As the second half of the season begins to simmer and the nature of the league’s real parity begins to emerge, I found the reactions to last weekend’s games especially interesting. My favorite quote isn’t from a player or coach, but from an impassioned sports writer at Western Michigan University’s student paper.
Here is some of the recent on-the-record CCHA chatter.
- “We knew it was going to be a big game. We heard all week long from everyone that the students were going to pack the place and that gave us a lot to work for tonight.” WMU freshman forward Chase Balisy, this week’s CCHA Rookie of the Week, in the Kalamazoo Gazette after the Broncos took four points from the Buckeyes at home. Lawson Arena was turning students away because the demand for tickets was greater than the number available.
- “There were times when we could’ve been better. Part of that is due to Ohio State. They’re as good a team as we’ve seen all year, in my opinion.” WMU head coach Jeff Blashill, also in the Gazette.
- “The dressing room was a real happy one. We threw on our win song and everyone celebrated.” OSU sophomore defenseman Devon Krogh, blogging after the Buckeyes took the extra shootout point in Kalamazoo Saturday.
- “Typical of OSU, they taunted WMU after the win and an old-fashioned hockey brawl broke out on center ice.” Jim Snyder, writer for WMU’s student newspaper, the Western Herald, with his take on the hand-shake line following Saturday’s 2-2 tie. OSU averages 13.4 PIMs per game, making the Buckeyes the 32nd-most penalized team in D-I hockey.
- “I honestly don’t think that I had these guys prepared to play this team. I will take responsibility for it.” ND head coach Jeff Jackson, in the South Bend Tribune, after the Irish split at home with Alaska last weekend.
- “We felt like we, from a performance standpoint, it was probably our best two back-to-back games of the season. Obviously, coming off the weekend we had at home against Western, we only managed to get one point at home in a tie on Friday night so we were…excited to get going.” UAF head coach Dallas Ferguson, to the CCHA Insider, after the split with Notre Dame.
- “It’s easier to come from behind at home than it is on the road.” UM head coach Red Berenson, in the Michigan Daily, following the Wolverines’ sweep of Ferris State. The Wolverines trailed by two in their 3-2 win at home over FSU Friday, but led 4-0 at the end of the second in their 6-1 Saturday win.
- “It’s too early to worry too much about the standings other than you need points every weekend.” FSU head coach Bob Daniels to USCHO arena reporter Bob Miller, after losing the first of two games to UM.
- “It was great for the team’s confidence. We usually come out of the (holiday) break a little slow.” Miami senior forward Andy Miele, in the Hamilton (Ohio) Journal News after Friday’s 5-1 win over Bowling Green. The win snapped Miami’s three-game losing streak.
- “I really felt like we played with a purpose in terms of our competition level and our intensity. There was a purpose in terms of our competition level and our intensity. It should show us individually and our team collectively that we can go nose to nose with whoever.” BGSU head coach Chris Bergeron, in the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, after being swept by Miami.
- “We got a couple good breaks tonight. They hit the post late in the second period and again in the third. But we finally scored and when we got the second goal, we relaxed, showed some confidence and took off.” MSU head coach Rick Comley, in the Lansing State Journal, after the Spartans beat the Lakers, 4-0, Friday night.
- “The guys are doing everything we ask of them. They’re playing hard. We just need to find a way to score some more goals.” LSSU head coach Jim Roque, in the Soo Evening News, after LSSU took the extra shootout point following a 2-2 against MSU Saturday night.
- “We have not shown we are ready to play with those guys at this point.” NMU head coach Walt Kyle, in the Marquette Mining Journal, on NMU’s 1-5-1 record against top-10 teams this season. The Wildcats had last weekend off.
Two things of note that come to mind:
- Sometimes, good things do come to those who wait. Miami junior forward Patrick Tiesling netted his first career goal in his 81st college hockey game, his 18th with the RedHawks, in Friday’s 5-1 win over Bowling Green. Tiesling’s goal came at 6:13 in the third, assisted by freshman Bryon Paulazzo and sophomore Garrett Kennedy. Tiesling transferred to Miami after having played his first two seasons for Bowling Green. Kennedy’s assist was the first of his career and his second collegiate point.
- No one is talking about why Michigan dismissed two players, freshman forward Jacob Fallon and senior defenseman Tristan Llewellyn. Llewellyn ends his collegiate career with three goals and 14 assists in 126 games. UM’s athletic department said that Fallon (1-2-3) may be given the opportunity to rejoin the team next season.