Monthly Archives: November 2009
>After a flat weekend of hockey in Oxford against Ferris State last week, Miami rebounded on Friday night with a solid 3-0 win against the Western Michigan Broncos. Junior Andy Miele scored two goals and captain Tommy Wingels added one. None of the goals were scored at even strength, however.
The clustermates resume the series tonight at Lawson Arena at 7:35pm. The game broadcast is available here.
Be sure to check out JacketsRequired (Twitter @jacketsrequired) for coverage of tonight’s game.
- Defenseman Matt Tomassoni played on the fourth forward line last night with Justin Vaive on the left and Gary Steffes in the middle. This is an interesting decision and I’m not so sure of the reasoning behind it. A few theories: Perhaps Rico is content with the current group of d-men (Weber/Hartman, Wideman/LoVerde, Schilling/Spinell) that he’s “trying out” Tomassoni as a forward. Maybe Blasi feels that Tomassoni is a better option at forward than the scratches? Maybe injuries play into this decision? What say you?
- The penalty kill was superb, turning in two shorthanded goals, one by Wingels and the other by Miele. The last time the RedHawks netted two “shorties” was on December 15, 2007 against RPI.
- Miami now has a share of first place with Michigan State. Both teams have 20 points, but Miami leads due to the goal differential.
>After completing a weekend sweep in Ann Arbor last weekend, the Miami RedHawks returned home to the friendly confines of Cady Arena on Friday night to host a surging Ferris State Bulldogs’ team, fresh off a sweep of their own at hapless Bowling Green last weekend. By all accounts, this was a trap game Miami was heading into. One can make the point that “on paper,” there’s only one way this game could have gone- Miami’s way. But then again, there’s a reason why games aren’t played “on paper” as Ferris showed Friday evening, by earning a shootout win in Oxford, 3-2.
Let’s face it. Ferris has Miami’s number. With the tie tonight, the RedHawks are 0-3-2 in the last five meetings against Big Rapids canines. The visitors started the scoring in the second frame, after a flat Miami first period that saw the good guys with a flurry of chances to get on the board as time expired, but to no avail. Senior winger Blair Riley reaped the benefit of a Miami turnover. Defenseman Will Weber tried to skate the puck into the Ferris zone and dump, but it was intercepted by Zach Redmond who fed a perfect pass to Riley, waiting at the blueline. He broke in, with only Miami’s Joe Hartman trailing and found the twine by wristing the puck over the trapper of Cody Reichard, who stopped 19 of 21 shots on the night. It was Riley’s 7th goal of the season.
But back came the RedHawks, resilient as always this season and on the penalty kill. With time running out in the second, Andy Miele made a great play to move the puck up the ice. As he crossed the FSU blueline, he threw the puck to the point and it was Hartman who stepped into it and scored a shorthanded goal, on the one-timer with 1.3 seconds left. It tied the contest at 1 apiece, but provided the momentum the ‘Hawks needed heading into the third.
Although Miami had the momentum and controlled the tempo in the final period, it remained scoreless for several minutes. FSU did a good job of hanging tough all night, outworking, and frustrating the RedHawks. They forechecked hard and took away the passing lanes. But they didn’t have the tempo in their favor in the final period and Miami’s hard work came to fruition late. Sophomore Chris Wideman made a great play to hold the puck in the zone and worked in to the right half wall. He made a great pass to junior captain Tommy Wingels, who fired a slapshot from the high slot to give his team the lead, 2-1 at 15:22. Ferris goaltender Taylor Nelson was screened by Curtis McKenzie on the play and didn’t have a great view of the shot.
UPDATE 11:35pm: The goal was later credited to McKenzie, with Wingels and Wideman getting the assists.
But then came the 6 on 5…
With time ticking away in the game, Ferris coach Bob Daniels pulled Nelson in favor of an extra attacker and once again, Miami’s inability to clear the zone came back to bite them in their collective rear-ends, when Riley struck again to tie the game at two with only 23.2 seconds remaining in regulation. Bulldog captain Cody Chupp was able to corral a “knucklepuck” and feed Riley, who was waiting crease right and buried it, five-hole. The tally was his second of the game, the biggest of the night, and his 8th of the season. Remarkably, 7 of his 8 goals have been scored on Friday nights.
The stalemate continued into the five-minute overtime period and the skills competition would be needed to decide a winner on this night.
In the shootout, junior Carter Camper had the first crack at Nelson, who was solid throughout the night. Camper broke in, he went to his backhand, but it found Nelson’s right pad and was kicked away. For the Bulldogs, Zach Redmond was up first and he gave his team a 1-0 advantage on a wrist shot that eluded Reichard. That’s all Ferris would need as Miami’s next two shooters Miele and Wingels, were unsuccessful.
Regulation win- 3 points
Overtime win- 3 points
Regulation loss- 0 points
Overtime loss- 0 points
Shootout win- 2 points
Shootout loss- 1 point
So the ‘Hawks walk away with one point in the CCHA standings and the game goes down as a tie as far as the NCAA is concerned. Miami still holds down the second spot in the league though, 3 points behind Michigan State due to the Spartans 3-2 win against Michigan on Friday.
The weekend series concludes on Saturday in Oxford. Gametime is 7:05pm and can be seen on the Ohio News Network.
>Just a few notes from this weekend’s first ever sweep of the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor:
- The Miami sweep is Michigan’s first at Yost Ice Arena since October 26 and 27, 2001 when the Northern Michigan Wildcats swept the Maize & Blue 1-0 (OT) and 5-3.
- I’d like to take credit for Pat Cannone’s first goal, thank you. Okay, just kidding. But in my recap of Friday night’s game, I questioned where Cannone had been all season long. He got the Miami scoring started on Saturday night and added an assist on Reilly Smith’s first goal.
- The RedHawks are 8-1-1 through the first ten games and own sole posession of first place in the CCHA with 15 points. With series’ upcoming against Ferris State in Oxford and Western Michigan in Kalamazoo still to come (and not to be overlooked), the matchup with North Dakota in Grand Forks over the American Thanksgiving holiday is building up to…be…huge. The Fighting Sioux host St. Cloud State next weekend and hit the road to battle Denver in Magness Arena the following week. A lot could happen between now and then, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on.
- Andy Miele and Jarod Palmer are tied for the team lead in points, both with 11. Curtis McKenzie leads all freshman with 8 points; Chris Wideman leads the blueliners with 5.
- Cody Reichard was OUTSTANDING this weekend. The sophomore netminder stopped 47 of 49 shots and now has a 7-0-1 record and a 1.58 GAA. Folks, here’s your number one goaltender. He also leads the CCHA in winning percentage, at .938%.
>For those that may have missed it, the CCHA has done an excellent interview with Steve “Coach” Cady on it’s website. Some great topics are touched upon…everything from Ron Mason’s influence on the Miami program, to Cady’s recent induction into the Miami Athletic Hall of Fame and even this one, which was certainly on my mind for quite some time…
“As the chairman of the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey committee you had to hand the National Championship trophy to Jack Parker after Boston University beat Miami in overtime in Washington last year. Was that just about the toughest thing you have ever had to do?”
To see his response to this and others, click on this link.
ALSO: This is a must see- it’s a video tour of the RedHawks’ dressing room! I’m thankful that I’ve been able to see it in person, but this is a great feature that gives an inside look of a place many will never get to see. You can watch that here.
>The scenario: Team A has the home ice advantage going into Friday night’s contest and a commanding lead in the series between the two schools. Team B, on the road in a hostile environment mind you, has only won three games in Team A’s building in the entire history of the universe. Team B had a total of 28 penalty minutes and Team A outshot Team B 28-13 at the game’s end and 14-2 in the second period. Who won the game?
I would have picked Team A, too.
But it was “Team B” that walked away with this one on Friday night as the #1 ranked Miami RedHawks defeated the Michigan Wolverines 3-1. The Miami win on Friday was only the fourth at Yost Ice Arena in the 28 year series history of the two schools, a series that MU now trails 69-21-3 all-time and 4-43-1 in Ann Arbor. Jarod Palmer started the scoring early on in the first period, knocking home a loose puck in a scramble near the Michigan goal crease, and giving Miami a huge first goal on the road at the 3:42 mark. Five minutes later, it was Palmer again, this time on the 4 x 3 power play. A beauty of a shot from the high slot eluded UM netminder Bryan Hogan and Miami now found itself with a 2-0 lead, thanks to Palmer.
In the second period, it was all Michigan. Thanks to the outstanding effort by Miami goaltender Cody Reichard, the Maize & Blue only found the net once in the second frame, despite outshooting and outplaying the visitors. Chris Brown tapped in the only Michigan goal of the evening, drawing assists from Carl Hagelin and the slow-starting Louie Caporusso to cut the lead to one goal, at 2-1. It was a power play tally.
In the final period, Miami delivered a lesson on how to close out a game (take note, Columbus Blue Jackets). Senior Brandon Smith, certainly not known for his scoring prowess, sealed the deal with a wrist shot through Hogan’s 5-hole and Miami had a two-goal lead at 3-1. Drawing the assist on the Smith goal…was Dane Hetland and that’s the way it would end, a Miami winner over Michigan, 3-1.
- I think Cody Reichard has officially solidified himself as this team’s number one ‘tender. In seven games, Reichard is 6-0-1 with a 1.67 GAA and a .932 save-percentage. He played extremely large in last night’s win stopping 27 of 28 shots and even stopped his second penalty shot of the season. Especially with Connor Knapp missing his regularly scheduled start last week at Northern Michigan because of the flu, I think Cody is “the” guy at this point.
- Senior Gary Steffes and Sophomore Matt Tomassoni did not make the trip to Ann Arbor this weekend. Tomassoni is still presumably feeling under the weather and pure speculation leads me to believe that Steffes is going through the same.
- The RedHawks were outshot 28-13 on Friday night and still managed a two goal win, including being outshout in the second period 14-2.
- What about the play of Jarod Palmer this season? An undrafted free agent, Palmer will certainly earn himself a professional contract of some kind at the season’s end. His hard work and leadership qualities, just to name a few, would certainly be an asset to any team. He now leads the RedHawks scoring this season with ten points (5G, 5A).
- Anyone noticed Pat Cannone this season? The junior center has two goals and two assists in the nine game season so far and seems to be struggling a bit out of the gate. In the first 9 games of last season, he registered 12 points on 4 goals and 8 assists.
- Michigan State defeated Nebraska-Omaha on Friday night in a shootout. With the win, MSU (13 points) has a one-point lead on Miami in the CCHA standings.
- Dane Hetland was playing in his first college hockey game since October of 2007. How appropriate that he and Brandon Smith combined to add to the RedHawks’ total. Smith didn’t play his first game of his college career until his junior season, a drought similar to Hetland’s. After seeing action in 22 games during his freshman year in 2006-2007, Dane played the Canisus series the following season and not at all last year. The senior’s assist on Friday was his first point since Febuary 17, 2007 in a 5-3 win at Robert Morris. Hetland drew an assist on a Joe Cooper goal.
- The two teams are back at it tonight in the Wolverine State, with a 7:35pm drop at Yost. TV coverage will once again provided by ONN.
>As the RedHawks prepare for a tough weekend against the Michigan Wolverines, Miami radio voice Greg Waddell will be checking in throughout the season with a view of “Life on the Road.” Here’s the first edition, hot off the presses from the Great Lakes State:
Greetings from Ann Arbor as two of the premier teams in the CCHA…nay….the nation, hook up for a weekend series at the Yost as Miami plays the you of em. We had an uneventful trip up here that took right around 4 hours. Despite preparing for the games itself, one of the big questions when heading out on the bus, is what movies the guys will want to watch. Being a mid-40′s kind of a guy that I am, the generation gap is never more evident, than with the sense of humor of college-age guys. The first movie of choice was a Paul Rudd/Seann William Scott flick called Role Models. Not the best of choices I have seen over the years, but not bad either. It is one of the kinds of movies I would probably never see, unless riding the roads with the team. The second movie was an old stand-by, Meet The Fockers. The early trend this season of movies on the bus seems to be a newer comedy (and I use the term loosely), followed by a sure-thing. Usually the sure-thing movies are the choice of Coach. It’s like a make-up call after a bad penalty call by the ref’s. Rico is able to erase what is a bad movie memory, with a classic. Other examples this year following a bad movie with a good, Talladega Nights after a completely forgettable flick on the way to Northern Michigan last week, as well as Austin Powers Goldmember.
A couple of player notes, Dane Hetland made the trip and will be dressed and in the lineup for Friday’s game. It will be his first game-action since November 23, 2007 against Canisius. It’s great to see the hard work by the players who haven’t had a lot of recent playing time. And it’s great to see them rewarded too! Cody Reichard will get the start on Friday and freshman Steven Spinell will also be dressed. Gary Steffes and Matt Tomassoni did not make the trip.
The Yost has not been kind to most visiting teams over the years and the RedHawks/Skins are no different; to the tune of just 3 wins since the first-ever game played by Miami in 1981. But the team seems loose and ready for action this weekend. The last win here in AA came in October of 2006. And you might remember last season was a particularly painful weekend. The old-school barn had some structural issues which caused the series to be delayed by a day. That extra day did not help the Red & White as they lost 5-1 and 4-0. But a lot has happened since that series and Miami continues to show that they belong. This weekend will be a great test to see if they are up to the challenge! Go RedHawks!
From the 4 Points Sheraton…Waddell out!