Hockey: Bobcats split two overtime games to start season

Ohio players take the ice against John Carroll at Bird Arena. The Bobcats split with the Blue Streaks this weekend. (Calvin Mattheis | For The Post)

As its season got underway in front of capacity crowds at Bird Arena this weekend, No. 5 Ohio split a pair of overtime games with No. 22 John Carroll.

 Friday, John Carroll forward Dan Potter scored the winning goal with 1:07 remaining in overtime to give the Blue Streaks a 5-4 victory.

“It was fun,” Ohio coach Jonathon Sheridan said following his first game as head coach.

“John Carroll is a good team this year, they came out ready to play. Proud of the boys for coming back and bringing the game to overtime, can’t ask for more than that.”

Ohio registered 51 shots in the game, outshooting the Blue Streaks 51-18, but John Carroll goalie Justin Camuto made 47 saves.

“Any time you have 50 shots that’s a good thing, but when the guy stops nearly all of them you’ve got to commend him and tip your hat,” Sheridan said.

Bobcat goalie Scott Boyd, a junior playing in his first game with the team, allowed three goals on the first four shots he faced but then settled down.

“Scottie played hard, he came up big when we asked him to,” Sheridan said. “I think anytime it’s your first game in front of a full house its hard, but I was happy with how he played.”

The new first-line combination, consisting of senior Brett Agnew, and a couple of freshmen in Patrick Spellacy and Joe Breslin, came out of the gate strong.

The three combined for six points in the opening tilt with Breslin being named the first star.

“Joey is a great player, he’s special,” Sheridan said. “I think that whole line played great this game, and they will be looked at a lot during the year.”

In a defensive showdown Saturday, the combination of Agnew, Spellacy and Breslin provided the difference in a 2-1 shootout win, while Breslin scored the only goal for the Bobcats during regulation and Agnew scored the shootout winner.

“The first game coming in I was nervous, jitters came in,” Breslin, who scored four points this weekend and was named the first-star of each game, said. “The place was packed so that didn’t help, but after I got the first couple shifts out of the way I started getting more comfortable. I came in real relaxed to the second game and played pretty well.”

Freshman goalie Ryan Heltion made his first start for the Bobcats and stopped 18-of-19 shots before stopping all three shooters in the shootout.

“It feels great,” Sheridan said of his first win. “I wish it was last night, but the guys worked hard to get it done.”

The game was a battle of forechecking and Ohio’s strategy was to flood the inside lanes so to play to the weaknesses of John Carroll’s trapping style.

However, Camuto played another stellar game, stopping 32-of-33 shots, and leaving his total for the weekend at 79-84.

“I couldn’t say anymore good things about the kid,” Heltion said. “Without him, I mean it would’ve been really ugly, but he played his heart out.”

Heltion said he felt nervous towards the shootout, but was able to calm down and collect himself.

“Thought he played great,” Sheridan said. “Great first win for him, shootout down to the wire, that’s awesome.”

@akarl_smith

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