>Game No. 9
>The scenario: Team A has the home ice advantage going into Friday night’s contest and a commanding lead in the series between the two schools. Team B, on the road in a hostile environment mind you, has only won three games in Team A’s building in the entire history of the universe. Team B had a total of 28 penalty minutes and Team A outshot Team B 28-13 at the game’s end and 14-2 in the second period. Who won the game?
I would have picked Team A, too.
But it was “Team B” that walked away with this one on Friday night as the #1 ranked Miami RedHawks defeated the Michigan Wolverines 3-1. The Miami win on Friday was only the fourth at Yost Ice Arena in the 28 year series history of the two schools, a series that MU now trails 69-21-3 all-time and 4-43-1 in Ann Arbor. Jarod Palmer started the scoring early on in the first period, knocking home a loose puck in a scramble near the Michigan goal crease, and giving Miami a huge first goal on the road at the 3:42 mark. Five minutes later, it was Palmer again, this time on the 4 x 3 power play. A beauty of a shot from the high slot eluded UM netminder Bryan Hogan and Miami now found itself with a 2-0 lead, thanks to Palmer.
In the second period, it was all Michigan. Thanks to the outstanding effort by Miami goaltender Cody Reichard, the Maize & Blue only found the net once in the second frame, despite outshooting and outplaying the visitors. Chris Brown tapped in the only Michigan goal of the evening, drawing assists from Carl Hagelin and the slow-starting Louie Caporusso to cut the lead to one goal, at 2-1. It was a power play tally.
In the final period, Miami delivered a lesson on how to close out a game (take note, Columbus Blue Jackets). Senior Brandon Smith, certainly not known for his scoring prowess, sealed the deal with a wrist shot through Hogan’s 5-hole and Miami had a two-goal lead at 3-1. Drawing the assist on the Smith goal…was Dane Hetland and that’s the way it would end, a Miami winner over Michigan, 3-1.
– I think Cody Reichard has officially solidified himself as this team’s number one ‘tender. In seven games, Reichard is 6-0-1 with a 1.67 GAA and a .932 save-percentage. He played extremely large in last night’s win stopping 27 of 28 shots and even stopped his second penalty shot of the season. Especially with Connor Knapp missing his regularly scheduled start last week at Northern Michigan because of the flu, I think Cody is “the” guy at this point.
– Senior Gary Steffes and Sophomore Matt Tomassoni did not make the trip to Ann Arbor this weekend. Tomassoni is still presumably feeling under the weather and pure speculation leads me to believe that Steffes is going through the same.
– The RedHawks were outshot 28-13 on Friday night and still managed a two goal win, including being outshout in the second period 14-2.
– What about the play of Jarod Palmer this season? An undrafted free agent, Palmer will certainly earn himself a professional contract of some kind at the season’s end. His hard work and leadership qualities, just to name a few, would certainly be an asset to any team. He now leads the RedHawks scoring this season with ten points (5G, 5A).
– Anyone noticed Pat Cannone this season? The junior center has two goals and two assists in the nine game season so far and seems to be struggling a bit out of the gate. In the first 9 games of last season, he registered 12 points on 4 goals and 8 assists.
– Michigan State defeated Nebraska-Omaha on Friday night in a shootout. With the win, MSU (13 points) has a one-point lead on Miami in the CCHA standings.
– Dane Hetland was playing in his first college hockey game since October of 2007. How appropriate that he and Brandon Smith combined to add to the RedHawks’ total. Smith didn’t play his first game of his college career until his junior season, a drought similar to Hetland’s. After seeing action in 22 games during his freshman year in 2006-2007, Dane played the Canisus series the following season and not at all last year. The senior’s assist on Friday was his first point since Febuary 17, 2007 in a 5-3 win at Robert Morris. Hetland drew an assist on a Joe Cooper goal.
– The two teams are back at it tonight in the Wolverine State, with a 7:35pm drop at Yost. TV coverage will once again provided by ONN.