>Miami v. Alaska – January 22-23, 2010
It’s going to be a quick preview this week as I’ve been cavorting in Fabulous Las Vegas for the past several days. Thankfully, I’m still on Pacific time as the #2 Miami RedHawks take on the Alaska Nanooks at 11PM EST from frigid Fairbanks where it’s minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s going to be a late weekend of hockey.
Last week the RedHawks (15-4-5, 12-1-3-1 1st CCHA) rebounded from a pair of losses to Robert Morris by sweeping then #6 Ferris State in Big Rapids, Mich. where the Bulldogs were 11-0 this season. After Friday’s 4-0 whitewash, Miami opened up a 5-2 lead early in the third period and held off a late Ferris State rally winning 5-4. However, in doing so, the RedHawks will be without fourth-leading scorer, junior Andy Miele (8-13-21, +11), who was assessed a game disqualification penalty for kicking during a scrum in front of the Ferris net on Saturday. The penalty carries an automatic one game suspension meaning Miele will make the trip to the Land of the Midnight Sun for just one game. Miele has played in 83 consecutive matches for the Red and White.
Alaska (10-7-5, 7-7-4-4 5th CCHA) enters the series coming off a two-point weekend against the Michigan Wolverines where they were blanked 6-0 on Friday, but managed a shootout win on Saturday at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. Upfront, the Nanooks are led by freshman Andy Taranto (9-15-24) and senior Dion Knelsen (11-9-20) and backstopped by sophomore Scott Greenham (10-7-5, 2.43, .911). Last season, the Nanooks surprised many by finishing in fourth place during the regular season earning a first-round playoff bye. They then dispatched the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round earning a trip to Joe Louis Arena where they were defeated by Notre Dame and Northern Michigan. Second year coach Dallas Ferguson has instilled a defense-first approach and the two teams split a series in Oxford last year.
- Miami leads the all-time series 31-13-4 including 14-7-2 in Fairbanks
- Miami leads 5-4-1 over the past 10 meetings
- The series wraps up a four game road swing for the RedHawks
- Saturday’s game will be the last game outside the state of Ohio for the RedHawks until, likely, the CCHA Championship semifinal in Detroit, should they advance that far
- Alaska is 4-0 in shootouts this season
Tomorrow, we’ll have recaps of Miami/Alaska and an overview of other action including #1 Denver and #3 Wisconsin from Madison.