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A ref tells Ohio players to end the celebration after a goal over University of Pittsburg on Friday (BLAKE NISSEN | FOR THE POST)

Hockey: Bobcats ranked No. 3 for national tournament

The American Collegiate Hockey Association released its National Tournament bracket Wednesday morning, and Ohio found itself in a position it hasn't seen in a few years.

The Bobcats earned the No. 3 seed for the tournament this year, and they received a first-round bye (the top 12 seeds earned a bye). Ohio will play the winner of No. 14 Oklahoma and No. 19 Pittsburgh on Friday, March 10 at 2 p.m. The Bobcats must win four games in five days to win the championship.

The Bobcats did not play Oklahoma this season, but it swept Pittsburgh at home in early February.

Ohio captain Matt Hartman likes where the Bobcats are seeded, but he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself.

“We have a job to do this weekend,” Hartman said of the Central States Collegiate Hockey League Playoffs. The CSCHL playoffs are a week and a half before the National Tournament in Columbus. 

Crank the music

The Bobcats had a very competitive and active practice Wednesday after a sluggish session Tuesday.

How did they pick up the pace? Music.

The tactic seemed to work, coach Sean Hogan said, adding that the energy level was high and the practice went well.

“We do a lot of competition drills (on Wednesdays),” Hogan said. “There’s not a lot of stopping drills and talking about things so it works.”

The Bird Arena speakers were blaring throwback songs from the early 2000s, such as "Roses" by Outkast, "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani and "Crank Dat" by Soulja Boy, all provided by injured freshman defenseman Tommy Evans.

Some of the team favorites were "Laffy Taffy" by D4L (Matt Rudin's suggestion) and "Candy Shop" by 50 Cent (Hartman's suggestion).

Almost injury-free

The Bobcats will head into this weekend’s CSCHL Playoffs with only one injured player.

With Evans out for the season, the team will not be entirely healthy for the remainder of the campaign. Right now, it is as close as it can be.

Gianni Evangelisti, who tied for second as the Bobcats’ leading scorer, will be back in the lineup for the remaining tournaments, which means the Bobcats will have yet another scorer, and their third-line center, on the ice.

Hockey is a game of many injuries, and usually at this time of year, teams are very banged up. But that is not the case for the Bobcats right now.

Hartman said it’s nice to hit the most important part of the season with almost an entire roster being healthy.

@spencerholbrook

sh690914@ohio.edu

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