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Ohio's Cody Black battles with West Virginia's Vince Fornes in Bird Arena. Ohio won 8-1. 

Hockey: Ohio sweeps Iowa State in statement series

The Bobcats relied on offense and goal tending to sweep weekend set.

When junior goalie Aaron Alkema officially shut the door on Iowa State’s last chance at victory on Saturday night in a shootout, he gave a few vigorous fist pumps in celebration.

He didn’t have much time before he was mobbed by his team.

The Bobcats poured onto the ice in celebration after sweeping the previously unbeaten, fifth-ranked team in the country on the road to keep No. 2 Ohio’s record perfect at 8-0-0.

“In the CSCHL part of the season, it’s so hard to win on the road, it’s almost always a split,” coach Sean Hogan said. “To get two wins against Iowa State on the road like that is pretty big.”

Ohio defeated Iowa State Saturday (1-0) in a shootout and Friday (5-4) for its fourth weekend series sweep of the season.

On Saturday, the Bobcats found themselves in a defensive struggle against the Cyclones, relying on Alkema to keep Iowa State off the scoreboard.

Alkema posted his third shutout of the season in just his fifth start, lowering his goals against average to 0.98 on the season.

“Alkema was just lights out tonight,” Hogan said. “He didn’t let any shootout attempts in either, so it was a complete shutout.”

For the first time all season, the Bobcats played a goaltender in back-to-back games of a weekend set. Alkema was unfazed saying, “It’s what you prepare for.”

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“(Friday) I was a little disappointed in how I played, so getting the shutout win tonight was a great feeling,” Alkema said. “I can’t give the defenseman in front of me enough credit, they blocked a lot of shots in front of me.”

Senior defenseman Tyler Pecka put a nifty move on the Cyclones goalie in the shootout to register the first and only goal Saturday night to give the Bobcats the win.

“In this league, especially on the road, it’s tough to win no matter where you go,” Alkema said. “All the teams are solid, and we were able to grind out a win.”

While Saturday was a struggle to score a goal, Friday was the opposite. Ohio prevailed 5-4 and gave Iowa State (6-2) its first loss of the season.

The Bobcats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with goals from senior Derek Rahme and sophomore Drew Crandall.

The team’s traded goals the remainder of the game, with the Bobcats keeping the Cyclones out of their zone at the end just enough for a win.

“After a long trip like that, it’s tough on your legs,” Hogan said of Friday’s game. “We started off a little slow, but we responded well. It was a back and forth battle, and I think physicality wise we probably did a good job.”

@AGill072

ag079513@ohio.edu 

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