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Hockey: Ohio to face disciplined Iowa Cyclones
The Bobcats are about to face their toughest test of the early season.
No. 13 Ohio (7-2-1, 21 points) is set to make the 13-hour trip to Ames, Iowa to face No. 5 Iowa State (9-1-1-1, 26.5 points) in its first Central States Collegiate Hockey League matchup.
“(Iowa State is) a very disciplined team. They like to go hard and come at you and I think we’ve been preparing for that all week,” coach Jonathon Sheridan said. “I think we’re ready for it.”
The games will ultimately come down to who can capitalize on the other’s mistakes, said Garrett Williams, a sophomore forward.
“Well, we’ve got to capitalize on their turnovers and minimize our own,” Williams said. “We had a lot this past weekend. It’s back and forth down the ice. We have to do less of what they do wrong.”
He added that the Bobcats will have to deal with one of the better goalies, Matthew Cooper, in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Cooper has a 1.88 goals against average and a .938 save percentage.
“We have to crash the net, get dirty goals,” Williams said. They have a good defense so we have to get some rushes on them and capitalize.”
During last weekends 5-0 and 11-3 victories against Canisius, Williams tallied three goals and six total points, including five points in Saturday’s victory.
“Before the game I just felt really good and I knew that I’d have a good game,” Williams said. “I just kept my head up and looked for plays, made good passes, and had a couple of rebound goals in front of the net.”
The recent outburst comes as no surprise to Sheridan, who said the team was looking forward to his performance improving after he had gotten through off-the-ice issues.
“You could just tell he was a different person now that his personal stuff is out of his mind, or at least behind him, and now he can just focus on hockey,” he said. We were expecting it, we just didn’t know when it would come and now that it’s here, it’s going to be here for a while.”
In terms of travel, the team boarded a sleeper bus at 9 p.m. Thursday and will make the overnight trip. The team used to make the bus trip to Peoria, Ill. and then complete the trip the next morning, but Sheridan said things are slightly different this year.
“We’ve got a day planned out, we’re going to head over to a park, they’ve got a little nature walk, so we’re going to get outside a little bit, get off the bus and get moving,” Sheridan said. “Then we’re going over to the hotel, a lot of guys will probably take a nap or go through their pregame ritual, whatever it is, then head over.”
Sheridan said this will be a pre-run of sorts for the overnight trip they will be taking to Minot State in North Dakota, which is an even longer trip.
Back to the task at hand, the Cyclones, though respected by the Bobcats, aren’t feared.
“They’re a good team, but we’ve got a really good team too,” Sheridan said. “It’s going to be a fun weekend, our best test so far, and I know the guys are excited.”
Oct. 25: Iowa State Cyclones 7:30 p.m. ISU Ice Arena
Oct. 26: Iowa State Cyclones 7:30 p.m. ISU Ice Arena