Hockey: Ohio hopes to take pair of games vs. first place Canisius

The Bobcats are attempting to extend their modest three-game winning streak when they welcome a high-scoring Canisius squad to Bird Arena for a two-game series this weekend.

Ohio (5-2-1, 15 pts) will have to focus on keeping the puck out of the net as they face a Golden Griffins team (7-4-0, 19 pts) that is averaging more than five goals per game.

Canisius has played the most games of anyone in the Northeast Collegiate Hockey League, and the Golden Griffins remains in first place.

Yet Canisius has dropped some games to lesser competition, including a 5-2 loss to West Virginia — a team the Bobcats handled with ease.

“I guess you say you fear no one, but respect every opponent,” coach Jonathon Sheridan said. “So, you just have got to be prepared to play the game and respect that they have scorers and they have beaten some teams, lost to some teams, but you can say the same thing about us too. I don’t think we can judge them based on that.”

He added that the team has been able to translate the momentum from last weekend’s successes at the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Showcase tournament in Mentor.

“Practices have been good,” Sheridan said. “The guys have been realizing that it takes more than just skill to win games, you have to put hard work in along with it.”

Last weekend, freshman forward Liam Geither, sophomore forward Nick Hudeck and junior defenseman Mike Kretz each played critical roles in the Bobcats victories by scoring numerous critical goals.

“I think that’s huge,” Sheridan said. “We have our big line that puts up a lot of points, but when you have guys that can score also it makes us more dangerous because teams can’t isolate one line and prevent them from scoring.”

He added that it’s huge for a team to be able to roll our four lines that all have scoring punch.

“It makes us a lot more lethal than a one-line team,” Sheridan said. “When you have guys that are scoring that haven’t been it’s huge.”

After starting the previous four games, sophomore goalie Aaron Alkema has cemented his position in the pecking order.

Yet, with freshman goalie Ryan Heltion having had a great intro to his inaugural season, Sheridan hasn’t committed to who will be starting in net this weekend.
“I’ll let you know Friday,” Sheridan said.

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