No. 5 Ohio (15-3-5) hits the road this weekend for a Central States Collegiate Hockey League series against No. 13 Illinois (14-12-5). The Bobcats are coming of a home sweep of Syracuse and will look to continue the momentum against the last-place team in the CSCHL.

Game information

Opponent: Illinois

Puck drop: 8:30 p.m.

Venue: The Big Pond (Champaign, Illinois)

How to watch: Youtube at Illini Hockey Broadcasting

Meet the opponent

Top point scorers

24 Robert Ernsting (Six goals, 28 assists)

26 Thomas Kolaz (12 goals, 16 assists)

21 Kacper Ryba (15 goals, 10 assists)

Goalie play

1 Jake Barnhart (8-9, 2.71 goals against average, .907 save percentage)

30 Elliot Gerth (3-5, 2.88 goals against average, .900 save percentage)

Penalty minutes

7 Stephen Quinn (51)

26 Thomas Kolaz (48)

19 Jack Healy (41)

Last match-up

Ohio wrapped up its fall semester slate with Illinois. The teams split the series. Illinois picked up a shutout win on Friday and Ohio won in overtime on Saturday. Matt Rudin scored the game-winning goal off his helmet. The Bobcats will look to have a better performance on the road against the Illini. 

Three stars to watch

Continuation of play: Ohio swept Syracuse last weekend but struggled near the start of the series. From Friday’s third period through the Saturday’s shutout, the Bobcats style of play became more aggressive. If they continue to play like that, the way coach Sean Hogan wants them to, they should have more success. 

Playing with a man-advantage: Ohio has been playing a lot better as the season progresses on the power play, scoring on 32.08 percent of its chances. Hogan has attributed it to better chemistry. Ohio could take advantage of its success on the power play, with Illinois killing penalties at a 81.19 percent rate. 

The Big Pond: The ice at the University of Illinois Ice Arena, otherwise known as “The Big Pond” is 197 by 115 feet. For comparison, an NHL ice sheet is 200 by 85 feet, and an Olympic-sized sheet is 200 by 100 feet. That means Ohio skaters are going to have to focus on staying on their man, and not allowing a puck handler to have extra space to shoot.