The landscape looks a little different this morning in the CCHA. Of course, the landscape looks different in this league every Monday morning.
The big winner? The Miami RedHawks, who recapture first place in the league, for now – and that’s a commentary on the league rather than Miami – and climb a few precious spots in the PWR. Three teams swept to gain six points this weekend: Miami, Ferris State, Lake Superior State.
Michigan-Miami. Wow. When the RedHawks make a statement, they make a statement. Miami outscored UM 7-2 in two home games, including Saturday’s 2-0 shutout. Cody Reichard had both wins. Some big RedHawk guns – Pat Cannone (2-2–4), Andy Miele (1-4–5), Reilly Smith (2-1–3) – came to play. A.J. Treais had the only two goals of the weekend for Michigan. The six points catapult Miami into first place with 45, Michigan drops to third place (43), and Notre Dame – who didn’t play – falls to second (44).
Bowling Green-Western Michigan. The Broncos hold onto fourth place (39) with four points against the visiting Falcons with a 1-1 tie and 3-1 win, extending WMU’s unbeaten streak to 13 (8-0-5). Jerry Kuhn, the goalie of record during that streak, made 34 saves on the weekend and earned an assist on J.J. Crew’s goal in the second period of the win. Andrew Hammond made 61 stops in the series for the Falcons. Six different players accounted for all six goals, and Marc Rodriguez had the shootout marker that gave BG the extra point Friday.
Ferris State-Alaska. The Bulldogs and Nanooks had to delay their series a day because of weather-related travel issues, but that wait was worth it for FSU, who swept UAF 2-1 and 3-2. Pat Nagle stopped 60-of-63 in the series. Eight different players accounted for the goal scoring between the teams. All but one goal was even-strength; Jarrett Granberg’s goal at 19:27 in the third of the Saturday 2-1 game came with the extra attacker. Ferris State is now in fifth place with 38 points; Alaska, in sixth, has 33.
Lake Superior-Northern Michigan. The Wildcats dropped two to the Lakers, 4-1 and 2-0, and have now lost four in a row, while LSSU is unbeaten in six of its last eight (3-2-3). Will Acton and Rick Schofield each had a goal in each contest for the Lakers; freshman Kevin Kapalka made 31 saves in his third career shutout Saturday and 49 in the series. Reid Ellingson had 52 saves in two losses. Five of LSSU’s six goals were scored on the power play. The Lakers capture the Cappo Cup with the wins and are tied with Ohio State in seventh place, each with 31 points. NMU drops to ninth (29).
Michigan State-Ohio State. MSU freshman Will Yanakeff earned his second shutout of the season as the Spartans blanked the Buckeyes, 2-0, Friday night, stopping all 32 shots he faced; he added 35 saves in a 4-2 loss the next night for a weekend total of 67. Four different Spartans scored in the two games. Buckeye Sergio Somma had two goals in the Saturday 4-2 OSU win. None of OSU’s four goals in the win was scored the same way: Somma’s first was on the power play; C.J. Severyn scored shorthanded; Somma’s game-winner early in the third came with an extra attacker on a delayed penalty against Yanakeff (tripping); Cory Schneider had the late empty-net goal. In 10th place, MSU is just three points (26) behind ninth-place Northern.
Three CCHA teams – Notre Dame, Michigan, Western Michigan – are tied for 11th place in the PWR, so if the season ended today, those would be your league representatives in the NCAA tournament. Other PWR: Miami (t16), Ferris State (t18), Alaska (22), Ohio State (t25), Michigan State (t27).
How did I do?
I thought the last week of January was bad. Holy moly. Not only did Ferris State and Lake Superior sweep – and I just did not see those coming – but the Spartans and Buckeyes split, as I said they would, but with each team winning on the night opposite of the one I called. Worst week of the season.
Last week: 2-7-1 (.250)
Season to date: 87-60-21 (.580)
I was doing so well until mid-January. I don’t believe I’ll rally before the end of the season, either. Ridicule me via Twitter: @paulacweston.