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Ohio sophomore defenseman Tom Pokorney is one of the Bobcats who, upon appeal, will not be suspended for Friday's game against Illinois. (FILE) 

Hockey: Ohio to be tested early against top 10 Colorado team

Ohio's head coach, Sean Hogan, has never seen Colorado play live.

But, he has seen them play one opponent on tape, and he thinks he knows what his team will need to do to be successful.

“We got game film on them against Rutgers and their series there,” Hogan said. “They dominated their opponent. They’re big, strong, fast and again, when it comes to hockey, we obviously want to see what their tendencies are and what they do, but we are mostly focused on ourselves.”

In Hogan’s three seasons as coach of Ohio hockey, he has helped keep the Bobcats as a powerhouse and competed against top competition in the American Club Hockey Association.

A similar narrative will take place Friday and Saturday when the puck drops in Bird Arena as No. 7 Ohio will face off against No. 8 Colorado.

Not only are both teams ranked in the top 10, but also Ohio received two first-place votes and Colorado received one first-place vote in the ACHA Week Three poll.

Many Ohio players will play a top-level opponent for the first time in their college careers. Hogan said the game will be quick at first for them but will settle down and become another hockey game.

“I don’t know if there is anything we can do before (the game),” Hogan said. "But as the game is played, they’ll get a sense right away that it’s a little quicker pace and a little bit better opponent and it’ll up our game a little bit. I think we will rise to the level.”

Ohio senior forward, Adam Steranko, is looking forward to the challenge of playing such a high quality opponent. He said habits are what the Bobcats will need to focus on, and everything else such as the plays and the motions will fall into place.

After starting the season against John Carroll and Kent State, a matchup with a nationally ranked program such as Colorado will be a step up in competition for Ohio.

“A lot of good players, bigger players, so they’re gonna be faster, they’re gonna be stronger, they’re gonna be smarter so it’s something we’re going to have to adjust to, as opposed to playing a JC or a KSU,” Steranko said.

Hogan said regardless of the rankings, records and opponent, he is confident in his team’s ability to win hockey games.

“I tell our guys that I believe that if we play our best game and any opponent plays their best game, I still think we win that game 100% of the time,” Hogan said. “The focus is on us to play our best game.”


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