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Freshman Hollander Thompson (25) races a West Virginia player to the puck in Bird Arena on Nov. 4, 2022.

Hockey: Ohio controls game in 7-1 win over West Virginia

Ohio knows how to put on a show. 

The Bobcats were in control for the entire game at home Saturday, defeating West Virginia 7-1 and sweeping the series. With the win, the Bobcats are 6-0 at Bird Arena. 

Ohio asserted its dominance from the start. It spent most of the first period in front of West Virginia's net, putting up 24 shots on goal. 

The shots were there for the Bobcats in the first period, but the quality wavered. Despite the insane number of shots on goal, the Bobcats only scored one goal in the first period, thanks to Luc Reeve. 

Most of Ohio's shots on goal came from far away, which was part of the problem. West Virginia goalie Michael Nickolau had time to read every shot that came his way. 

"It's hard to beat goalies at this level if you don't bring people in front of the net," Ohio coach Lionel Mauron said. "I think we did better as the game went on, but it's something we want to work on going into next weekend against Pitt." 

West Virginia started putting pressure on Ohio late in the first period, but it was attentive and ready. Its first shot came from about mid-ice, but Ohio goalie Max Karlenzig stopped it quickly. West Virginia only had three shots on goal in the first, but Karlenzig was there for every single one. 

This was not the case in the second period when West Virginia scored its first goal of the series and cut Ohio's two-goal lead to one. Despite the slight slip, Ohio was still in control of the game. It answered back with a goal three minutes later. The goal was scored by Hollander Thompson, his fifth goal this season. 

Four of Ohio's goals Saturday came from Reeve. After scoring the game's first goal, he scored two more in the second period and another with just over three minutes left in the third. His four goals gave him a hat trick, his first of the season. 

"He works so hard," Mauron said. "He's always on the puck. He's intense, he's physical and extremely skilled. He'll be a very special player for Ohio in the next four years. We're lucky to have him."

Reeve wasn't the only impressive offensive player of the night for Ohio. Laker Aldridge totaled six assists Saturday, tying the record for most assists in a single game set by Mark Patriquin in 1983. Aldridge assisted all three of Reeve's goals, as well as goals by Thompson, Blake Rossi and Ryan Higgins. 

Aldridge was glad to leave a positive impact Saturday, and he'll do anything to help Ohio win. 

"It's always fun to win," Aldridge said. "That's the biggest thing is winning."

It's easy to win when you shut out your opponent, which Ohio did over four periods Friday and Saturday. Goalies Karlenzig and Justin Damon both played well against West Virginia, but Ohio's defensemen were also strong in the series. They were all over the neutral zone, keeping the puck from slipping by. 

"We don't give up much," Mauron said. "I think it's been a trend throughout the whole year. (It's) something we're working on that we want to continue."


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