Hockey: Ohio notches three wins in showcase

Ohio forward Matt Hartman rushes the puck up the ice for an attempt on goal in the second period against the Liberty Flames. Ohio lost to Liberty 7-6 on Oct. 4. (Arielle Berger | File Photo)

Momentum has shifted in the Bobcats’ favor.

After sweeping the trio of Colorado State, Navy and Niagara at the American Collegiate Hockey Association Showcase tournament in Mentor, it certainly seems that way for a team that dropped three of five to start the season.

“I think we came together as a team this week,” Brett Agnew, a senior forward, said. “We had a much better week of practice. We worked hard together and (the weekend) was a good team effort.”

Ohio (5-2-1, 15 points) defeated Colorado State on Friday afternoon 2-1.

Sophomore goalie Aaron Alkema stopped 25 of 26 shots for the Bobcats. He had a shutout streak of more than 60 minutes come to an end when he allowed a goal in the second period, however.

Sophomore forward Nick Hudeck scored the decisive goal later in the same period.

Saturday brought even more success as No. 13 Ohio shut out No. 17 Navy 4-0.

Alkema started again in the net for the Bobcats, stopping all 12 shots he faced.

Ohio scored four second-period goals against the Midshipmen, with junior forward Nathan De La Torre notching the would-be game winner.

The weekend came to a conclusion Sunday with a tightly contested 4-3 victory over No. 23 Niagara. Michael Harris’ pair of third-period goals led Ohio to its third consecutive victory.

Alkema, who was playing in his fourth consecutive game, stopped 19 of 22 shots on goal in Sunday’s match.

“I was very happy with the way he played and worked,” coach Jonathon Sheridan said. “We’ve got another week of practice coming up so we’ll go from there.”

Other notables from the weekend included freshman forward Joe Breslin, who added a goal and an assist to his team-leading point total, and defenseman Mike Kretz, who scored his first two goals of the season.

Freshman forward Liam Geither also scored a goal and added two assists to jump onto the season score sheet.

Sheridan thought the team bought into the system and worked within it to be successful.

Agnew agreed and said the team just has to keep the momentum rolling.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence now after sweeping this weekend, and we’re starting to get back on track,” Agnew said.

Looking ahead, the Bobcats will return to Athens and the confines of Bird Arena this weekend for a couple of home games against the Canisius Golden Griffins.

“We just have to make sure we have a good week of practice this week and keep the wins coming this weekend at Bird,” Agnew said. “We have to get back on track at home in front of our fans.”


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