Weekend Preview: Miami v. Bowling Green
Miami hopes to continue its solid play as the RedHawks conclude a four-game homestand against Chris Bergeron and the Bowling Green Falcons.
The RedHawks enter the weekend just 5-6-1 overall (3-4-1-1 CCHA), but are 3-0-1 over the past two weekends. With 11 league points, Miami has climbed out of the cellar in the CCHA and is currently 7th in the standings. Miami has been led by senior goaltender Cody Reichard as he has been in net for each of the previous four games showing both the kind of play we expect and the leadership that’s needed for this team to compete. This year, it all starts in the net until the forwards begin to put the puck in the net like we think they can.
Bowling Green (6-5-1, 1-5 CCHA) snapped a five-game losing streak by sweeping lowly Canisius at the BGSU Ice Rink last weekend. The Falcons are led offensively by sophomore Cam Wojtala and freshman Ryan Carpenter with 13 and 11 points, respectively, and like Miami have had trouble scoring this season averaging just 2.16 goals per game.
In net, junior Andrew Hammond has performed well having started all 12 games for the Falcons and representing a 2.14 goals-against average and .904 save percentage.
For Miami, the good news is the young forwards are starting to find their game. Freshmen Tyler Biggs and Austin Czarnik have earned CCHA Rookie of the Week honors over the past two weeks and Czarnik seems to have found chemistry playing with junior Reilly Smith on the first line. Unsurprisingly, Czarnik and Smith lead the RedHawks with 8 and 9 points, respectively with Smith also leading the team with 7 goals.
In fact the freshmen forwards consisting of Biggs, Czarnik, Blake Coleman, Jimmy Mullin and Alex Wideman have combined for nine goals or 32.1% of Miami’s scoring, and 23 points, which is 31.5% of Miami’s points. Source: miamiredhawks.com
If the RedHawks hope to continue to ascend the league standings, and more importantly, the Pairwise rankings, they need these two games. With stellar defensive play from junior Garrett Kennedy as he clearly leads by example (Kennedy has played possessed unafraid to throw his body all around the ice) and the dramatic improvement from Cody Reichard, the Hawks have the right formula. Now if they can just start scoring more consistently, they could go on a run.
I think Miami sweeps.
– Miami is 21-3-2 in the last 26 games against Bowling Green including 11 straight victories and 18 of the last 19. Miami has won 12 straight against BG at home.
– The Falcons still lead the all-time series 58-42-7 despite Miami’s dominance over the past decade.
– Bowling Green has not played a road game since October 22 at Lake Superior.
– Falcon head coach Chris Bergeron is seeking his first win over his alma mater. He is 0-4 all-time as the Falcons coach against Miami. Conversely, Miami bench boss Enrico Blasi is 26-8-2 all-time against Bowling Green.