Ohio was back in Bird Arena once again for a weekend series against Toledo. It hasn't swept a series since it played West Virginia in early November, but Ohio got one step closer to changing that with its 4-1 victory Friday.
The Bobcats' success could not have happened without their clean offensive strategy.
"At times we were intense, we were organized and we were able to bring traffic," said Ohio coach Lionel Mauron. "The goals that we scored were really in tight because the guys worked hard in front of the crease."
The first period started off slow, with a back-and-forth stalemate. Toledo got within scoring range multiple times on an early power play but could not capitalize due to Ohio's increasingly strong defense. Things took a turn 12:47 into the game when Andrew Wells smacked in his third goal of the season and the first of the night.
Less than three minutes later, Hollander Thompson added another goal for the Bobcats, assisted by the dynamic duo of Luc Reeve and Laker Aldridge. The Bobcats finished the first period out on the power play but couldn't create any action.
The second period also saw little action, with both teams struggling to create any offense. However, The Bobcats got one more goal on the board seven minutes into the period, as Andrew Sacca scored his third goal of the season. The Rockets were not going to be shutout though. They snuck one by goaltender Justin Damon to bring the score to 3-1.
In another attempt at a shot on goal, Toledo cracked the glass of the Blueline Booster Barn in Bird Arena, which created quite a stir.
The Bobcats were once again using teamwork to their advantage to create offense, even if it wasn't their best night.
"We found a way to win, and it's good to see some different guys stepping up some secondary scoring," said Mauron. It's encouraging, and I think we can do a lot better tomorrow night."
The Bobcats racked up quite a few penalty minutes in the third period, with 24 coming from Aiden Grieco. Grieco was called for a ten-minute game misconduct penalty, as well as an abuse of an official penalty. Shortly thereafter, there was a two-minute period where the Bobcats only had three men on the ice, as Thompson and Aldridge earned penalties 10 seconds after each other.
There were just over five minutes left in the game when the Bobcats were able to create some more offensive action with a goal from J.T. Schimizzi. The goal extended the Bobcats' lead to three and earned them a 4-1 victory.
Heading into Saturday's game, Mauron hopes to see a little more energy from the team.
"I think we just need to build energy for ourselves," Mauron said. "In December, it's a little harder because there are less people here."
Mauron also hopes for a slight decrease in penalty minutes Saturday.
"We get in penalty trouble because we are frustrated … we need to keep working for each other and try to build positive energy within our group," Mauron said.