Breslin uses numbers, not years, to bolster leadership on team
Ohio forward Joe Breslin leads team in scoring with 14 points in 12 games
Ohio spent Homecoming Weekend at Robert Morris, a team that entered the series as the No. 2 ranked team in the country, setting up the biggest challenge of the season to that point.
Ohio won the first game 3-0, with two of those goals being set up by assists from sophomore forward Joe Breslin. The next night, Breslin put one in the net himself, the first in a string of back-to-back goals that helped the Bobcats tie the game.
That weekend is a good representation of Bobcats hockey this season. It was a series that featured their great defense, ability to score quickly and the constant presence of Breslin around the net.
Breslin is the team’s leader in scoring, netting six goals and tallying eight assists in 12 games. He has scored at least one point in all six weekends the Bobcats have played so far, and has already totaled four games of scoring two points or more.
“He just works hard, puts himself in the best places and the puck seems to find him,” teammate Liam Geither said. “He always has the puck on his stick and when he doesn’t he seems to be placing himself in open spots and his linemates reward him for that.”
Breslin brings a unique skill set to Ohio. He has a large 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame, good shot and great vision on the ice. He’s also been praised for his coachability and his work ethic on and off the ice.
“We have a hundred percent confidence in him as a player,” coach Sean Hogan said. “We can use him on the penalty kill, and every other situation both offensively and defensively. He’s got a unique ability around the net and he and the rest of his line are really fun to watch.”
Breslin, a native of Centerville, Ohio, is studying finance. He played minor hockey in Cincinnati until his junior year of high school before then playing a year of high school hockey. After high school, Breslin spent two years playing junior hockey in Canada before coming to play for the Bobcats.
Breslin said the competition made the years spent playing in Canada worthwhile, but he enjoys playing closer to home because his parents are able to watch him play easily.
“That’s one of the biggest reasons I chose to play here,” Breslin said. “I knew my parents could come watch me whenever they want. When I was in Canada, they never got to see me, but here, they come watch every home weekend.”
Seeing the way Breslin has produced this season, it can be difficult to remember the fact that he dropped from first and second line to third line over the course of his freshman campaign last year. Now, he’s a regular starter and an impactful on-the-ice leader on a team already packed with senior leadership.
“He was always talented, but this year he really developed into a smarter player,” Geither said. “He’s a pretty quiet kid, but his skills and plays speak for themselves. We all know he’s a guy we can count on when needed.”