Ohio might have some of its biggest games of its season during its series against Iowa State this weekend.
The No. 5 Bobcats (16-3-6) return home to Bird Arena this weekend, where it’ll host league opponent No. 4 Iowa State (16-6-2). The Bobcats close out their Central States Collegiate Hockey League schedule with the Cyclones. The two teams split their first series in Ames, Iowa, in October.
Despite it being a huge weekend for Ohio, coach Sean Hogan wasn’t happy with his team’s performance at practice Thursday.
He sat in the Bird Arena locker room and unlaced his skates, lamenting his team’s practice effort on Thursday, but mentioning that stuff like that normally doesn’t carry over into the weekend games.
“Just effort, and attitude and body language,” Hogan said of Thursday’s practice. “We’ve had some bad ones in the past five years, but that was remarkable.”
Despite that, Hogan knows that the two teams will be evenly matched. He noted that he thinks his team has been improving each week of this semester’s portion of the schedule, with the being some of the best hockey it’s played this season.
“If we play up to our capabilities, stay out of the penalty box and play disciplined, we’ll have success this weekend,” Hogan said.
Opponent: Iowa State
Puck drop: 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Bird Arena
How to watch: Bobcat productions presents Ohio hockey via Facebook
Meet the opponent
Top point scorers
7 Tony Uglem (15 goals, 14 assists)
17 Aaron Azevedo (nine goals, 18 assists)
9 Trevor Sabo (seven goals, nine assists)
35 Matt Goedeke (14-5, 2.46 goals against average, .921 save percentage)
32 Nikita Kozak (2-3, 2.74 goals against average, .914 save percentage)
24 Kurt Halbach (20)
8 Jared Erickson (19)
6 Nick Sandy (18)
Three stars to watch
Injuries: Cody Black has been out the past few weeks with a leg injury, and Gianni Evangelisti and Austin Heakins both picked up injuries against Illinois. Evangelisti will be taking the ice, but Ohio will be without its captain, Black, and one of its top forwards, Heakins.
Strong finish to league play: It is unlikely that Ohio will win the CSCHL, with No. 1 Lindenwood running away with the league, but the Bobcats will look to finish their league slate strong.
Staying home: With the series against Iowa State and the season-finale series against Kent State, Ohio will close out the regular season at Bird Arena. Getting into a rhythm at home heading into the CSCHL and American Collegiate Hockey Association tournaments in Wentzville, Missouri, and Dallas, Texas, respectively, will help the Bobcats’ postseason chances.