There was something about the number eight for Ohio over the weekend. Ohio capped off a season-opening sweep of John Carroll with an 8-0 victory, matching its goal total from the first game but this time hanging on to the shutout Saturday night at Bird Arena.
For the second time in two games, Ohio got off to a hot start as captain Drew Magyar opened the scoring less than five minutes in. After that, however, John Carroll avoided the same first period barrage that sunk it on Friday. The Blue Streaks played a physical period to keep the game slow and limit the Bobcats’ scoring chances.
That approach worked for about eight minutes, as the Bobcats were stifled until senior forward Alex Singley found the net from long range to make it 2-0. Fellow senior Scott Bagby added a third with just over a minute left in the period, and Ohio was off and running.
Junior forward Andrew Wells put the Bobcats up 4-0 91 seconds into the second period, and that really took the wind out of the Blue Streaks’ sails. The Bobcats seemed to be on cruise control for the rest of the game.
For the second night in a row, the crowd was energized from the start, but they really got into the game about halfway through the second period when a scuffle broke out in John Carroll’s defensive zone. It resulted in a power play for the Blue Streaks, but that turned out to be a bit of false hope.
Just 30 seconds into the John Carroll power play, Ohio freshman defenseman Spencer Schons picked the puck up on the left side of the ice and drove towards the net. He slotted it home neatly and the crowd exploded, giving Ohio the boost it needed to kill off the penalty and finish the period strong.
While six different players found the net for the Bobcats, it was last season’s leading scorer, Magyar, who led the way. He netted a pair of goals, including the opener, and was a constant threat against the Blue Streaks. After scoring 12 goals in a shortened season last year, Magyar has opened his account for 2021-22.
“It’s good in the first couple of games to go out there and get the monkey off your back,” Magyar said. “It’s important to get those first ones early and just set the tone for the rest of the season.”
There was plenty of tone-setting for the Bobcats in this opening series. They outscored the Blue Streaks 16-1 and outshot them 91-32 over the weekend’s two games. The Bobcats seemed to be in total control for the majority of both contests.
With fans back in the building for the first time in over a year and a half, Ohio gave its supporters plenty to cheer about and it is obvious it was relieved to have them back in Bird Arena.
“It’s a different feeling being in here with the fans,” Magyar said. “Last year you could just tell there was something missing every time you stepped out on the ice. We love the Bobcat fans and we’re happy they’re back.”