Bird Arena was filled with dozens of hopeful skaters Monday as Ohio opened up day one of its tryouts for the 2018-19 season.
The two-hour session was broken up by two scrimmages between four teams: red, orange, green and yellow. Each scrimmage lasted 45 minutes with a break between the two games for the ice to get treated.
Returning players from both the division one and two teams as well as walk-ons comprised the rosters.
Here are The Post’s observations:
Sluggish Game 1:
Game one of Monday’s tryouts, while featuring a high-octane offensive effort, was rather sluggish from both team Red and team Orange.
Led by senior forward Bryan Lubin, team Red defeated team Orange 5-4 by Lubin’s game-winning goal with just a second left on the clock.
Lubin was one of, if not the, fastest player on the ice, something he’ll need to be for the Bobcats once the season gets underway.
Other returning Bobcats who stood out in Red vs. Orange include seniors Matt Rudin and Grant Hazel.
Rudin, a typically strong player with a dominant net-front presence looked as if he hadn’t missed a beat in terms of his typical playing style. While he was on the losing effort, Rudin had some of the cleanest shifts among his teammates.
Hazel, a senior defenseman, also had strong shifts amongst returning players. One of his best moments occurred near the blue line when a skater from team Red made an attempt to clear the zone and Hazel put his whole 225-pound frame into the much significantly smaller opponent.
Competitive Game 2:
In comparison to its predecessor, game two featured a much crisper and competitive flow. Junior forwards Gianni Evangelisti and Tyler Harkins led team Green to a 2-0 victory over team Yellow.
While the two aren’t in mid-season form, they both were heavily involved in generating chances for team Green.
Harkins in particular displayed a very active role in retrieving pucks from behind the net and setting up screens for any Green skater that would drive to the crease.
Team Yellow also had its fair chances in terms of offensive production, mainly led by junior Austin Heakins and sophomore Zach Frank.
One of the big differences between the two teams: junior goalie Jimmy Thomas.
While his minutes were sparse, Thomas blocked every shot his way.
In his fifth year as coach, Sean Hogan knows what he’s looking for at this stage of the roster building.
“We’re looking for guys that can compete,” he said. “We’ve already got our skill guys that can score goals, we’re looking for guys that want to compete and out-work, out-will and out-compete everyone else.”
While a majority of the Bobcats’ returners skated for at least one shift, senior Tom Pokorney was not on the ice for an undisclosed reason.
Former captain Jake Faiella played in both games during Monday’s tryout.
Tryouts continue on Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. in Bird Arena.