>#1 Miami v. Ohio State – 12/11/09 & 12/12/09
Miami and Ohio State will tangle in a weekend home-and-home with the opener in Columbus on Friday at 7pm. The Big Ten Network will stream this game live on its website. Saturday’s rematch will be held in Oxford also at 7pm and will be televised live around the great state of Ohio on ONN.
- Miami leads the all-time series 58-56-11 but is 8-1-1 in the last ten meetings vs. Ohio State.
- This series will close the first half of the season with both teams off until the weekend of January 8.
- Miami is 11-2-5 overall and 8-1-3-1 in the CCHA (1st). The RedHawks have been #1 for 10 consecutive weeks which equals the school record set in 2007-08.
- Ohio State is 7-10-1 overall and 5-6-1-1 in the CCHA (7th).
- Ohio State freshman, Devin Krogh was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week for his efforts vs. Michigan. Krogh was a +6 in the two games with a goal in Friday’s 5-3 victory and added an assist in Saturday’s 2-1 loss.
Miami and Ohio State went a combined 3-1 last weekend with Miami getting the home weekend sweep (and shutout) of then #14 Notre Dame 1-0 and 4-0. Ohio State split a home series with Michigan winning 5-3 on Friday and dropping the finale 2-1 on Saturday night.
- Scoring leaders for each team –
- Miami: Juniors Andy Miele 5-11-16 and Carter Camper 8-7-15 lead the team in scoring. The top scoring defenseman is sophomore Cameron Schilling with 1-7-8. Freshman Joe Hartman leads all Miami defensemen with 4 goals.
- Ohio State: Sophomore Zac Dalpe 9-9-18 and junior Peter Boyd 5-11-16 pace the Buckeyes while junior Shane Sims leads the defense in scoring with 2-5-7.
- Miami’s Cody Reichard leads the nation in goals-against average at 1.45 and also sports a 93.4 save percentage (4th in the nation) with two shutouts. Needless to say he has shaken off the devastating loss to BU in the national title game quite well.
- Sophomore goaltender Cal Heeter looks to have taken over the position of starting netminder for the Buckeyes. Heeter, who had been starting on Saturdays in head coach John Markell’s rotation system was between the pipes for both games last weekend against Michigan. Overall, Heeter is 6-3-1 with a 2.75 goals-against average and stellar 91.4 save percentage.
- Miami’s other goaltender, sophomore Connor Knapp (2-1-3, 2.21 GAA, .911), is the brother of Ohio State freshman goaltender Chelsea Knapp who skates for the Buckeyes’ women’s ice hockey team. I suspect we’ll see Cody Reichard on Friday night in Columbus and Knapp on Saturday at Steve Cady Arena.
- Overall, Miami is averaging just a shade under 3 goals per game but is giving up only 1.78 goals per contest which is good enough for 3rd in the country.
- OSU is averaging 2.4 goals per game and surrendering 2.9 goals per game meaning the Buckeyes will need to find a way to put the puck in the net against an incredibly stingy defense and be mindful in their own end.
- After this weekend’s series, the Buckeyes will have faced the #1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7th ranked teams in this week’s Pairwise rankings that determine the field for the 16-team NCAA tournament. That, my friends, is a difficult schedule.
- Miami killed all 15 Notre Dame powerplays last weekend in their sweep of the Irish. The RedHawk penalty kill is ranked 6th nationally at 88.7%. On the other hand, the Buckeyes powerplay unit has not connected in the past four games and has not converted its last 18 attempts.
Keys to the Weekend
These two teams do not have a lot of love for each other. For Ohio State to have an opportunity to steal a game this weekend, they need to play physical without taking dumb penalties. To date, they have been unable to do that. They also need John Albert and Kyle Reed to do what they do best against Miami and that is to score goals. Reed has 4-6-10 and Albert 3-6-9 against Miami with Reed netting his only career hat trick in a game last February in Oxford. Ohio State also needs much better defensive zone coverage and goaltending than they have gotten this season. With Cal Heeter now, apparently, assuming the starting goaltending role, this could be an area of improvement for Ohio State. For Miami, well, they simply need to do what they have been doing for the past nine months. Play sound, structured defense and use their size and speed to create mismatches and opportunities to put the puck in the net. Miami looked like a legitimate national title contender last weekend against Notre Dame. They were all over the Irish for the better part of both games and surrendered just 42 shots against over the two games. With scoring coming from all four lines and the defense, Miami is incredibly difficult to defend. If they maintain their balance and poise this weekend, they should emerge with two victories.
Friday – Miami 3-0
Saturday – Miami 3-1
Last night was a big night for former Miamians in the pros.
- Former MU captain and current New Jersey Devil Andy Greene posted his first career two-goal game. Greene now has 5 goals and 12 assists on the season.
“We’re not an overpowering team offensively, so we need goals from our defensemen,” (head coach Jacques) Lemaire said. “I always have a feeling that Andy is going to slow down, but he never does. He plays well every night. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against. He’s very good. He controls the puck and makes plays. I never thought he could be this good, but right now he’s playing like an All-Star.”
- Current San Jose Shark assistant captain Dan Boyle netted his 99th career goal.
- And, a senior on last season’s national runner-up, Justin Mercier made his NHL debut last night with the youthful Colorado Avalanche. The former Miami sniper was credited with 7:55 of ice time and was -1.