The class of 2019 is one that has featured many key players over the last four seasons for Ohio. This article is a part of a larger series that The Post will conduct on all seven members of the senior class.
Bryan Lubin stood outside the Bird Arena locker room on Thursday after practice and quipped a line from a Toby Keith song.
“I ain’t as good as I once was,” Lubin said jokingly with a smile.
But most people would never be able to tell he was a jokester, however, as the Commerce Township, Michigan, native describes himself as a “low-key” guy.
And he is a low-key guy. Rarely does Lubin find himself in the penalty box on Friday or Saturday nights. He isn’t the wildest guy after a win, and he isn’t the most upset guy after a loss.
It’s that even-keeled persona that has helped him through 118-plus American Collegiate Hockey Association games. It’s that even-keeled persona that has helped him excel in the classroom as he will graduate with a degree in healthcare studies. It’s that even-keeled persona that will help him after his time in Athens.
His demeanor is an attribute that makes coach Sean Hogan perceive Lubin as an underrated talent for the Bobcats.
“He’s an under-the-radar guy for us,” Hogan said.
Lubin’s ability to stay under the radar isn’t by his lack of talent – the center is one of the Bobcats’ fastest skaters and is dominant on the forecheck – but it’s by the talent that surrounds him.
With flashy skaters such as Gianni Evangelisti, Tyler Harkins and Tom Pokorney around, it’s easy to go under the radar, which is how Lubin prefers it.
“I used to be a bit of a hot-head,” he said. “I think I’ve calmed down a little bit and that comes with age. I’m 25 now. I like being low-key.”
Every now and then, however, Lubin will surface for the Bobcats and snag the spotlight.
In the 2017 ACHA National Tournament, Lubin scored a goal to sealed the semifinal game for the Bobcats, sending them to the national championship game.
It’s a moment that Hogan looks back on and says is his favorite memory of Lubin.
“He scores big goals for us,” Hogan said. “I’ll always remember thinking ‘Bryan Lubin just sent us to the national championship’.”
Lubin has had plenty of moments in his senior season alone, where he’s been more surfaced than hidden. On Oct. 6, 2018, he had a hat-trick inside two periods at West Virginia.
He also scored a crucial goal in the Bobcats tightly-contested 3-2 loss at Liberty. But where he’s most effective isn’t always seen on the stat sheet at the end of games.
“He’s got a ton of speed, he has a really good shot and he’s a great forechecker,” Hogan said.
His intangibles are what distinguish him from perhaps some of the more noted players on the team. Lubin, especially in the transition game, has a knack of setting up the offense so it may operate in the way it’s supposed to.
“He provides a lot of things that go unnoticed.”
He has at the least four more games left for Ohio. Four more opportunities to remain low-key while at the same time, being the center of attention.
Four more opportunities to be as good as he once was.