Updated Sat, Sep 28, 2013 1:12 am
Ohio’s top line showcased its skills in a 7-1 trouncing of West Virginia at Bird Arena on Friday night.
Each player on the No. 1 unit of Joe Breslin, Brett Agnew, and Patrick Spellacy had at least one goal in the victory that improved Ohio’s record to 2-0-1 on the season.
“They’re all pretty special guys,” Ohio head coach Jonathon Sheridan said of his top offensive line. “From the start, they wanted to play together, and they’ve taken advantage of the opportunity.”
Ohio got a gift early on, when Agnew attempted a hard pass from behind the net into the slot that was intercepted and then inadvertently batted into the net by West Virginia’s Chris King. Agnew was awarded the goal as a result of King’s folly, and the Bobcats had a 1-0 lead just into the game.
Though the Mountaineers tied the Bobcats in shots by the end of the second period, Ohio dominated the puck-possession game and added two more tallies. Tom Whetsel set up Michael Harris for his second goal of the season with a pass-off-pads into the slot. Just 1:27 later, Breslin got his third goal of the year to give Ohio a four-goal lead.
Ohio goalie Ryan Heltion stopped all 15 shots he faced through two periods, and then allowed only one goal in the third when a point shot was deflected past him by Sam Jarrett. The freshman made 21 total stops en route to his second career win in his second career start.
Whetsel added a goal of his own early in the third, and Breslin and J.D. Howard each scored during power play opportunities in the final period.
The Bobcats’ were 3-for-5 on the man advantage tonight, including the team’s first power play goal of the season.
“Any time you score power play goals it helps,” Sheridan said. “You always want to take advantage of when your opponent makes a mistake, and that’s what we did tonight.”
Ohio will look to continue its special teams success and carry the momentum from the 7-1 victory into its weekend series with the Liberty Flames, which begins Saturday, Oct. 3. Both games with Liberty are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. start times at Bird Arena.