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Ohio's Mike Palasics crashes into the glass during a hockey game against the John Carroll Blue Streaks Friday at Bird Arena.

Hockey: Palasics shares connection with Eastern Michigan goalie

Mike Palasics did not score any of Ohio’s 20 goals in its opening weekend sweep of John Carroll.

But if he scores this weekend against Eastern Michigan, particularly if there’s a certain goalie in net, he would get more than just his first goal of the year — he’d get some serious bragging rights.

“I’d probably save it (a celebration) for after, you know, rub it in a little bit and let him know I’m there,” Palasics said with a sly grin. “Probably text him after the game, stuff like that.”

Palasics is talking about fellow sophomore Joe Moza, who is a goalie for Eastern Michigan. Palasics played two seasons with Moza in the North American Tier III Hockey League for the Cleveland Junior Lumberjacks.

“He was a cool dude,” Palasics said. “We got really close our second year.”

Moza was traded to Palasics’ Lumberjacks during the 2012-13 season, then played the following season entirely in Cleveland.

During that second season in Cleveland, Palasics was a top four scorer on the team and Moza was the starting goalie. Their locker room stalls were next to each other and that led them to become better friends.

“We still talk every now and then,” Palasics said. “We’ve been talking a little bit about it, the upcoming weekend, so we’re pretty excited.”

Palasics said the confidence in Ohio’s locker room is high after it dominated John Carroll in front of energetic crowds at Bird Arena. Most fans stayed for the entirety of both games and continued to holler at referees long after the games were out of competitive reach.

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Parents weekend helped boost attendance numbers, but the stands should be just as filled this weekend to celebrate Emergency Services’ Weekend, in which Ohio provides free tickets to hospitals, police and fire departments in the Athens area.

From texting with Moza, Palasics knows Eastern Michigan is aware of Bird Arena’s atmosphere and Ohio’s intimidation factor.

“He says stuff like, they’re kind of nervous I guess,” Palasics said. “Not nervous, just they know the reputation we have pretty much.”

The Bobcats own home ice advantage, and perhaps a psychological advantage, in the coming series against the Eagles. With that, Palasics said he doesn’t think Eastern Michigan stands a chance.

“,” Palasics said with a pause. “I mean, no. I really don’t.”


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