Ohio treks through the tougher part of its schedule as it hosts Michigan-Dearborn this weekend at Bird Arena.
The Bobcats (7-1) played an exhibition game against Chatham on Tuesday. Despite playing so soon after their series with Iowa State, coach Cole Bell saw many of positives carry over from the weekend and into the exhibition.
“After the loss on Saturday it was good to get right back at it,” Bell said. “The level at which they compete, the passion and desire to win has always been there. (Tuesday) was a nice change up to the routine. It helps the guys be ready for anything.”
Michigan-Dearborn is 6-2 so far this season, with its only two losses to Lindenwood and Indiana Tech. If Ohio can even split this series, it will be in a good position to take on Liberty next weekend.
Opponent: University of Michigan-Dearborn
Puck drop: 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Bird Arena
How to watch: Bobcat Productions presents Ohio Hockey
Meet the opponent
Top point scorers
No. 24 Billy Brock (14 assists)
No. 14 Nic LaBurn (seven goals, four assists)
No. 7 Justin Dunn (four goals, eight assists)
No. 34 Thomas Proudlock (6-2, 1.38 goals against average, .955 save percentage)
No. 31 Kayden Pickles (0-0, 0.00 goals against average, 1.000 save percentage)
No. 13 Silas Johnson (29)
No. 65 Adam Groat (19)
No. 14 Nic LaBurn (14)
Ohio and Michigan-Dearborn haven’t faced each other since the 2016-17 season, nearly three years to the day. The Bobcats managed to sweep the Wolverines with a 3-2 shootout win on Nov. 4, and an 8-1 blowout on Nov. 5.
What to watch
Tyler Harkins: Harkins had been day-to-day with a sore foot after the series against Iowa State. He didn’t practice on Monday, but did get ice time against Chatham. As of Thursday he is cleared to play, but the amount of ice time he will get is unclear.
Standing at No. 2 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association for total points scored this season, Harkins has 24 points through his eight games, second only to Toledo’s Ian Rapp, who has 30 points through eleven games.
Emotions: Bell stressed that he wants the team to keep their emotions in check during this weekend. The series against Dearborn coincides with Dads Weekend and Bird Arena will be lined wall to wall with many of the players families.
If the Bobcats get riled up, their play will lose discipline, and continue to earn unnecessary penalties which have plagued them as of late.