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Ohio's Liam Geither scores the Bobcat's third goal of the game in Bird Arena. Ohio beat West Virginia 8-1 on October 2, 2015. 

Hockey Notebook: Ohio sweeps West Virginia, remains unbeaten

The home-and-home series featured a goalie debut and an unknown injury, among other story lines. 

No. 2 Ohio kept its unbeaten record alive last weekend in a home-and-home set against West Virginia, winning 6-1 Saturday and 8-1 Friday.

Here are the main points to take away from the weekend.

Bloomfield debuts with a win

Junior goalie Jacob Bloomfield didn’t find out until Friday morning that he’d be starting for the first time that night in front of a home crowd at Bird Arena.

“We don’t really tell them who’s going to start and everything … as a coaching staff, we kind of had this pegged for his opportunity to start,” Ohio coach Sean Hogan said. “I didn’t see his reaction but I’m sure he was excited.”

Bloomfield allowed a power-play goal on just the second shot he faced, but said the early blunder helped him sharpen up for the rest of the game.

“I kind of just took it back to the same mindset of, ‘alright, the first goal’s been scored. I’m in the game now," Bloomfield said. "I’ve got to really buckle down now and make sure they don’t get any more on the board.' "

Bloomfield did "buckle down" and stopped everything else West Virginia fired his way. He finished with nine saves on 10 shots and earned the win for the Bobcats.

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Harris finds his scoring touch

Through four games, senior forward Michael Harris registered six points for Ohio (6-0-0). 

But the Bobcat captain could have had more, especially as the centerpiece of the power play, had he not hit multiple posts and crossbars.

In Friday’s win, Harris broke out with goals — one in the first minute of the second period, the other in the first minute of the third — and an assist.

“It was definitely a confidence booster, for sure,” Harris said. “It felt like the monkey was still on my back, just with all the chances I had.”

Ohio will rely on Harris to be an offensive leader, particularly on the powerplay, when he is usually parked at the right faceoff circle awaiting the puck.

Bryan Lubin injured

A normally raucous Bird Arena crowd fell silent Friday when freshman forward Bryan Lubin laid on the ice behind West Virginia’s net after taking a big hit up above the waist.

“(Lubin) was skating down the ice and he had his defenseman beat, but then the other defenseman stepped down … and pretty much just jumped and elbowed him right in the head,” Harris said.

Lubin did not play Saturday afternoon and his status moving forward is unknown. More updates will come as he continues to be evaluated through the coming week before next weekend’s road series at Iowa State.

Ohio survives early scare in Morgantown

In an eerily similar fashion to last season, Ohio played its first road game against West Virginia and allowed an opening goal in the first three minutes.

Bobcat goalie Aaron Alkema made a few saves in close on a scramble in front of his net, but ultimately produced a rebound the Mountaineers buried.

“You get that sense in your gut, you’re like, ‘oh man we need to figure this out quick,’ ” Hogan said. “But we answered right back to make it 1-1.”

Ohio got the equalizing goal five minutes later and rolled out a total of six unanswered goals to preserve its undefeated record.


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