>Game No. 6
>On the night that Steve Cady was recognized for his induction into the Miami Athletic Hall of Fame, many of the Miami faithful realized how lucky they were to have such a man, along with his enormous contributions to the hockey program throughout the years. What they weren’t so lucky to have however, was a RedHawks win as No. 1 ranked Miami fell to Michigan State on Saturday night 3-2, in overtime.
The Spartans set the tempo quickly on this night, making solid passes and forechecking hard early on, but Miami eventually settled them down and began playing their own brand of hockey, putting good pressure on State’ goaltender Drew Palmisano on the power play and even strength. There were plenty of loose pucks for the RedHawks to bury and several scoring chances, but Palmisano, thinking Halloween was this weekend instead of next, did his best Jeff Lerg imitation and kept his team in it early. The Miami blueline was solid for most of the first, with only MSU Junior Corey Tropp taking exception to the RedHawks‘ stinginess. He broke in, made a few great dangles, and buried a wrist shot past Miami’s Connor Knapp at the 8:14 mark to put the Spartans on top, 1-0. Miami would have two more power play chances before the end of the first frame, but couldn’t light the lamp. A Trent Vogelhuber penalty late in the first would give MSU the man-advantage for the remainder of the period, putting the penalty killers to work, and Andy Miele cleared the zone to end the first and send the RedHawks to the dressing room trailing by one.
Michigan State wasted no time getting down to business in the second period, as Derek Grant fired yet another wrist shot past Knapp just :38 seconds in. It was a power play marker, MSU’s second of the night and it gave Sparty a 2-0 lead. It would be the only goal of the period. Spartan junior Dustin Gazley had a beautiful look at a break away in the second, but missed high. Like the first period, Miami had several scoring chances that went by the wayside. Several shots missed high, loose pucks were either corralled by Palmisano, or cleared out of harm’s way. The “puck luck” was scarce on Saturday.
But Miami battled back in the third. Halfway through the period, with the Red & White on the power play, Jarod Palmer carried into the zone along the half wall and made a great pass to a waiting Matt Tomassoni who lazered the one-timer from the right point into the Spartans’ goal, to pull Miami within one, at 2-1. It was Tomassoni’s third career goal, third of the season, and third in three games. Palmer’s assist was the 99th point of his career, putting him just one shy from joining the prestigious 100-point club.
The club welcomed member number 43 just 3:13 later…
More hard work by Andy Miele created the scoring chance, when he found Vincent LoVerde circling near the right post. LoVerde then fed the puck across the slot to Palmer who wristed the puck into a wide open left-side of the net, for his 100th career point and Miami had come back to tie the contest at two apiece. It was a beauty of a goal; and Palmer’s second point of the night. A Curtis McKenzie penalty for goaltender interference with 2:10 remaining in regulation made the game interesting, as did a scramble for the loose puck in the Miami crease. But the clear was made and the two teams would need overtime to decide this one.
In the OT period, Palmer and MSU’s Dustin Gazley were given coincidental minors for “extracurricular activities”, resulting in 4-on-4 action for both teams. But it was another great play that sealed the deal for the Spartans, as Andrew Rowe made two great dekes, one of which led to LoVerde’s over-committing, stepped up into the slot and buried the game winner, sending the sellout crowd of 3,642 to the aisles as Michigan State left the Cady Arena ice with an OT victory.
– Not to take anything away from Knapp’s ability, but at what point (if any) does Cody Reichard see game action on both Friday and Saturday nights? While we have a solid 1-1A tandem of ‘tenders, I personally think that Reichard has looked better than Knapp in his starts thus far. Just playing Devil’s Advocate here…
– Didn’t notice much out of Dean Chelios tonight. He played on the fourth line with Anthony Hayes and Kevin Walrod and only registered one shot.
– The penalty kill was 4/6 tonight and 10/13 on the weekend. The power play was 2/14 on the weekend, now 5/34 overall (14.7 %) and 10th in the CCHA.
– Not a fan of the (whatever they’re called) girls that clean up the ice during TV timeouts. They do this in the NHL and it drives me absolutely insane. Nitpicky, I know. But, I guess keeping people entertained is the main goal, anymore.
– One player that stood out to me was MSU’s Dustin Gazley. Almost reminded me of one Nino Musitelli. They’re roughly the same size, too. He skated on the second line, right side, with Daultan Levielle in the middle and Rowe on the left wing. The top two MSU lines were outstanding, as were their top d-pairing of Torey Krug and Jeff Petry, who finished with 7 blocked shots.
– MSU Junior winger Corey Tropp is on a tear. He now has 6 goals and 6 assists in 6 games and leads the CCHA in scoring. Too many “6’s” for my liking, but an outstanding start to the season, nonetheless. Derek Grant is on a roll too, with 4 goals and 5 assists through the first 6 games.
– Drew Palmisano was solid all night. He played very well for his team. Miami didn’t see a whole lot of rebounds from him.
– Camper and Tomassoni had the most shots for either team on the night, with 8 and 5, respectively.
– Jarod Palmer is the current points leader, with 8 (3g, 5a), followed by Camper, Tommy Wingels, and Miele, who all have 7. Curtis McKenzie leads all frieshman in points with 5. Matt Tomassoni leads all defenseman with 3 points, all goals.
– Still believe that the McKenzie/Miele/Palmer line has been the most consistent for Miami all-season long. Love watching those guys play together in all situations.
– Miami travels to Marquette, Michigan next weekend to take on the Northern Michigan Wildcats.