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Jacob Bloomfield, an Ohio Bobcat hockey goalie, poses for a picture after the game against the John Carroll Blue Streaks on Friday evening. The Bobcats won 9-0. 

Hockey: Jacob Bloomfield shines in Ohio Bobcat debut

The night Jacob Bloomfield waited 14 years for finally came Friday.

Bloomfield, a junior goalie who grew up playing hockey in Athens since he was 8, heard his name called to start in net for the Bobcats for the first time in his career.

“I could definitely feel my heart thumping in my chest a little bit,” Bloomfield said after Ohio beat West Virginia, 8-1, Friday night at Bird Arena.

Bloomfield, who played for Ohio’s Division II team the last two years, got the chance to play for the D-I team this year and took the job — even though he knew he’d be the third goalie on the depth chart.

In Ohio’s fifth game of the season, in front of a home crowd, Bloomfield finally got his chance.

Coach Sean Hogan didn't reveal his Friday night starting goalie until Friday’s morning skate, so Bloomfield knew just hours before game time he’d be making his first appearance.

“Hogan told me last week that my chance to play was going to come soon, but he didn’t give me a specific time,” Bloomfield said. “So I was just in ‘wait and see’ mode basically.”

Bloomfield was in "wait and see" mode again when the game got underway, as Ohio jumped out to a two-goal lead before he even faced a shot.

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Nearly halfway through the first period, West Virginia’s second shot seeped through a screen of eight players and fooled Bloomfield, cutting Ohio’s lead in half.

“You don’t want that to happen on the second shot of the game,” Bloomfield said of the power play goal. “It kind of squeezed through my arm, so it feels like a save I still should be able to make.”

Bloomfield found his bearings for the rest of the first period, stopping the other four shots he faced — including a clear breakaway that he stopped to the roaring approval of the crowd.

“The breakaway save was big, especially when we were up 3-1,” Hogan said. “They get a breakaway and it could’ve been 3-2. He did a great job for us.”

As the Bobcats continued to score, Bloomfield continued to stop everything headed his way. Most his fourteen saves on the night were pucks the Mountaineers simply threw on net, however, because they couldn’t muster much else.

Ohio captain Michael Harris, who had two goals and an assist Friday, had a chance to talk to Bloomfield at practice late in the week. He kept his message simple.

“I just told him to do what he does, don’t change anything up,” Harris said. “You don’t want to mess with a goalie’s head.”

With Ohio (5-0) headed to Morgantown, West Virginia on Saturday morning ahead of Saturday’s 4 p.m. start against the Mountaineers, Bloomfield will almost certainly be out of the lineup.

But getting his first start and his first win in front of an appreciative home crowd provides the type of boost a third-string goalie needs to stay hungry for another chance.

“His head is definitely high right now,” Harris said. “And that’s right where we want it to be.”

@JordanHorrobin

jh950614@ohio.edu

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