Illini hope to continue winning streak against Bobcats

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By Ken Kazarian, Contributing Writer

The No. 9 Illinois hockey team will face off against No. 10 Ohio University Friday and Saturday at the Big Pond in Illinois. Puck drop for both games is scheduled for 7 p.m. Both teams are looking for wins in the weekend series in hopes of leapfrogging the other in the standings. 

The weekend games will have an added intensity and sense of rivalry on the ice. The Bobcats are gunning for the Illini, as they fell in rankings as the result of good Illini play.

Both programs are consistently seen around the top of the rankings, and this weekend they’ll compete separated by an individual ranking spot. 

The Illini are hot right now, having won their last five games and seven out of their last eight. The matchup against the Bobcats couldn’t have come at a better time, as this will be the first game against another powerhouse program since Illinois dropped both games to Lindenwood. 

However, after a slow start to the season and a hard to swallow loss at home to the Lindenwood Lions, the Illini got their feet under them again and are getting the results they were hoping to have at the beginning of the year. Illinois has been playing so well, the team earned a spot back in the top 10. 

The weekend will be a big test for both teams in proving themselves against balanced competition. Ohio recently wrapped up a home series against Lindenwood, pulling out a win against the team. 

Playing at home will be an advantage for the Illini, as this is the Bobcat’s third game away from home this season. A home-ice advantage will help the Illini capitalize since the Bobcats don’t have much experience traveling. 

The series against Ohio marks Illinois’ last two games before the semester break. After this weekend the Illini won’t have another chance to prove themselves in league play until Jan. 10 when Illinois faces Ohio again. 

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