Blog Archives

Miami stays hot on the road, tops BG

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Miami’s seven-game road losing streak seems like an eternity ago.

The RedHawks fell behind early before scoring the final four goals en route to a 4-1 win vs. Bowling Green at BGSU Ice Arena on Friday, extending their winning streak to three games away from Oxford.

MU’s last road loss came over two months ago at Colorado College.

Sean Kuraly.

Sean Kuraly.

Senior center Sean Kuraly netted the game-winning goal, the 12th of his career, as he moved into a tie for third place all-time on the Miami leaderboard, tying him with Andy Miele and Reilly Smith.

Kuraly finished with a goal and an assist, giving him four multi-point games in his last six contests and 12 points in his last eight (4-8-12).

In the first minute, Miami senior goalie Jay Williams was forced to stop a breakaway after a stretch pass.

With 8:18 left in the first period, BGSU (16-10-6) took the lead when Brent Tate tipped home a blue-line wrister from Sean Walker in the closing seconds of a power play.

But the second period was kind to the RedHawks once again.

Miami (12-13-3) tied it when junior forward Anthony Louis roofed a shot from the side of the net on a two-man advantage with 7:23 left in the frame.

Less than three minutes later, Kuraly tipped in a change-up wrister from the blue line by sophomore defenseman Scott Dornbrock to put the RedHawks ahead for good, 2-1.

That was the sixth goal in a row Miami had scored in the second period. Fortunately for the RedHawks, they bucked that trend in the final stanza.

Freshman forward Kiefer Sherwood banged home a loose puck with 6:09 left in regulation to give Miami a two-goal lead.

Senior defenseman Matthew Caito iced it with an empty netter in the closing minutes.

Kuraly has scored four times in his last six games, and Sherwood netted his fourth in seven. Louis has pumped in four in eight games.

Caito scored his 16th career goal, moving him into seventh on the school’s career leaderboard, tying him with 1996 graduate Pat Hanley.

Freshman defenseman Grant Hutton recorded his first multi-point game, tallying a pair of assists. He has four helpers in his last three games after picking up just one through 25 contests.

Freshman forward Josh Melnick has recorded a point in eight of nine games, finishing with one assist.

Senior goalie Jay Williams stopped 21 shots to earn the win, the 43rd of his career. He is three away from Connor Knapp for fourth place all-time at Miami.

The RedHawks jumped to a tie for 19th in the PairWise rankings with the win. They would likely need to be in the top 13 to be a safe bet for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Nebraska-Omaha won on Friday, moving into a tie with Miami for fifth place in the NCHC standings, and the Mavericks have a game in hand over the RedHawks.

Miami is off until next Friday, when they travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., for a series at Western Michigan.

MIAMI 0-2-2–4
at BGSU 1-0-0–1
First period–1. BGSU, Tate 4 (Walker, Bednard), ppg, 11:42.
Second period–2. Mia., Louis 7 (Melnick, Belpedio), ppg, 12:37; 3. Mia., Kuraly 6 (Dornbrock, Hutton) 15:15.
Third period–4. Mia., Sherwood 7 (Kuraly, Roslovic) 13:51; 5. Mia., Caito 4 (Hutton), eng, 18:13.
Power plays–Miami 1 for 7; Bowling Green 1 for 4. Shots on goal–Miami 16-14-19–49; Bowling Green 8-7-7–22. Goalies–Miami, Williams (21 of 22 shots saved); Bowling Green, Nell (45 of 49). Referees–Tommy Albindia, Brett Klosowski. Linesmen–Andrew Hempel, Frank Hempel. Attendance–4,025. Time–2:16.

Photos: Bowling Green at Miami

Images from the game between Bowling Green and Miami played at Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio, on Jan. 16, 2016. All photos by Cathy Lachmann.

s3

s4

s6

s7

s8

s9

s10

s11

s12

s14

s16

s20

s21

s22

s23

s24

s25

s26

s27

s28

Analysis: Crucial win for RedHawks

OXFORD, Ohio – Miami was due to have a close one go its way in dramatic fashion.

In a season that has seen the RedHawks fall twice in overtime and several other times on third-period goals, they beat Bowling Green, 2-1 at Cady Arena on Saturday when senior forward Anthony Louis buried a shot with two seconds remaining in regulation.

For at least one night, a lot of good things happened for this program, but at four games below .500, much work must be done just to get to respectability.

Taking this one game, though, a win like this can do much to turn any negative attitudes around. Rejuvenate players who – especially at such a young age – may have subconsciously begun to give up on the season.

Students are coming back from their J-term as well, which means crowds should pick up, and the buzz from this contest can do nothing but help gate receipts the rest of this campaign.

This wasn’t the best game Miami has played this season, but the RedHawks were good enough to win.

With their lack of offensive firepower, they would need to win a lot games with scores like 2-1. We’ll find out in the coming weeks if they can make winning a habit or if they are a habitual tease.

Either way, it was fun to be at the rink for this one.

Other thoughts…

– And yes, while the finale made it all worth it, Saturday’s game was flat-out boring for the most part until Louis’ heroics. Choppy play, good defensive play, bad offensive play, linemen who thought they were paid by the hour that should’ve carried penalty flags with the number of false starts and illegal motions they delayed puck drops for. It happens. Not every game can be like, well, every one at the end of last regular season, especially when both teams average a little over two goals per game.

– After not returning to the bench for the third period last Saturday and not practicing on Monday, senior goalie Ryan McKay was scratched for this tilt. That means freshman third goalie Evan McCarthy was technically the backup. Following McKay’s fourth goal against vs. Minnesota-Duluth last week on a poor clear, McKay threw his stick down the hall after coming off the ice, and he yelled something to the team and/or coaches, which is presumably why he was not dressed. It’s unclear how long McKay will be scratched, but with Miami’s grueling upcoming stretch run, it needs both of its quality goaltenders.

– While Miami’s power play has been dreadful in recent weeks – 1-for-20 in its last eight games with two shorthanded goals allowed – the penalty kill is tops in the NCAA at 94.1 percent, leading Division I by over three points. RedHawks opponents have not scored on the man advantage in five straight games.

– Louis has been a second-half player his first two seasons, and with the offensive losses Miami has suffered – and its resulting 2.10 goals-per-game average – the RedHawks NEED him to have a strong second half. This game was a great start.

GRADES

FORWARDS: C. Not a ton to see here. Outside of Alex Gacek’s slam-dunk goal and his set up of Louis’ game winner, this unit didn’t generate nearly enough offensive pressure. Much of this is due to Bowling Green’s defense, but Miami has created more chances against better teams this year. The line jumbling – which is justifiable in large part – didn’t help, as chemistry seemed to be off.

DEFENSEMEN: B-. Even though the Falcons only scored once, this corps made a few more mistakes than usual, especially early. Most memorably, Mark Cooper missed a completely open net after a breakdown deep in the defensive zone. It wasn’t one of senior Chris Joyaux’s best nights, although overall this season has been his best.

GOALTENDING: B+. Early on, it appeared Miami was in huge trouble, as senior Jay Williams struggled in net, and classmate Ryan McKay was not dressed, giving the team no safety valve. Williams allowed the first goal on a shot from beyond the top of the faceoff circle under his left arm and seemed to have trouble picking up the pick in the opening period. However, he was huge the final 40 minutes, making at least one huge save on a point-blank chance. His rebound control was outstanding, and he has now cut his 5.35 goals-against average from a couple of weeks ago – the result of being left in for seven goals opening night vs. Providence – nearly in half, ending the night at 2.83 for the season.

LINEUP CHANGES: Senior forward Michael Mooney was out up front after playing last Saturday, and junior Devin Loe sat for the second straight game. On defense, junior Colin Sullivan was a scratch after playing four of the past five games. Freshman Grant Hutton was out for the first time this season last Saturday but was back on the ice in this one. It’s unclear how long Williams will have the starting goalie joy uncontested, but McKay is smart and it’s likely he will right any wrongs within the team sooner than later.

Louis lifts Miami over BG

OXFORD, Ohio – Thanks to Anthony Louis, there was no free hockey at Cady Arena on Saturday.

The junior forward ripped a one-timer into the bottom corner of the net with two seconds left in regulation to lift Miami to a 2-1 win over Bowling Green.

Teammates congratulate Anthony Louis (second from left) after his game-winning goal (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Teammates congratulate Anthony Louis (second from left) after his game-winning goal (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Senior Jay Williams stopped 28 shots to earn the win, which was just the second for the RedHawks in 11 games.

Kevin Dufour opened the scoring for the Falcons, as his shot from the top of the faceoff circle snuck under Williams’ arm 5:55 into the first period.

Off a steal by Louis, Miami senior Alex Gacek tied it with 4:15 left in the middle stanza, stuffing a loose puck home from the side of the net.

It remained 1-1 until the closing seconds of the third period, when Gacek fed Louis from the side of the net back to Louis, who ripped it just inside the post on the glove side for the decisive score.

That meant no overtime for MU, which had seen five of its first 20 games go to an extra session.

Louis and Gacek both finished with a goal and an assist.

Louis has now recorded five points in his last five games, and Gacek scored his second goal in four contests.

Jay Williams stopped 28 shots to earn the win (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Jay Williams stopped 28 shots to earn the win (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Williams picked up his second victory, improving to 2-2-1 and 3-0 in his career vs. Bowling Green.

The RedHawks resume league play next weekend, as they travel to Nebraska-Omaha. They play at 8:37 p.m. on Friday and 8:07 p.m. on Saturday.

Miami hosts Bowling Green

WHO: Bowling Green Falcons (13-6-5) at Miami RedHawks (6-11-3).

WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.

WHEN: Saturday–7:05 p.m.

TV: None.

BOWLING GREEN RADIO: WBGU-FM (88.1).

MIAMI RADIO: WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio; WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.

NOTES: Like Miami, Bowling Green has done a better job of shutting down opponents than it has scoring goals. The Falcons have scored just 58 goals in 24 games, but the Falcons have allowed just 44 markers.

The offensively-strapped BGSU team is led by Matt Pohlkamp, who has five goals and a team-best 11 assists for 16 points.

Sniper Mark Cooper has scored nine times and has set up four more markers, and Kevin Dufour and Tyler Spezia have lit the lamp five times each to pace the Falcons.

But goalie Chris Nell has been the key to BGSU’s success. He is 9-3-5 with a 1.37 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage.

The Falcons have lost two of their last three games and three of five, splitting at Lake Superior State last weekend.

It should be Jay Williams in net for Miami.

Quick thoughts on last night’s season opener

Ok, so it wasn’t a great opener for #10/#11 Miami as they dropped a non-conference game at unranked Bowling Green. Here are a few thoughts on the game. I didn’t have the opportunity to watch the game, but I was able to listen to most of the BG radio call.

1. The lineup – We knew the defense corps would look drastically different, but I did not expect to see regulars Matt Caito (upper body injury) and Matt Joyaux on the bench. That said, we talked about the depth on the blue line this year. They’re not all going to be able to play each night. I don’t know the severity of Caito’s injury, but hopefully he’ll be back in there on Sunday. From what I heard, it sounded like Miami got some physical play out of freshman Scott Dornbrock. Other than that, and the Paulides goal, there wasn’t much said about the Miami D except their continued struggles with the puck in front of their own net.

Up front, Blasi went with the jumbo 4th line last night and not surprisingly, BG head coach Chris Bergeron matched him with his first line including Adam Berkle and Dan DeSalvo. Not sure that’s what we want to see. Unless those guys can skate with first-liners, putting them out there on the road is going to almost always draw the other team’s first line. Blasi will be better suited getting those guys on the ice at home when he has the last change.

2. BG seemed to dictate play – The Falcons seemed hungrier and outworked the RedHawks, something that head coach Enrico Blasi said could happen earlier in the week. But, I think the coach has to be concerned that the overall compete level was not where he wanted it.

3. Ryan McKay was solid – Two power play goals against and a broken play goal that he could do little to stop. Other than that, McKay was really solid last night making 35 saves. It’s a great sign that he’s dialed in early and as Miami improves around him, we could be in for good things from the junior looking to revert to his form from his freshman year.

Enrico Blasi’s Postgame Comments

Here are Miami head coach Enrico Blasi’s short postgame comments in what can only be described as the BG dungeon of a “press room” following last night’s 3-2 loss in the season opener to the Falcons.

#10/#11 Miami v. Bowling Green

Former Miami captain and assistant coach, Chris Bergeron, brings an improving Bowling Green program into the 2014-15 regular season against his alma mater. (photo: Todd Pavlack/Bowling Green Athletics)

With the start of the 2014-15 season just a few days away, hope springs eternal in Bowling Green, Ohio where Miami man, Chris Bergeron, has the Falcon faithful dreaming of an NCAA tournament berth for the first time since 1990. Bergeron, 43, spent four years as a player at Miami in the early ’90s as a teammate of current Miami head coach, Enrico Blasi. Then after several seasons of professional hockey, he gave the program another 10 seasons as an assistant coach before leaving Oxford for the barren wasteland that is Bowling Green before the start of the 2010-11 season.

At Bowling Green, Bergeron has revitalized a once-proud program by guiding them to their first plus .500 season in a decade, and in the now lesser WCHA, has a reasonable chance to take the Falcons into the NCAA tournament. The Falcons finished 2013-14 with a respectable 18-15-6 record and played in the WCHA’s “Final Five” after sweeping a home playoff series against Michigan Tech before falling to eventual Broadmoor Trophy champion, Minnesota State 4-0.

The Series

Over the past decade, this series has belonged to Miami. The RedHawks have dominated the Falcons as the football team has done to them year after year on the gridiron. Yet, because of the former dominance of the BG program in the ’80s and early ’90s, the all-time series still favors Bowling Green 58-46-8 as the Falcons would routinely crush the then Redskins when Miami’s program was just getting started. At the same time, BG was winning national titles coached by legends such as Ron Mason and Jerry York, and was, well, relevant. And, because they showed us no quarter “back in the day,” I have no feelings of remorse reminding everyone that Miami has owned their longtime MAC rivals for the better part of the last decade. While the teams haven’t played since the 2012-13 season, the final season of the now defunct CCHA, Miami is 12-1-1 against the orange and brown in the past 14 and you have to go back to the 2007-08 season to find the Falcons last non shootout victory over the Red and White.

But, this is a new Bowling Green.

The Coach

They’re headed by a Miami man in Chris Bergeron who was a successful college star and helped lead Miami to back-to-back Frozen Four appearances as an assistant. He knows how to coach and he’s successfully turning the BG program. Around? Stay tuned, but they are certainly in a much better place today than how he and former Miami icer Barry Schutte, found them.

The BGSU Ice Rink, est. 1967, has been in need of improvement for years.

The BGSU Ice Rink, est. 1967, has been in need of improvement for years.

Along with more success on the ice, Bergeron has overseen substantial renovations at BGSU Ice Rink including new locker rooms. And, while (thankfully) the old curling parlor is still in use by the BGSU curling team, it has been largely changed over into another skating sheet to help save wear and tear on the main rink.

The Team

As for the team on the ice, Bergeron has nine of his top thirteen scorers returning from last year’s fourth place WCHA squad. Most importantly, both Falcon netminders are back including Tommy Burke who finished 2013-14 with an impressive 14-7-6 record with a 2.43 GAA and .912 save percentage. Burke figures to get the bulk of the work this year with back up Tomas Sholl (4-8, 2.68 GAA and .896 save percentage) relieving him from time to time.

Bowling Green returns their top goal scorer (14) from a year ago in junior Mark Cooper and top points man (32) in senior Dan DeSalvo whom Miami fans should remember from the CCHA. In addition, the Falcons return two other 10 goal scorers and their top returning threat from the blue line is Pierre Luc-Mercier, who just deserved to have his name typed because it’s so cool. Departed are clutch scorer Ryan Carpenter along with top defensive scorer Ralfs Freibergs and Marcus Perrier, but the Falcons appear to have some depth that should worry Miami this weekend.

On the recruiting trail, the Falcons are not loaded with top tier recruits, but have a large freshman class consisting of 10 players who are hoping to make an impact on the college stage. But then again, Miami won with lower-tiered recruits during Bergeron’s time in Oxford as the program has become a destination for the nation’s top junior players. I’m certain Bergeron is getting the type of player that he feels best fits his system as he builds their compete level and a culture of consistency in northwest Ohio.

The RedHawks

When taking about this year’s squad, these previews nearly write themselves.

As you’re well aware, the RedHawks will run out top end forwards Sean Kuraly, Blake Coleman, Riley Barber, Anthony Louis and Austin Czarnik and expect to get bounce-back seasons from junior goaltenders Ryan McKay and Jay Williams. Everyone in RedHawk nation must hope the defense corps will improve with the additions of super Freshman Louie Belpedio and Boston College transfer, junior Colin Sullivan. Returning RedHawks like Matt Caito, Trevor Hamilton and the Joyaux brothers must be improved or Miami will find the going tough once NCHC play begins on Halloween in Duluth.

Looking back at the weekend, some of Miami’s old defensive problems resurfaced in a 3-0 loss to the US Under-18 team and 11-0 thrashing of Simon Fraser (whom the Falcons also defeated 7-2).

The captains.

The captains.

In the exhibition opener, Jay Williams allowed all three goals playing the entire game, but Miami was unable to solve the younglings defense. On that team is incoming Miamian Jack Roslovic who contributed a shot on goal for the Red, White and Blue. Hopefully the US game was just a matter of Miami finding its legs, but the RedHawks have struggled against top-talented teams over the past year and some defensive letdowns were apparent.

 

The Prediction

Overall, Miami is much more talented than the Falcons. However, you know Bowling Green will be fired up to face another out-of-league school who also happens to be a longtime rival in their building on Friday night. I expect a close game with Miami winning 4-3 Friday and then taking it to the Falcons 5-1 on Sunday in Oxford.

Note: This is a Friday/Sunday series with Friday’s game starting at 7:07 PM EST at Bowling Green. Sunday’s affair starts at 5:05 PM at Steve Cady Arena. All games can be seen and/or heard via Miami All Access and you can watch Friday at WCHA.tv (which is a heckuva lot more expensive than the NCHC’s package which also provides superior hockey) and watch Sunday on Time Warner Cable or NCHC.tv.

RedHawks Take a Step Back, Tie BGSU

After last weekend and coming immediately off of a night where the RedHawks looked like they belong as the #7 team in the country and a pre-season #1 team, they took a rather large leap backwards tonight in a 4-4 tie with CCHA foe Bowling Green State University. After last night’s 4-0 picking apart of the Falcons, Miami gave up 4 1-goal leads on the night, and earned just a point in the CCHA standings. In the shootout, Miami failed to convert any of their 3 shots, and BGSU walked away with 2 points and the shootout victory.  Although the ‘Hawks did extend their unbeaten streak to 6, I feel like I’m kissing my sister in saying that, as this could have been another 3 points and a victory for The Brotherhood over a weaker BG squad.

Starting off the scoring was the RedHawks leading scorer Reilly Smith, from freshman Austin Czarnik.  Miami had come off of a penalty kill just seconds before the goal after having a great penalty kill to start off the evening.  After BG’s Mike Fink scored to tie it up the first time, Czarnik quickly took matters into his own hands and scored his 4th of the season on a beautiful pass from Chris Wideman.

Miami’s Bryon Paulazzo headed to the penalty box just 3 minutes into the second period, and BG capitalized on the power play to make it 2-2 with a goal from Dan DeSalvo.  To take their third lead of the night, Captain Alden Hirschfeld slammed home a Chris Wideman rebound to take a 3-2 lead. However with 1:45 left in the second, Bryce Williamson made a nifty move, and Miami had blown 3 leads in just 2 periods.  Much of the second half of the second period was disjointed, ugly hockey from Rico Blasi’s squad, and you could sense BG starting to build some confidence by limiting the Miami attack.

Miami seemed to have turned that dial to mute in the third period, playing typical Miami hockey and keeping the puck in their end for much of the third period.  Tyler Biggs had scored just 1:49 into the final period, and all the boys needed to do was protect the puck.  Miami seemed to have the win wrapped up with 2 BGSU penalties in the last 5 minutes but with 1:12 to play, Ryan Carpenter slid a softie through Cody Reichard’s legs and Miami’s 4th lead of the evening went with it, and free hockey and another shootout were all that remained.

Miami again dominated in overtime, but could not find the back of the net.  Finally, in a stark contrast from last weekend’s shootout, there were no fireworks, as Miami couldn’t convert on any of their 3 shootout chances by Czarnik, Smith and Paulazzo. On BG’s second attempt, Williamson got the puck past Reichard for the eventual game winner.

Last night I speculated that tonight would be a perfect time to get Connor Knapp back into the rotation, but Blasi stuck with the hot hand in Cody Reichard. With injury notes hard to come by from the Miami Hockey staff, we can only perpetuate the rumors that Cody is still playing because of the outstanding play of late.  Connor Knapp did dress for each of the last 4 games, but did not see any time in net, lending me to believe that he is healthy, but riding the bench for the time being until Reichard cools off.  And speaking of going cold, tonight may have been the night. Reichard only made 12 saves on 16 shots. The 4th goal was a squeaker right through the 5-hole on what should have been a routine save.

Up next for the RedHawks is a road trip to Denver to face the Providence Friars and Denver Pioneers.  Miami and Providence play in the first game of the Denver Cup on Friday at 6:37 Eastern time. Saturday, Miami faces Cradle of Coaches member George Gwozdecky and the Denver in the evening matchup, starting at approximately 9:07 PM Eastern.

Game Notes:
– Czarnik, Hirschfeld and Smith each had 1 goal and 1 assist on the night
– The CCHA referee committee and commissioner mush have read our column from last night as it seemed that John Philo and Kevin Langseth were back to their usual penalty-calling ways.  Miami was called for a more Blasi-esque 7 minor penalties, and BGSU was whistled for 8 infractions.  Miami  was just 4 for 6 killing penalties and 1 for 7 on the power play, continuing a somewhat slow start to the season on special teams.
– Alex Wideman was still nowhere to be found on the Miami bench. After a promising start to the season, Alex has not played for several games and has us wondering why he has been in a suit for these latest games rather than the red and white.
– Austin Czarnik is Miami’s main faceoff specialist, even as a freshman. He took 25 out of 60 faceoffs on the night, winning 13 of them.  With 4.1 seconds left in the third period and Miami needing a faceoff win to send one final shot on net, Czarnik was the man on the faceoff dot for Miami.

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.