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.
With former Miami captain and assistant coach Chris Bergeron taking the reins, last season the Bowling Green State University Falcons finished in the basement of the CCHA winning just three league games and ten overall. However, the ten wins were a dramatic improvement from 2009-10 when they won just five games in an absolutely forgettable season.
With the continued uncertainly surrounding the Falcons once proud hockey program, this off season hasn’t been anything to write home about. And, without a conference affiliation for 2013 and beyond (they have been extended an invitation to join the WCHA but have not yet accepted), the Falcons saw their best player, junior Jordan Samuels-Thomas, transfer to Quinnipiac. Samuels-Thomas led Bowling Green in scoring each of his two seasons in the orange and brown. Sadly, the program once again looks unsteady even with recent improvements made to their home rink and having professed a desire to be included in the new NCHC with MAC brethren Western Michigan and Miami.
The latest rumor surrounding the Falcons was first published by Bruce Ciskie, the voice of the defending champion UMD Bulldogs on his Twitter feed, and then again on his blog. Ciskie is reporting the Falcons have asked the WCHA for more time as they consider the league’s invitation, but that they have met with four Atlantic Hockey schools, Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara and Robert Morris, about potentially starting yet another new college hockey league. In addition, the Buffalo Bulls, who currently field a club hockey team, could be convinced to move to Division I, and perhaps even UAH could be included in discussions. If this pans out, this league would actually make a ton of sense for all involved. First, the Falcons would have a far greater chance of competing, the geography and travel would be much better than making trips to Minnesota and Alaska, and it would not only save a program (Alabama-Huntsville), but even add one in the University at Buffalo. More on this as the story develops.
On and off the ice, the story continues to be somewhat bleak as BG lost their best player, then had two incoming freshmen declared non-qualifiers by the NCAA and the recruiting pipeline does not appear to be loaded with top-end talent. But, they do return junior goaltender Andrew Hammond who posted respectable numbers (2.67 GAA, .915) and three of their top five scorers. However, those three combined for just 48 points (Hobey Baker winner Andy Miele had 71 for Miami last season), but it’s something.
Generally speaking, BG’s recent recruiting classes feature kids from second tier junior leagues and do not possess the depth as top tier teams that are pulling the best from the USNTDP, USHL, BCHL and the east coast. Of course Bergeron has been working with the specter of their program folding, marginally renovated facilities and now the problem of not having a conference. Looking at their incoming recruits, at first blush, there doesn’t appear to be a ton in the tank, but hopefully for the Falcons, some of these guys are late bloomers. On the positive side, Bergeron’s first recruiting class seems to have landed more size for the Falcons, which would follow the trend of when he recruited larger players at Miami to fit a tough, physical style that both he and Enrico Blasi utilized successfully behind the RedHawks’ bench.
Overall, I think 2011-12 is going to be another tough season in northwest Ohio.
Ceiling — 9th
Floor — 11th