Hi everybody. As the hockey season winds down, I wanted to write a story about a school with a great hockey tradition. Before I do, though, I want to remind everyone that we have the COTW voting, COTW-March, the Norfolk Admirals competition, and the HJC Playoff Pool going on right now.
On the campus of OHIO University in Athens lies Bird Arena, home to the OHIO Bobcats hockey program. Build in 1956 for the original purpose of Football, Basketball, and Track, it became apparent that the building was not suited for those sports. So, the school president at the time, John Baker, allocated $10,000 of funds to put a ice surface down to better suite the Arena. Two years after that, the OHIO University hockey program was born.
When John McComb, a former hockey player at Boston University, came to OHIO University in 1957, he had dreamed up a plan of starting a hockey team at the university when he heard about the ice surface being put in Bird Arena for two reasons: Only one other Ohio school had a indoor facility and that it would distinguish the university in a rapidly growing sport.
After gathering local students who played on the ponds near the university, He formed the first OHIO University hockey in 1958 and the school has fielded a team since, gaining four championships along it's way.*
Speaking with Sean Hogan, Head Coach for the OHIO Bobcats, he explained to me that the program itself takes pride in its history and that he is proud of how the team is not operated as a club, but as a self-sustaining program with a sizable fan base and alumni support that allows the club to waive any fees for players so they can focus on improving as a team.
The team recently went all the way to the ACHA DI Championship game in Columbus this year. While they did not win the game against Central Oklahoma, the team remains proud to have made it that far with the talent that they have on the team.
When I asked Sean if they ever had any intentions of going to being a part of the NCAA due to the amount of success and the stability of the program. Sean explained to me that, unfortunately, too many factors prevent the school from making that step up and that his program is happy being a top DI and DII ACHA program.
All in all the pride runs deep on this team. From the Ohio State Flag on both shoulders to the design of the jerseys having elements of uniforms from the past, this program at OHIO represents what it means to be a hockey team at a college. You don't need NCAA status to prove your worth. The Bobcats have done that time and time again. If you're ever in or near Athens, OH go see a game.
COTW-March vote (ends Friday @ noon ET)
COTW Mar 31 - Apr 6 vote (ends Friday @ noon ET)
Norfolk ReDesign (ends Friday @ noon ET)
HJC Playoff Pool begins Monday
To the Concepts!
Johnathan S- Vancouver Canucks Alternate
Negatives: Make the TV numbers dark blue and the back numbers slightly bigger or space them out a bit. they look to skinny or small. I'm not entirely sure.
Johnathan S- Vancouver Canucks
Negatives: Not a big fan of that blue extended cuff on the white jersey. It just looks strange. compared to the bottom of the jersey. Also, same issue with the back numbers on these jerseys.
Jordan R- Bucharest Pelicans
Negatives: My negatives mainly have to do with the numbers of the two-tone. I understand that it's hard to have a visible number on the back of a two-tone jersey but it could be a little hard to read on the jersey.
Jordan R- Chisinau Stars
Negatives: You can do without the italicized numbers
Negatives: LD I'll be honest with you. I'd expect something more out of you instead of adding a "V" onto the striping of the home jersey with the alternate logo on the chest. You could have done something similar to the white jersey only as a dark version. Or you could have made the "V" blue to show as a negative space type design.
Taylor R- Arizona Coyotes
Positives: This is probably the first jersey that I actually like with the two-tone sleeve design. The Kachina stripping doesn't look excessive and it works really well with all the other elements of the jersey.
Overall: COTW NOMINEE
That's all I got guys. Thanks again to Sean Hogan of OHIO University for speaking with me. Have a good week and I'll see you guys next week.
*Paraphrased from OHIO Bobcats Hockey website