If the Bobcats needed any motivation to play, it wasn’t hard to find.
The No. 3 Bobcats will have an opportunity to clinch their second regular season Central States Collegiate Hockey League Championship in the last three seasons when they host Iowa State on Friday and Saturday night in Bird Arena.
The goal of winning three championships (the regular and postseason CSCHL Tournament and the National Tournament) in three weeks that's preached by coach Sean Hogan in practice starts with the regular-season crown.
Hogan knows how difficult capturing the first of the three will be.
“(The CSCHL) is such a grind,” Hogan said. “It’s really hard to win the regular season (title).”
Not only can the Bobcats win their regular season championship, but they have something to play for Saturday, as well. If Ohio can sweep Iowa State over the weekend, it will have a chance to be the No. 1 seed in the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament next month.
With all of these things at play, it would be understandable for the Bobcats to be a bit nervous for this weekend, but they aren’t. The players are focused in practice and ready for the road ahead.
“We’ve had pretty good energy this past week,” Hogan said.
Not only will a conference championship be on the line this weekend. Emotion and pride will also be high.
Ten seniors will be honored before Saturday night’s game as part of Senior Weekend for the Bobcats.
The group of seniors is a tight-knit one, and it's bound to be a very emotional night, not only for them, but also for the teammates and coaches they have become friends with over the years.
Hogan said while it is a great thing to honor the seniors, there are still games ahead that need to be won before the seniors actually leave the program.
The reflection on time spent in Bird Arena won’t come until after the games are done.
“We have a lot of hockey to play,” Hogan said. “That keeps you focused.”
Junior defenseman Reilly Moore has not only played for three years with the seniors, but he also played high school hockey against some of them. He said while the team will have some added motivation for this weekend, he just wants to see results.
“It’ll definitely be emotional,” Moore said. “But we just want to win both games this weekend.”