There were no winners or losers. That wasn't the point.
Ohio Green (wearing black) beat Ohio White, 3-2, in the Bobcats’ annual Green and White game Friday night at Bird Arena.
Hundreds of fans saw the scrimmage, which featured 27 of Ohio’s 28 players. The typical jeers from the crowd had no place, since no true opposition existed.
“For this first game, I didn’t know what to expect,” Jimmy Thomas, a freshman goalie, said of the crowd. “I was really pleased with the turnout of people who showed up. Great fans here at OU.”
Forward Austin Heakins, with an ice pack taped tightly around his right shoulder, told the story — even in an intrasquad game, he and the rest of the guys did not ease up.
“We’re out here trying to get better,” said Heakins, who dripped sweat as he spoke. “As far as game speed and everything, we’re going as hard as we can.”
There was hitting, but not as much as a season game would include. Ohio coach Sean Hogan said he wanted his players to play physical.
The game didn’t feature as much scoring as usual, either. But Hogan said he preferred it that way. Given the sloppy ice conditions on the 80-degree night, short rosters on both sides of the ice and two 25-minute running time periods, fatigue was to be expected.
The main purpose of the Green and White scrimmage is for Hogan to evaluate the team’s current strengths and weaknesses before kicking off the season.
But with poor ice conditions in the past couple weeks, there has been little opportunity to evaluate anything. The powerplay and penalty kill units have had just one day to practice.
“We lost a lot of ice time during the (ice) build when it was hot,” Hogan said. “So we had two practices two weeks ago, and we just had practice last week.”
In addition to the special teams units, Hogan said the regular-strength lines are not figured out yet. There are nine new players to factor into the lineup configuration.
One positive from the scrimmage was the play of the freshmen. Newcomers Garrett Jenkins and Jake Houston both had a goal.
“I think they all showed they belong with us,” Hogan said. “And I think we’ll be a real deep team.”