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Derek Rahme, Ohio senior forward attempts to score on Jake Mulka, Eastern Michigan freshman goalie, during Ohio's game against Eastern Michigan this past weekend. Ohio beat Eastern Michigan 9-1. 

Hockey: Bobcats ranked first in latest American Collegiate Hockey Association poll

After sweeping Iowa State, Ohio is ranked No. 1 in a recent poll.

The players on the Ohio University hockey team now have a target on their backs.

Ohio rose to No. 1 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Men’s Division I national poll Wednesday, following last weekend's sweep of Iowa State.

"It's definitely something special," Michael Harris, a senior forward and a team captain, said. "A lot of people can't say that they're No. 1 in the country. That being said, it's still the fourth week of the season. It just goes to show that there's a lot more work to be done, that there's that much more of a target on our back than there normally is." 

The Bobcats are ranked first in the polls for the first time since Oct. 27, 2012. Ohio finished No. 6 last season after losing in the national semifinal to Minot State.

Coach Sean Hogan became the first coach in ACHA D-I history to coach two No. 1 teams. He coached Oakland University in 2007 when the Grizzlies went on to win the national championship.

"Now everybody we play, we're the biggest name on their schedule," Hogan said about Ohio. "Everybody's jacked up to play us."

Ohio received 31 first-place votes out of 38 possible. The Bobcats jumped ahead of previously top-ranked Stony Brook, who split two games with No. 24 Lebanon Valley College last weekend.

The Bobcats are 8-0-0 on the seasonm and have outscored their opponents 52-8.

The rest of the top five is rounded out by Minot State, Lindenwood, Stony Brook and Iowa State.

"National championships are never given out in October," Hogan said. "So we just have to make sure we continue to get better."

Ohio returns home this weekend for a series against Center States Collegiate Hockey League opponent and No. 3 Lindenwood (5-1-0) on the season.

"Taking two from Iowa State, who's a very good hockey team, was huge for us," Harris said. "That showed everybody that we mean business, that we're here to play, that we do deserve to be where we are. Lindenwood coming in, playing at Bird is a big help for us, but we still need to come out and play no matter what, or that number one ranking will be gone quicker than we got it."



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