In dizzyingly dominant fashion, Ohio swept its opening weekend series over John Carroll with a 7-0 win Friday and a 13-0 win Saturday at Bird Arena in front of packed Parents Weekend crowds.
The blowouts are not indicative of what’s to come on the schedule for the No. 7 Bobcats, but the strong first weekend serves as a boost of confidence, if nothing else.
“I told our guys I don’t know what it means,” Ohio coach Sean Hogan said about takeaways from the weekend. “I know next week our schedule’s harder. We gotta continue to stay focused.”
Video game numbers
Every Bobcat skater that played this past weekend scored at least one point. Sophomore winger Matt Rudin led the way with four goals and two assists, including a hat-trick and an assist Saturday.
The goalies posted back-to-back shutouts — one for senior Aaron Alkema, the other for senior Ryan Heltion — while the team held a 94-12 shot advantage.
The 13 goals scored Saturday were the most in a game by Ohio since a 17-0 win in a scrimmage against the Goderich Junior C hockey club on Oct. 1, 2010.
“When we score that many goals in a game, you’re having fun scoring goals,” Rudin said. “But at the same time you don’t want to make a team feel that bad.”
When Ohio took a 10-0 lead after two periods Saturday, Hogan said he told his players not to try to continue running up the score, but rather to work on running offensive systems.
The ice isn’t nice
Before reporters had a chance to ask Hogan any questions Friday night, he had something to ask them.
“How many questions are about the ice?” he asked. There were none, but it was an issue everyone was aware of.
As expected, the late-September heat has kept Bird Arena’s ice surface softer than normal. Small puddles sat on the ice in warmups, and after Friday’s game, four Bird Arena workers shoveled snow off the top.
“It slows us down,” senior forward Joey Breslin said. “The ice is so soft that it’s hard to dig in and really get a good stride out there. So the game just feels slower.”
Seven of the nine freshmen played this past weekend and fit seamlessly into the production. Forward Pat Hannan and goalie Jimmy Thomas did not play.
Forward Austin Heakins had two goals and two assists, while defenseman Jake Houston chipped in a goal and two assists. Forward Garrett Jenkins was the other freshman to record his first collegiate goal.“I feel like they’ve settled down and got their first jitters out,” Rudin said. “We have a really good freshman class, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they do later in the season too.”