As cold as it was in Bird Arena on Friday, Ohio was on fire.
Ohio played arguably its best offensive game this season, crushing Western Michigan 10-2. It had a slow start in the first period, starting down 2-0 to the Stallions after 19 minutes of play. However, the Bobcats never doubted themselves, and at the end of the first period, they never looked back.
Zach Curry scored the Bobcats’ first goal at the last second of the first period, and Trevor Wittkopf tied things up with his own score early in the second. After that, Ohio’s scoring didn’t stop much for the rest of the final two periods.
Western Michigan could not keep up, and it never scored again after its two goals in the first period. Not only that, but the Stallions also helped set up many of the Bobcats’ offensive opportunities. The Bobcats played well, but the Stallions also beat themselves on Friday. Ohio ended the night with 60 shots on goal compared to Western Michigan’s mere 15.
“I think they sat back and gave us a lot of shots,“ Ohio coach Lionel Mauron said. “I think a lot of those 60 shots were from the outside, so maybe not as dominant as it really looked, but we were still able to create from the bill, which I'm happy about, and hopefully tomorrow we get maybe less shots but more quality.”
Despite Mauron not being 100% satisfied with the quality of the shots on Friday, Ohio still produced goals. Ohio scored the most goals it has in a single game this season. In addition, eight of the goals were scored each by a different player. It was an all-around excellent team effort for Ohio, and Mauron likes what he sees from his team.
“I think every time we play the teams where we're dominating, everybody's contributing, everybody's working hard,” Mauron said. “I'm really proud of the guys who do it that they're always bought in. They want to do well, so it was great to see.”
Aiden Grieco and Ryan Higgins each had two goals and two assists for Ohio on Friday. Grieco was proud of the way his teammates played Friday and said they were a huge help in his success.
“My teammates did a good job of creating space, getting pucks on net,” Grieco said. “I mean, just good overall effort.”
The most surprising part of the night was the fact that Ohio had zero penalties. That’s right, zero. Penalties have been one of Ohio’s greatest weaknesses this season, as well as giving up goals on the power play. After totaling 34 penalty minutes the night before, Ohio completely flipped a switch.
“We had the puck most of the night so then it's easier to stay out the box,” Mauron said. “But we did it so I'm really happy about that, and it's a major change.”
There’s not much the Bobcats need to change before they take on Western Michigan again Saturday in Bird Arena. If they can play like they did on Friday, they could be looking at their third win in a row.