Monthly Archives: March 2012
In a performance that was a reminder of their first half struggles, the Miami RedHawks squandered a chance to make school history and dropped their CCHA seminfinal game 6-2 to Western Michigan at Joe Louis Arena.
The RedHawks were outplayed in virtually every facet of the game and the defensive breakdowns that led to several Bronco goals were eerily reminiscent of their struggles in the first half of the season as senior netminder Connor Knapp was routinely left hung out to dry. The most egregious defensive breakdown occurred perhaps on Western’s first goal when Garrett Haar led a 3-on-1 rush up the left wing that was so badly misplayed by freshman defensemen Ben Paulides, it left me wondering if he did more to hurt the cause than help Knapp in that situation. Greg Squires capitalized on an easy pass to beat Knapp top shelf with a redirection after Paulides left his feet, abandoned the slot shooter and simply slid past Haar who centered a perfect pass to Squires for a goal that set the tone.
Frankly, there isn’t much else to talk about.
Miami allowed a shorthanded goal, three powerplay goals and played nothing like the team we’d seen down the stretch. The team looked disinterested and Western took Miami’s physical, on the edge game, and threw it in the RedHawks’ faces. They were clearly more motivated and more aggressive than Miami who simply seemed flat and unmotivated. It was the best I’ve ever seen a Western Michigan team play. Junior forward Reilly Smith was the lone bright spot as his Hobey campaign is hitting its stride. Smith netted both of Miami’s goals and now has a career best 29 (he had 28 last year playing with Hobey Baker Award winner Andy Miele).
The RedHawks will try to salvage something out of this CCHA championship weekend when they take on Chris Bergeron and Bowling Green in today’s consolation game at 3:30pm EDT. Honestly, I can easily see Miami losing this game as they have little to play for, weren’t interested when they did, and I suspect the Falcons will try to send a message that their late season run wasn’t a fluke. BG, despite their double OT loss to Michigan last night, wants to prove they’ll be back and better than ever in the CCHA’s final season.
The good news is that Miami is safely in the NCAA tournament. Get right after yesterday’s disaster and move on. There’s still a national championship out there for the RedHawks to claim…if they want it.
This weekend marks the final weekend of conference play in all of college hockey, with the final positioning for the NCAA tournament at stake and conference championships waiting to be won. Your 4th seeded and defending Mason Cup Champion Miami RedHawks take to the ice at 4:35 pm Friday afternoon against the #3 seed Western Michigan Broncos in the first CCHA Semifinal and #2 seed Michigan takes on the #11 seed Bowling Green in the late game.
Semifinal 1: #3 Western Michigan vs. #4 Miami 4:35
TV: Fox Sports – Ohio (DirecTV 660), Fox Sports Detroit Plus (DirecTV 664 SD, 664-1 HD) and Fox College Sports-Atlantic (it’s out there somewhere)
This season, the Broncos and RedHawks faced off twice, and Miami took both games in Oxford by scores of 3-1 and 4-0. Connor Knapp started both games and made 48 out of 49 saves on the weekend, and Reilly Smith started his torrid second-half streak with a hat trick on Friday night, and added another goal on Saturday night.
On Friday, expect to see a showdown of Knapp, a senior, and Rookie of the year candidate Frank (the big) Slubowski in opposing nets. Knapp, as we know, has been absolutely on fire in 2012. Here’s the low-down on Knapp’s unbelievable season from muredhawks.com:
- Connor has not allowed an even-strength goal since Feb. 4, 2012 against Michigan, a span of seven starts.
- In those 7 games: four goals allowed, all on the power play.
- Knapp has allowed one or fewer goals in 13 of his last 15 games, during which he has a 0.89 goals against average and .964 save percentage (since the start of 2012).
- Knapp leads the NCAA with a 1.43 GAA and is second in save percentage at .943.
- His 5 shutouts this year (all since 1/7/12) are a career high, and he broke the school’s career shutouts record with his 13th last Friday.
Miami comes in with an 8-game winning streak, second longest in the nation to Boston College who has won 13 straight contests. In those games, Miami has outscored their opponents 32-5. Western Michigan is unbeaten in its last 4 games, including a win and a tie against the previously bounced Ferris State Bulldogs, and last weekend’s sweep of Lake Superior State in round 2. While the Friday game is the first time Miami and WMU have met in the CCHA Semifinals, it is a rematch of the CCHA Championship game from 2011, a contest won handily by the RedHawks for Miami’s first Mason Cup title.
More notes for the weekend:
- Reilly Smith is carrying an 8 game point streak into this weekend. He had previously scored goals in 7 straight until Saturday night’s game. He continues to lead the NCAA with 8 game winners and is second in the NCAA with 27 goals scored.
- Jimmy Mullin has scored in 5 straight games – his career long – and has 11 points in those games.
- Western Michigan Head Coach Andy Murray will coach in his 22nd game at Joe Louis Arena in Friday’s CCHA Semifinals. As a head coach of the Los Angeles Kings he went 1-9-1 against in Joe Louis Arena, with the lone win coming as a playoff series clinching victory over the Red Wings in 2001. (Source: wmubroncos.com)
- Miami will want to stay out of the penalty box this weekend. WMU is 3 for 5 on the power play during the CCHA playoffs, and were performing at a 20.1% clip in the regular season. Miami’s penalty kill stands at 6th in the nation at 85.9% of penalties successfully killed, and also ranks 6th with 16.4 penalty minutes per game.
- As the games go final on the weekend, keep your eye on USCHO’s PairWise rankings. Miami sits tied with Boston University for the #4 spot at this moment, meaning if the season had ended and today we were watching the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, Miami would be a #1 seed. After every final score of the weekend, these standings are going to jostle ever so slightly, and almost every game is important.
- Senior Goalie Cody Reichard was named one of 5 finalists for the NCAA’s Wooden Citizenship Cup. The award is presented annually to two distinguished athletes, one collegiate and one professional, for their character and leadership both on and off the field and their contributions to sport and society. (source: muredhawks.com)
- For your reading pleasure, check out USCHO blogger Elliot Olshansky’s Hobey Baker picks for 2012, where he picks Reilly Smith as a finalist.
- And for your viewing pleasure, take a gander at the CCHA’s 20 Questions with Miami Senior Defenseman Chris Wideman, and their CCHA Now feature for 3/14/12.
Semifinal 2: #11 Bowling Green vs. #2 Michigan; approx 8:05PM Eastern
TV: Fox Sports-Detroit Plus, and Fox College Sports-Atlantic
Coming off of a 2-1 series victory over Northern Michigan 2 weekends ago, Bowling Green got 5 more goals from Freshman Dan DeSalvo and took down top-seeded Ferris State in dramatic fashion last weekend. Ferris State led 3-0 after 1 period of play in Sunday’s round 2 finale, but 4 straight goals from the Fighting Chris Bergerons, and they move on to Detroit for the first time since 2001. Consider these facts about BG’s improbable run:
- BG was the first team to win a playoff series from the last place seed in 2011. They repeated that feat in 2012, and in doing so, knocked off the #6 and #1 seeds in the CCHA tournament in the process
- BG won 5 CCHA conference games all season, and have now won 4 of their last 6 in the tournament. Throw in a win over Michigan in the last series of the season, and they’re 5-3 in the last 3 weeks of play
- Freshman Dan DeSalvo scored 4 goals all season in 17 games, and missed the last 4 games of the season with an injury. Against NMU, he had 5 goals in the 3 game series, and he scored another 5 in the three games against Ferris State.
- DeSalvo scored the first hat trick for BG since Jan. 18, 2008, and DeSalvo’s 10 playoff goals are already a new CCHA Tournament record, with 2 more games to play.
Third place game: The losers of the semifinal games will meet at 3:35PM Eastern Saturday.
CCHA Championship game: winners of the 2 semifinal games, 7:35PM Saturday; Fox Sports-Detroit, Fox Sports-Ohio (Alternate channel)
If you’re looking for your hockey fix tonight and can’t wait until tomorrow, catch 3 future Miami conference-mates in action from the WCHA’s Final Five tournament (that consists 6 teams). Denver takes on Michigan Tech at 3:07 Eastern today and St. Cloud State takes on North Dakota at 8:07 Eastern. You can catch both with the “sports packages” on Fox Sports-North (DirecTV ch. 668) out of St. Paul, Minnesota’s Xcel Energy Center tonight.
After all the dust settles on the entire weekend, jump over to ESPNU on Sunday at high noon. John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Aaron Ward will announce the NCAA Tournament Field on the NCAA Hockey Selection Show, and we’ll find out exactly where Miami is heading for its first round NCAA tournament game.
Here are the highlights from Saturday night’s 4-1 victory over Michigan State that sent the RedHawks to Joe for the CCHA semifinals against Western Michigan.
This morning, the CCHA announced that Miami and Western Michigan will faceoff at 4:35pm EST on Friday at Joe Louis Arena in the first semifinal of the weekend. That means Bowling Green and Michigan will play at approximately 8pm Friday night to maximize both attendance in the rink and on television. Both games will be televised by FOX Sports Detroit PLUS with Saturday’s championship game on FOX Sports Detroit.
With Bowling Green’s come-from-behind victory over Ferris State earlier this evening, it means the RedHawks will face Western Michigan in a rematch of last year’s Mason Cup Championship game in (likely) the first semifinal game Friday afternoon at 4pm. The Falcon victory means former Miami players and coaches Chris Bergeron and Barry Schutte will take the orange and brown to Joe Louis Arena for the first time since 2001.
Earlier this year, Miami swept the Broncos 3-1 and 4-0 in Oxford. However, Western played the series without two top players — Dane Walters and Shane Berschbach — and presumably the Broncos will be at full strength on Friday afternoon.
Frankly, I don’t think anyone really cared whether Miami drew Ferris State or Western Michigan — at least I didn’t. With the way Miami is playing, they only need worry about themselves and continue to do the things that have propelled the club steadily upward throughout the second half of the season. Miami is playing its best hockey of the year at precisely the right time. Let’s hope they have another good weekend left in them as they prepare for the NCAA tournament.
Connor Knapp made 21 saves and Miami peppered Michigan State with 42 shots on goal as the RedHawks completed the weekend sweep with a 4-1 victory over the Spartans to earn the right to play in next weekend’s CCHA championship weekend at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich.
The RedHawks received goals from junior forward Reilly Smith, who also added two assists, and seniors Chris Wideman, Matt Tomassoni and Alden Hirschfeld as they left no doubt who was the better team this year as they won all four games against MSU by a combined score of 16-2.
Similar to last night, a big second period broke open a 1-1 tie as Miami netted seven goals in the second period over the weekend including three in tonight’s game. Senior defenseman Chris Wideman scored his third goal of the season, and second in two nights, as he notched the eventual game-winner at 9:49 of the second period. It was the first of three Miami goals in 3:22 to remove any chance Michigan State had of forcing a third and decisive game tomorrow night.
Senior Connor Knapp continued his stellar play, and along with Reilly Smith, has carried Miami down the stretch. Knapp has allowed just three goals in his last six games, all coming on the power play as he improved his overall record to 15-6 and lowered his goals against average to 1.43 while his save percentage sits at .943 for the year. Tonight, Knapp made 21 saves on 22 shots. The only goal he surrendered was on an MSU power play, which snapped a streak of 174 minutes of shutout hockey against the Spartans, dating back to Jan. 6, 2012 (Miami’s first game vs. MSU). Knapp has not allowed an even-strength goal since Feb. 4, 2012 against Michigan, a span of seven games. Over those seven games, he has allowed just four goals overall and three in his last six games.
The big senior from York, N.Y. has allowed one or fewer goals in 14 of his 22 games this season and 12 of his last 14. He has a 0.89 goals against average and .964 save percentage in his last 15 games (14 starts) since the start of 2012. Knapp leads the NCAA with a 1.43 GAA and is second in save percentage with .943, both of which would be Miami single-season records. He now has a career-high 15 wins on the year, which ties for ninth in a single season at Miami. (source: MURedHawks.com)
With the win, Miami heads back to Detroit for the CCHA semifinals on Friday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena. The defending Mason Cup champions’ opponent will be determined after the outcome of tomorrow’s series finale between #1 Ferris State and #8 Bowling Green. If Ferris State wins, Miami will face the top seeded Bulldogs in one semifinal. If the Falcons pull off the upset, Miami will face third seeded Western Michigan. Regardless, since Miami cannot face #2 Michigan in the semifinals, it’s a good bet the RedHawks will play the early game Friday so the league can place Michigan in the prime spot for both attendance at the Joe and for TV viewers across the nation. One would speculate that Miami’s game will start around 3pm EST on Friday.
Miami won its eighth-straight game, dating back to Feb. 10 vs. Alabama-Huntsville. It is the team’s longest winning streak since an eight-game win streak from Jan. 23-Feb. 19, 2010. During Miami’s win streak the RedHawks have outscored opponents, 32-5. (source: MURedHawks.com) The victory also moved Miami back into a tie for 5th in the PairWise rankings which largely determine the NCAA tournament field. With another good weekend in Detroit, Miami could come away with a #1 seed in the tournament, but their first order of business is reclaiming the Mason Cup for a second consecutive year.
Around the CCHA
Ferris State broke a 3-3 tie en route to a 7-4 victory over Bowling Green to force a decisive third game tomorrow night in Big Rapids, Mich.
Michigan completed the weekend sweep of Notre Dame by a score of 3-1, likely ending the Irish’s season. The Wolverines will face either Bowling Green or Western Michigan in one CCHA semifinal at the Joe.
Western Michigan completed the weekend sweep of Lake Superior defeating the Lakers 5-2. The Broncos will face either Michigan or Miami on Friday.
What a night for College Hockey. It was like Christmas all over again and we haven’t even scratched the surface outside the CCHA!
Bowling Green takes 1-0 lead at Ferris State
Last night’s victory by BGSU marks the first time the last place CCHA team has won a game in the second round of the tournament. Last year, the Falcons also took down Northern Michigan in 3 games in round 1 (winning in 2OT in game 3), but they failed to take a win in round 2, going down 5-1 and 4-1 at Michigan. This year, things get VERY interesting as former Miami assistant Chris Bergeron has his Falcons playing inspired hockey. They’ve won 4 of their last 6, including once against Michigan, and now 3 in a row against NMU (2) and Ferris State.
Cam Wojtala had 2 goals in regulation, and freshman Ryan Carpenter scored the game winner in overtime. But perhaps the player of the game was Goalie Andrew Hammond, who stopped an incredible 54 shots on the night. Check out the complete BGSUFalcons.com recap including interviews after the game. Here’s the highlights as well!
For free streaming audio of the game tonight, here is the link for the BGSU Feed. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 and puck drop for game 2 is set for 7:05pm.
Western Michigan beats Lake State 4-2
Ian Slater scored twice for Western Michigan, and Mike Leone scored the 2nd period game winner. Leone only has 8 goals for his in his 3 seasons, but 4 of those have come in the CCHA Playoffs. Frank Slubowski was only called on to make 20 saves on the night as the Broncos took a 1-0 series lead in come back fashion. After going down just 3:13 in to the game, the Broncos scored 3 times before Lake State would answer again in a relatively calm CCHA game that only had 3 power play opportunities.
You can catch the full recap from WMU.com here, and stay tuned to the CCHA Productions YouTube channel to catch the highlights later today.
Michigan survives in 2OT against Notre Dame
Michigan’s Chris Brown scored the game winner 3:11 into the second overtime period to give Michigan a 1-0 lead in their first round playoff series against Notre Dame. Shawn Hunwick stopped 37 saves, and Michigan is now just 1 win away from their 24th consecutive trip to Detroit for the CCHA Final Four tournament.
It’s no Jimmy Mullin, but Michigan scored just 1:08 into the game to take a 1-0 lead, and the game stayed that way until the 11:23 mark of the third when Notre Dame’s Anders Lee scored to tie it up. ND’s goalie Steven Summerhays stopped 40 shots on the night (14 in the first OT), many of them of highlight-reel worthy, but couldn’t stop the last one. Catch the full recap here, and then jump over to the highlights!
Tonight’s game 2 is set for a 7:35pm puck drop, and you can listen for free at the ND All-Access site by clicking here. You can also view the game on Comcast Sports on the teevee machines.
Here is the Saturday SixPack of tweets. Be sure to follow us on twitter by hitting http://www.twitter.com/redskinwarriors or follow @redskinwarriors to make sure you don’t miss out on these juicy tidbits!
- Jimmy Mullin’s goal 12 seconds into the game is tied for the fastest goal in #MiamiU history, tying Tim Huettl, who scored 12 seconds into a game 1/3/1986 vs Mich-Dearborn.
- Jimmy Mullin had 2 G and 2 A for a career high 4 points and was a +3. Had 3 points against OSU 2/25. He’s proving he’s good at hockey too. 10 pts during 4gm pt streak. #stud
- Curtis McKenzie scores his first goal since December 10th. Reilly Smith now has 7-gm scoring streak. #MiamiU has scored first in 5 straight, 25 of 37 overall. #firingrange
- Connor Knapp is on fire. 5 shutouts in calendar 2012. 3 in last 5 gms. 13 for career is the new Miami record. #MiamiU’s CCHA-leading 7th shutout of season. #bulletproo
- When trailing after 40 minutes of regulation, Lake State is now 0-14-3. #WesternMichigan takes a 1-0 lead in their #CCHAPlayoffs series.
- Notre Dame is 16-3-0 when scoring three or more goals. Last night, they scored 1 and are now 1-14-1 when scoring less than three. #putthepuckinthegoal #CCHAPlayoffs
The highlights from last night’s game can be found on the CCHA Productions YouTube page, or by clicking here.
Puck Drop is set for 7:05 in Oxford. Don’t forget to tune in to the All-Access feed tonight, as the game will not be televised otherwise.
Connor Knapp made 27 saves and Jimmy Mullin notched four points as Miami defeated Michigan State 6-0 in the first game of their best-of-three series at Steve Cady Arena.
For Knapp, it was his fifth shutout of the season to set a new single-season career high, his second shutout of the Spartans this year and his 13th shutout overall which is a new Miami school record. Meanwhile, freshman forward Jimmy Mullin netted two goals and added two assists to set a career high in points in a single game. Mullin now has an impressive 25 points on the season (11-14-25) trailing only junior forward Reilly Smith (26-13-39) and freshman forward Austin Czarnik (9-22-31) for team leadership.
Mullin opened the scoring just :12 into the game as he banged home a loose puck behind MSU goaltender Will Yanakeff who allowed five goals on 26 shots including four in the second period when Miami broke the game open with two quick goals just :34 apart. Senior defenseman Chris Wideman joined the rush and scored just his second goal of the season and freshman forward Tyler Biggs netted his 9th on the year making the game 3-0 and enabling the RedHawks to relax and cruise to the 6-0 victory.
Miami entered tonight’s game 0-9 all-time against the Spartans in the CCHA playoffs but the two teams had never met in Oxford. Overall this season, Miami is 3-0 against MSU and has allowed just one goal against including Knapp’s two shutouts.
MSU head coach Tom Anastos had this to say after this evening’s game.
“This is a very good team, and I believe I said it earlier in the week – [Miami] is under-rated, offensively. Not that they scored six goals, but the really nice plays they made and the offensive pressure they are able to generate. I thought the first period was pretty good for us, but obviously the second period was a challenge. We just need to regroup and be ready to go on Saturday.” (source: MSUSpartans.com)
In addition to Mullin’s two tallies and Biggs’ and Wideman’s goals, Miami received offensive support from junior Curtis McKenzie (5th) and freshman Blake Coleman who scored his 12th on the season and has now scored a goal in three of his past four games. And, Miami has now won a season-high seven consecutive games and has vaulted up to a tie for fifth in the PairWise (as of 9:33pm MDT) as several games went Miami’s way in addition to the victory. For reference, they are also fourth in KRACH.
Game two is scheduled for 7:05pm EST at Steve Cady Arena and with the students still away on Spring Break, tickets should be available. If you can’t make the game, it will be available via Miami All-Access at MURedHawks.com with Greg Waddell and Drew Davis carrying the call.
Around the CCHA
Bowling Green defeated Ferris State 3-2 in overtime (BG leads series 1-0) – Huge win for the Falcons and head coach Chris Bergeron
Michigan defeated Notre Dame 2-1 in overtime (Michigan leads series 1-0) – Chris Brown notched the game-winner
Western Michigan defeated Lake Superior 4-2 (WMU leads series 1-0) – Broncos cruised to a victory behind freshman goaltender Frank Slubowski
Your Miami RedHawks take the ice tonight in search of their first-ever win against Michigan State outside of the regular season. The defending Mason Cup Champions have never beaten Michigan State in the CCHA playoffs (they’ve never met in the NCAA tournament). Miami is 0-9 against MSU, but Michigan State has never visited Oxford in these rounds either, so tonight’s contest looks to be a jumping off point for the RedHawks in the best-of-three series. State has played Miami in the quarterfinal round in 1985 and 2000, having swept both series in East Lansing.
Earlier this season, the ‘Hawks headed to East Lansing to face the Spartans and came out with 2 victories. The first came on a Jimmy Mullin overtime goal to lift the RedHawks to a 2-1 victory on January 6th. On the next night, Connor Knapp got his unbelievable 2012 kicked off, notching his first of 4 shutouts of the calendar year. On that weekend, Bryon Paulazzo, Cameron Schilling, Chris Wideman, Blake Coleman and Alden Hirschfeld all tallied at least 2 points, Miami had 6 different goal scorers in the 2-game sweep, and in total, 12 RedHawks made the scoring sheets.
Oxford is again the host of a second-round CCHA playoff series, as Miami is the only CCHA school that can claim that honor. After a rough trip to face Michigan, the Hawks have swept Alabama-Huntsville, Notre Dame and Ohio State to jump from 9th in the CCHA standings up to their 4th place finish. Since the CCHA changed to the current playoff format, Miami is 4-2 in this round of the playoffs, having faced 6 different teams in that span. Michigan State makes the 7 team in 7 years to play in Oxford in the playoffs, where Miami is 9-5 in those 6 series.
Leading the RedHawks as he has done all season is Junior Reilly Smith, who looks to continue his current scoring streaks of 4 games with a goal and 6 games with at least one point. Smith is coming off of a career-high 4 point game at Ohio State on 2/25/12, leads the CCHA and is second in the country in goals scored with 26, has just been named the CCHA All-Conference First Team, and was named Inside College Hockey (INCH) CCHA Player of the Year. From INCH’s CCHA beat writer James Dowd:
Last year’s [INCH] breakthrough player of the year becomes INCH’s CCHA Player of the Year. Miami’s Reilly Smith carried a young team on his back, notching 26 goals on the season—second nationally behind only fellow Dallas draft pick Austin Smith of Colgate. After a strong 2010-11 season, one had to wonder whether Smith’s success hinged primarily on the playmaking wizardry of 2011 Hobey Baker Award winner Andy Miele, but Smith proved this year he’s a pure goal scorer even without the likes of Miele and Carter Camper surrounding him. The Redhawks looked lost at times this year, but Smith kept putting the puck in the net, buying time for his young teammates to mature.
In addition to the above accolades, for some pre-game reading enjoyment, take a gander at John Lachmann’s article at wcpo.com which chronicles Smith’s outstanding Miami career to date.
We would expect to see Connor Knapp in net tonight, as he is coming off of one of the best statistical seasons by any Miami goaltender in history. Knapp has had 4 shutouts in 2012, and has posted some unbelievable stats this season. His .939 save percentage is second best in the nation (Chris Noonan of Niagara is just ahead at .941), and his 1.53 goals against average is tops in the NCAA (Troy Grosenick from Union is 2nd at 1.64 GAA). The Buffalo Sabres draft pick has also finished first in CCHA conference play with a gnarly .945 save percentage and a 1.41 GAA and he even tallied an assist on the season. He, Cody Reichard and David Burleigh (’03) are all tied at 12 career goose-eggs, and will be looking to break the Miami shutout record this weekend. Despite having those impeccable numbers, Knapp was only voted to Honorable Mention in the CCHA awards, finishing behind First-Teamer Taylor Nelson of Ferris State and
the baby goalie Shawn Hunwick of Michigan, who made the Second Team.
As for the Spartans, they will almost certainly deploy Junior Torey Krug when Reilly Smith is on the ice. Krug was also named to the All-CCHA First Team, and is Michigan State’s best defenseman. Not only is he staunch on the defensive side of the ice, but he also tied for the CCHA lead in scoring with an impressive 11 goals and 18 assists, finishing 1 point ahead of Smith for the CCHA in-conference scoring lead.
In net could be either of Will Yanakeff or Drew Palmisano. Yanakeff has posted a record of 13-7-1 this year, allowing 2.32 goals per game and has a save percentage of .927. He has played in 3 of the last 4 Spartans games, having gone 2-1. Palmisano, a senior is 6-6-3 on the season, with 2.59 GAA and a .919 save percentage. Head Coach Tom Anastos will try to lead the Spartans to the CCHA Championship weekend in Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena for the first time since 2007, Michigan State’s latest National Championship season. Looking back, no current Spartan has been on the winning side of a CCHA playoff series or game.
A few final notes for the weekend:
- Michigan State is just 6-7-0 on the road this season, but has a commanding 29-12-3 record in Oxford all-time against Miami.
- The Spartans hold a 6-2-1 record on the season against teams ranked in the top 10 at the time of the game.
- Miami has outscored their opponents 19-3 in the last 6 games, all wins.
- 2 victories would push Miami’s current seniors to the 4th most all time. They currently stand at 96 wins in their 4 years, and could make it a magical 100 with a second-consecutive Mason Cup Championship next weekend.
- Miami sits at 9th in the current Pairwise, and MSU is in a tie for 12th. This is a comparison we don’t want to lose, so wins this weekend are crucial.
The puck drops on this critical series at 7:35pm tonight, 7:05pm Saturday, and 7:05pm on Sunday night, if necessary. The weekend’s games are not televised, but can be viewed on http://www.muredhawks.com using the All-Access subscription service. Just $9.95/month gets you the video feed for all three games, and can be cancelled at any time!
This week went entirely too slow, and it’s going to be a fun weekend in Oxford.