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Ohio junior Liam Geither trips over a Liberty player at Bird Arena on Jan. 15. Ohio lost all three of their games in Arizona this past weekend.

Hockey: Ohio looked sharp in its last practice before ACHA tournament play begins

The practice was the last of the season for Ohio, as every day for the rest of the season — as long as the team keeps winning — will hold a game for the Bobcats.

BENSENVILLE, Illinois — Ahead of its first round matchup against No. 10 Lebanon Valley, No. 7 Ohio took to the ice for its last practice of the season in preparation for this year’s American Collegiate Hockey Association's National Tournament. Here are a few takeaways from practice: 

- Ohio took part in a relatively basic practice, running two-on-one drills, half-ice drills and basic fundamental drills. The skate-around only lasted 45 minutes.

- The practice was the last of the season for Ohio, as every day for the rest of the season — as long as the team keeps winning — will hold a game for the Bobcats.

- Likely starting goaltender junior Aaron Alkema looked sharp in practice, making several impressive saves and earning cheers from his teammates. Alkema is 19-6 on the season with a 2.54 goals against average.

- The team seemed loose and energetic, cheering when a big save was made, or a player put a nice move on the defense and scored. The Bobcats are an experienced bunch, with much of the team having played in multiple single-elimination style tournaments this season, or in seasons past. 

- Line combinations appeared to be the same as they have been for the majority of the season. Expect the top line of Joey Breslin, Michael Harris and Patrick Spellacy to start for the Bobcats.

- The players gathered around center ice after practice and raised their sticks in the air. Harris, the captain of the Bobcats, gave a speech to the team emphasizing the importance of the intensity Ohio must have in the tournament.

- The Lebanon Valley Flying Dutchmen, Ohio's first opponent, are entering the national tournament ranked No. 10, sporting an overall record of 25-6. They play in the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League. Puck drop is at 3 p.m. EST. 

- The winner of tomorrow’s matchup will take on the Stony Brook Seawolves after they defeated the Syracuse Orange 3-2 on Friday. Stony Brook is No. 2 in the tournament. 

@AGill072

ag079513@ohio.edu

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