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Ohio goalie Jimmy Thomas scans for the puck during the Bobcats’ game against Eastern Michigan. (FILE)

Hockey: Kent State scouting report and how to watch

Ohio has the opportunity to reach some milestones this weekend. 

Jimmy Thomas has the chance to break both the career and season shutout record. Ohio will also celebrate its senior class, comprised of seven skaters. And to top it off, it can win its last pair of games in Bird Arena for the season.

In its final series of the season, No. 4 Ohio (18-3-6) will host in-state rival No. 24 Kent State (19-10-1).

Thomas, who has been stout in net for Ohio ever since his debut in the fall of 2016, is tied with former goalie Paul Marshall for most shutouts in a career with 15. Coming off a bye-week and well-rested, Thomas looks forward to returning to his crease and owning a piece of history.

The Bobcats last hosted the Flashes on Feb. 7-8, 2014, when they swept their guests in a combined 15-2 performance.

Game information

Opponent: Kent 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

14 Jonathon Buttitta (27 goals, 42 assists)

25 Sean Moore (17 goals, 52 assists)

28 Michael Sullivan (five goals, 19 assists)

Goalie play

31 Alex Okicki (13-2, 2.22 goals against average, .925 save percentage)

1 Tyler Geloneck (6-5, 3.03 goals against average, .901 save percentage)

29 Nicholas Mizen (2-1, 3.18 goals against average, .899 save percentage)

30 Shea Spanier (1-2, 3.70 goals against average, .867 save percentage)

Penalty minutes

10 Justin Bioni (63)

13 Chance Taylor (47)

24 Rubin Chavarria (42)

Last matchup

The Bobcats and the Flashes each hosted a series back in the 2013-14 season. Ohio won all four games by a combined 26-6 score.

Three stars to watch

Emotion: Perhaps a bit overstated, but there is potential for emotions to be running high on the Ohio bench. Thomas has the chance to break an Ohio record, it’s senior weekend and this is one of the last few tune-ups before it heads into tournament season.

Short shifts: With the absence of at least three players, the Bobcats are expected to rotate lines for quicker shifts so that the team can conserve energy. The shorter shifts not only allow for a more rested bench, but also allows Ohio to control the pace of the game a little easier.

Youth: In tandem with roster shortage, younger players such as freshmen Drew Magyar and Ryan Higgins could see an increase in ice time. While the Flashes are ranked in the ACHA Top-25, it’s a team that allows Ohio to give its younger players experience against a lower-tiered ranked opponent.


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