The atmosphere of Bird Arena on Friday night electrified the Bobcats for their first game of the series against Syracuse. With a sold-out crowd filled with alumni, current students, families and fans, Ohio dominated the game with a 4-1 win for the start of Dad’s Weekend.
The Bobcat’s momentum extended throughout all three periods, which has been a struggle for Ohio in previous games.
Defense-wise, the Bobcats were able to keep the puck out of their zone for the majority of each period.
Less than 5 minutes into the game, freshman Barron Stibbe scored his first goal as a Bobcat.
“It’s awesome. They say the first one’s the hardest,” Stibbe said. “So yeah, it feels really good to go out and get that off my shoulders.”
Stibbe commended his team for being able to maintain their lead despite the 11 minutes of penalties for the Bobcats in the second period with three minors and one major.
“I thought the boys in the kill did a really good job. We had a lot of penalty trouble there in the second so they did a good job killing those off,” Stibbe said.
Despite the victory, Head Coach Lionel Mauron understands that there is still work to be done.
“I don’t think that was our best,” Mauron said. “I think we played down to Syracuse level. So I think that we have a lot better, but overall, we won and that’s what really matters.”
Since last week’s 7-1 loss against Adrian, the Bobcats spent the week working on their skill to come back on top this weekend.
“Well, we had a really hard week of practice. I think we lack consistency and a little bit of effort. So we tried to be pretty tough on them. And obviously, it worked with that,” Mauron said.
Mauron went on to recognize the individual players who brought the power to the ice.
“We know that we have a lot of speed, especially Noah Holt. So it’s good to have that to build energy. I think that’s what really helped us today, and then (having) Justin Damon back really saved our butts.”
On Saturday, the Bobcats will face off again with Syracuse at Bird Arena.