From The Athens Messenger
By Allan Brown
Looking to rebound from a close loss against Pittsburgh on Saturday, the Bobcats’ Hockey squad faces another nationally ranked club this weekend.
It actually could be dubbed as Clash of the Titans on Ice, Part Two.
That’s because OU, recently ranked sixth in the Mens Division 1 ACHA computer rankings through Nov. 6 takes on the number 13-ranked Maryville squad from St. Louis in a home series this Friday and Saturday. Both teams bring 11-3 records.
Maryville gave the Ice ‘Cats their first loss of the year back in October. OU returned the favor the following night.
And since then, Maryville hasn’t lost a game.
OU is hoping to change that, but Bobcats Head Coach Lionel Mauron knows all to well the challenges his squad will face from a well-rounded Saints team.
“Maryville is very structured and plays with a ton of speed. They are a team who should be ranked in the top 10. Their back is against the wall, and it always creates a lot of energy for them. We need to come out ready for a battle and play a full 60 minutes game,” Mauron said.
To sweep the Saints, Mauron mentioned a few key things his team will need to accomplish.
“We want to get back to basics, be more disciplined and enjoy working for one another. It’s a long bus ride (for Maryville), but they will be ready to play. We want to be on them early and dictate the pace of the game. We want to be aggressive and build energy in our building.
“They are disciplined and fast in transition. They have a strong defensive core that moves the puck well and forwards who can take on players one vs. one. It’s going to be a fun matchup with a lot of intensity,” the coach added.
The Ice ‘Cats are led in stats by the freshmen duo of Luc Reeve and Laker Aldridge, who were uncharacteristically frozen out of the stat sheet in Saturday’s 2-1 loss against the Panthers.
Still, with 18 goals and 18 assists on the season, Reeve could statistically afford a game without any points, as his numbers are not only good enough to lead OU, but also rank him as number two in the country in Men’s Division 1 stats from the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
Another rookie forward, Laker Aldridge, is close behind for OU, with 13 goals and 15 assists, for 28 points. Senior captain Sam Turner ranks number three in points with 17 and is tied with Aldridge in assists to go with his two goals on the campaign. Forward Aiden Grieco finishes up the top four in points for the home club with eight goals and four assists, good for 12 points about six weeks into the 2022-23 season.
Puck drop for both games this weekend at Bird Arena is at 7 p.m.
Mauron has emphasized in past interviews with The Messenger on how important he feels having the home crowd support the team is to its current success.
“It is exciting to see the students, their families and the local community come together to support our team. We take pride in playing for OHIO and it is always a great motivation,” Mauron said.
“I can see my players being very confident and creative on the ice. This following is one of the reasons why this program is so special and why our players are performing at a high level at home.”
(Originally published at https://www.athensmessenger.com/sports/bobcats-hockey-takes-on-maryville-in-pivotal-series-this-weekend/article_b4f7fe4a-65bf-11ed-b881-8f8e4166fed3.html)