Hawks take down BGSU 4-0
The Alumni Weekend welcome wasn’t too kind for former Miamians and current BGSU head coach Chris Bergeron and assistant coach Barry Schutte. Miami Freshman Blake Coleman scored twice, and Cody Reichard handily stopped everything thrown at him tonight in Oxford, as your Miami RedHawks put together a complete game in taking down the Bowling Green Falcons 4-0. After a 5-game winless streak, the ‘Hawks are now streaking in the right direction, running it to a 5 game unbeaten streak.
Coleman started the scoring early, burying a pass from Trent Vogelhuber (who had 2 assists of his own on the night) at 15:26 of the first period. Blake seemed to have “the look” tonight, as he had several scoring chances throughout the game, and tallied a team-high 4 shots. Blake looks to be jealous of his fellow freshmen forwards Tyler Biggs and Austin Czarnik – the last to CCHA Rookies of the week, and is taking care of business when he is on the ice.
Tonight’s game was a continuation of the Hawks weekend against Michigan last weekend. There was a plethora of blocked shots, great goaltending, and timely offense – 30 total shots and of course the 4 goals (all even strength), which tied a season high for this young Miami squad. It seems the 3,700-mile trip to Alaska was more than just another away series for the Hawks. Since the trip, the team is playing more complete hockey, and the upperclassmen and underclassmen are really coming together as a team. It seems the trip was well worth it, if not only for the 6 points they took from the Nanooks.
In the second period, Garrett Kennedy showed that he was another of the RedHawks wanting to get in on the fun. Garrett was seen pinching down from the point several times, was taking excellent shots, and looks more and more like a top tier defenseman every time he’s on the ice. Steven Spinell flipped a wrister into the crease area later in the second period, and it was deflected perfectly by Curtis McKenzie to put the Hawks up 3-0. Coleman’s second on the night finished the scoring at 14:33 left in the game, as Trent Vogelhuber threw another in on net
There with Kennedy and Spinnell were the always staunch defensive pairings featuring Cameron Schilling, Will Weber and Chris Wideman, and Senior netminder Cody Reichard. Cody feasted on all 23 shots that the Falcons threw at him, rarely letting up a good scoring chance, and limiting any rushes BG had by swallowing up any rebounds he let loose. Cody has regained the form we’ve come to expect over the last 3 years, and has been fantastic in net since Connor Knapp got sick during the Alaska trip. This was the first shutout for Miami since Reichard blanked Michigan on February 5th, 2011 in Oxford, and leaves him 1 shutout away from the Miami career record of 12, held by David Burleigh.
Another CCHA win puts the ‘Hawks in a tie for 5th in the CCHA with a 4-4-1-1 record, and brings their record to .500 at 6-6-1 overall. Catch the RedHawks in Ohio on the Ohio News Network (ONN) again on Saturday night as they take on the same Bowling Green State Falcons at 7:05 PM from Steve Cady Arena.
Some additional notes on the evening:
- It will be interesting to watch how Blasi plays the rotation going forward with Reichard’s success, having now led Miami in net for each of the last 5 games. Tomorrow presents another opportunity for Miami, and the young BGSU squad may be just the break that Reichard needs, and may also be just the right team to break in Knapps pads after his illness.
- While the Hawks only took 4 penalties for 8 minutes, some inexperience still showed by the Freshmen. Biggs was caught in a scuffle with the Hawks up 3-0 in the third and ended up throwing one last punch to a Falcon’s face, immediately in front of Referee John Philo. The 4 penalty kills stretch Miami’s streak of perfection to 26 penalty kills in a row.
- Curtis McKenzie is bringing the pain. Tonight reminded me of nights past when the likes of Kevin Roeder and big Joe Cooper roamed the new and old Goggin Ice Arenas. Throw in his assist on Kennedy’s goal and then his own twine-tingler in the second period, and you begin to see the all around player that Coach Blasi intended on bringing to Oxford. McKenzie now has 3 goals on the season
- We’re probably going to need an explanation from radio announcer Greg Waddell after Coleman’s second goal. Waddell quipped “Fruity Pebbles for one and all!” just after Blake slammed it home. Perhaps there’s an inside joke there that we aren’t privy to?
- While Miami tallied 30 shots, they also had 23 shots blocked on the night. While this could be seen as a concerning stat, I see it as a promising one, as it means Miami is getting back to playing Rico Blasi, put-the-puck-on-the-net, down and dirty hockey. Along with 53 shots on or around the net comes a few dirty goals, including Coleman’s second which was of that variety.
- A note on the CCHA referees. Perhaps I’m just taking a small sample size, but it seems to me that they are being more lenient than in years past? Perhaps they are just calling less penalties, or really need to improve their medial coverage on eye exams, but tonight’s game had only six penalties. In addition to the lack of arm-raising being done, it seems the leagues head pairing (Brian Aaron and Wilkins) has a thing for calling off big goals. In tonight’s matchup in South Bend, Boston College had a goal waved off with 2 seconds remaining in the second period. This followed their weekend in Oxford, where the same pairing took 2 apparent goals away from Miami on Saturday night’s tie and shootout win for Miami.