I’ve checked the planets and can’t find anything to explain this. All I can do is believe Rick Comley, who told me Saturday that there is parity in the CCHA.
Going into last weekend’s play, the top five CCHA teams were as follows, points totals in parentheses:
- Notre Dame (14)
- Michigan (13)
- Miami (12)
- Alaska (11)
- Ferris State (10)
After this past weekend’s play, this is what we’ve got:
- Notre Dame (17)
- Michigan (16)
- Miami (15)
- Alaska (14)
- Northern Michigan (12)
No movement in the top five, because four of those teams were battling it out, in pairs: Notre Dame split with Michigan in Ann Arbor, Alaska split with Miami in Oxford.
Boring. Thank goodness for the brave men of the Upper Peninsula, whose efforts this weekend made things interesting for those of us not unfailingly loyal to Bowling Green and Ferris State. Sorry Falcons and Bulldogs.
Notre Dame at Michigan. Friday’s 3-1 Irish win was a knockout, and my good buddy Bob Miller said Saturday’s 5-3 Michigan win was just as good. These games were everything a CCHA fan could hope for: fast-paced, high level of play between two talented teams, and an excellent battle of coaching wills thrown in as an added bonus. This is the kind of hockey the league hopes to have every night. Fantastic games.
I can tell you straight up that Notre Dame’s freshman class lives up to the hype. In Friday’s match, the only two times I noticed freshmen looking like rookies were when T.J. Tynan and Mike Voran were called for the only two penalties in the game, each goaltender interference calls in the first and third periods.
(And hats off to the officiating crew of Matt Shegos, Keith Sergott, Tony Molina and Bruce Vida, who called a great game.)
In Saturday’s UM win, five different Wolverines scored. “We’re not the offensive juggernaut we were once and we’ve got to be a blue-collar, lunch-bucket hockey team,” is how Michigan head coach, Red Berenson, put it.
So, the Wolverines continue their Friday-Saturday pattern (and it’s not a happy one). Shawn Hunwick was in net for the loss, Bryan Hogan for the win — but don’t blame Hunwick, as Hogan has lost on Friday night, too.
Alaska at Miami. This split had the RedHawks winning, 4-0, Friday and the Nanooks taking a 3-2 Saturday win. There was no way Miami wasn’t going to lose Friday’s game, given the sweep the ‘Hawks had suffered the week before at the hands of the Bulldogs. Carter Camper, who had been kept off the score sheet the game before, had Miami’s first goal of the night and added an assist. Cody Reichard made 24 saves.
In Alaska’s 3-2 win, the Nanooks came from behind twice, with goals by Nik Yaremchuk, Kevin Petovello and Carlo Finucci, who scored the game-winner at 18:31 in the third. Camper had a goal for the RedHawks – of course. Scott Greenham is still the workhorse in net for UAF.
Bowling Green at Northern Michigan. Three points from a split was enough for the Wildcats to move into fifth place in the CCHA standings. For now. Phil Fox had NMU’s only goal in Friday’s 2-1 loss and two of the Wildcats’ markers in the 5-1 win. Nick Eno had the win for BG, Andrew Hammond the loss. Reid Ellingson played both for NMU.
Ferris State at Lake Superior. Who is Kevin Kapalka? He’s the freshman goalie for the Lakers who shut out the Bulldogs twice last weekend, the player with three wins in a row, the guy who tied Miami for LSSU – in short, someone who won’t be under the radar for very long.
Five different Lakers scored and Kapalka had 63 saves in the games. Kapalka hasn’t been scored on in 147:48, since NMU’s Justin Florek did so Nov. 6.
Ohio State at Michigan State. These teams split a pair of games in East Lansing, two contests that exposed the problems with consistency each team is experiencing. The Buckeyes came from behind in Friday’s 4-3 OT win. Alex Szczechura had the game-winner and OSU’s first goal of the game. Brett Perlini had a pair of goals in the 4-0 Saturday MSU win, and Jake Chelios had two goals in the series for the Spartans. Drew Palmisano had 22 saves in his third career shutout.