RedHawks Return to Form, Reichard blanks Wildcats
The young men on the Miami RedHawks squad know when to flex their muscle. Despite playing their hearts out on Friday night, the Hawks couldn’t recover from 2 early Northern Michigan goals. Tonight was a different story, however, as Miami showed the Wildcats why they are one point out of first place in the CCHA and why the Wildcats still find themselves in ninth place. Miami showed its size, speed, agressiveness, and all-around skill to put 6 goals past Northern Michigan goaltenders when they had only scored 3 goals in 3 previous meetings this season.
On the offensive side of the ice, Miami was doing their best to get to the 41 shot total they had last night. They came awfully close, hitting the 40 mark, which made a total of 81 shots in the 2 game series. Pretty impressive, and truly off the charts when you consider on the other end of the ice, Miami allowed 7, 7 and 2 shots in the three periods tonight. That’s 16 on the night and only 29 on the weekend.
While the offense was doing its thing all over the ice, the defense did all it could to stop everything coming across the Miami blue line. There was rarely a shot that wasn’t contested, and many rushes were stopped before they could even get started. What did sneak through the staunch defense was easily put aside by Cody Reichard.
Reichard started the evening not having won a game since November 26th against Denver, and only playing a handful of times since then. His confidence may have hit an all time low with his recent results. He had been 0-3-0 in his last 3 games, had allowed 12 goals and was pulled after allowing a goal in the first 9:39 of the first period in the Friday matchup in Marquette against these same Wildcats.
Tonight was the Cody Reichard we have grown accustomed to, as he pushed everything sent his way to the corners, and swallowed the rest. While there weren’t many big scoring chances on the night, Cody comes out of the evening without a puck hitting twine, earning his 2nd shutout of the season, and 12th of his career. This 12th shutout ties him on the all-time career shutout list at Miami. David Burleigh previously set the mark with his 12 shutouts in 134 games. As we all know, Reichard has spent his 4 years at Miami splitting time with Connor Knapp, another phenomenal goaltender, and has equaled Burleigh in just 88 games. (Knapp has 10 shutouts in 73 games between the pipes as well.)
Reilly Smith didn’t want his teammate to get away with the only spotlight on the night, however. As if we didn’t know this before, Reilly Smith is good at hockey. The newly named co-captain leads the team in goals and points, has 7 game-winners, plays on the power play, the penalty kill, and does just about everything on the ice you could ask from your co-captain. A night after seeing his 5 game point streak come to an end, Smith’s assist on Alex Wideman’s first goal was the 100th point of his Miami career, becoming the 47th RedHawk to reach the century mark. Smith later would add to his CCHA leading goals total, scoring his 19th of the season.
After a night where the ‘Hawks seemed to do everything right, but couldn’t get a puck past Jared Coreau, tonight was the complete opposite. As a fair assessment, all 6 goals were of the “dirty” variety, and Coreau was pulled after allowing 4 goals. He lasted 43:43 of game time, and was pulled in favor of Reid Ellingson. On a night where Miami was clicking on all cylinders, I can’t say I blame Northern Michigan head coach Walt Kyle. Coreau was not the same as what the ‘Hawks saw on Friday night or in previous meetings between the two teams.
As the dust settled on the evening, Miami had another 3 points in hand in the CCHA standings. Taking a look at those standings might make you shake your head a couple times.
– Not to be out done by Reichard and Smith, Alex Wideman was the Perani Cup #1 star of the game on the strength of his 2 goals, the first of which was tonight’s game winner. The goals were his first since the season opener vs. Bemidji State. Alex also led the team with 7 total shots on the night, including 4 shots in first.
– On the night, both Widemans (Alex 2G, Chris 2A), Blake Coleman (2A), Matt Tomassoni (2A), Bryon Paulazzo (1G, 1A) and Reilly Smith (1G, 1A) all had 2 points and 12 RedHawks had at least a point.
– With tonight being parents night, almost all of the players’ parents were in attendance for the pregame festivities. In addition, tonight was Mr. Wideman’s birthday. The proud father will certainly appreciate 4 points from his 2 sons on the evening (sure makes for a better present than a new tie or tube socks).
– The Hawks were 5-5 on the penalty kill and 2-4 on the power play tonight. The power play has been ranked in the bottom 15 of the country for much of the season, and seems to be coming around at the right time.
Miami heads to Ann Arbor to play the Michigan Wolverines (off this week). Friday night’s game will be on Fox Sports Detroit and Saturday will be in HD on CBS Sports Network. The puck drops for each game at 7:35pm. As always, the Redskin Warriors will have coverage next week!
Don’t miss out on the Sunday #SixPack. Follow our twitter feed: @redskinwarriors for some bone chilling stats from Saturday night!!