Despite another series sweep last weekend, Ohio dropped one spot to No. 4 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association standings. However, it has a chance to prove why it belongs back in the top three at home this weekend, and what better time to get another series sweep than against a Central State Collegiate Hockey League rival Illinois?
Both teams have been evenly matched over the past few years; however, the Bobcats are having one of their best seasons while the Fighting Illini are not. They currently sit at No. 49 in the ACHA and are last in the division.
Here is everything to know before the CSCHL matchup this weekend:
Opponent: Illinois (2-11-1)
Location: Bird Arena
Date and Time: Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.
Points: Alek Bogdonoff (6)
Goals: Bogdonoff and Addante (4)
Game-winning goals: Will Sammons and Addante (1)
Assists: Atticus Helfer, Gregory Etigen and Shane Riefe (3)
Penalty Minutes: Helfer (25)
The Fighting Illini are no strangers to playing in a packed Bird Arena. They have been in the CSCHL with the Bobcats since 1993, so they have made the trip to Athens many times. Over the past 10 seasons, The Bobcats are 16-13-7 against their division rival.
Ohio and Illinois already faced off in a series this season on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15. Ohio dominated in both games, scoring 13 total goals and holding Illinois to just one. It was one of Ohio’s best all-around weekends, as eight different players scored. Goalies Max Karlenzig and Justin Damon also played well, and Kalenzig’s shutout on Oct. 14 was the first against the Fighting Illini since 2017.
Player to Watch:
Andrew Sacca — Sacca isn’t the most powerful part of Ohio’s offense, but he has still made plenty of impacts this year. Sacca scored his 10th goal of the season Friday and already has 22 points across 24 games, the most points he’s totaled in a season over his three years with the team. Sacca’s senior season is his best one yet, and he’ll be looking to continue his success this weekend.