Weekend work-up: CCHA playoffs, Round 2

Congratulations to the Wolverines, Fighting Irish, RedHawks and Broncos for their CCHA quarterfinal series wins! This marks the first time since the 2005-06 season that the top four seeds in the league advanced together to the championship tournament at Joe Louis Arena. It’s also the first time since 1994 that Western Michigan has a chance to compete for the Mason Cup and the first time since 2008-09 that Notre Dame is returning.

Miami and Michigan both made trips to Detroit in postseason in 2009-10, with the Wolverines beating the RedHawks, 5-2, in semifinal action. UM went on to capture the title with a 2-1 win over Northern Michigan.

Next weekend marks the Wolverines’ 22nd consecutive appearance in the CCHA championship tournament. Twenty-two years running, since the 1989-90 season. Thirteen current Wolverines weren’t even drawing breath yet. Two – Brandon Burlon and Adam Janecyk – were infants.

Here’s a brief look at each series from the second round of playoffs.

No. 8 Bowling Green vs. No. 1 Michigan

The Wolverines sailed past the Falcons with 5-1 and 4-1 wins. Seven different UM players accounted for the nine goals. Lindsay Sparks had goals in both contests, including Saturday’s game-winner, and Lee Moffie had two on Saturday.

Neither game was ever in question, as Michigan kept BG off the scoreboard until the third period in each contest. Shawn Hunwick had both wins in net for Michigan but shared the third period Saturday with Bryan Hogan and Adam Janecyk; it was the first game action of the season for Janecyk, a freshman.

Andrew Hammond made 36 saves in the first loss and 30 in the second before being replaced by Nick Eno, who stopped one shot for BG in the final nine minutes of play.

“I think more of the progress that we’ve made is in the foundation of our culture rather than our play,” said BG head coach Chris Bergeron after Saturday’s loss.

The series was a costly one for Michigan in one way: junior forward David Wohlberg broke his collarbone and suffered a concussion in an open-ice collision Friday. He is done for the season.

No. 7 Lake Superior State vs. No. 2 Notre Dame

This series went to three games, as the Irish won Friday’s contest, 3-2, in overtime and the Lakers took Saturday’s game, 4-3. In Sunday’s deciding game, the Irish led 3-0 at the end of the first and went on to win, 4-2.

Three freshmen did all the scoring for ND in the opening game: T.J. Tynan had a goal in the first; Anders Lee had the game-tying goal late in the second; Jeff Costello scored the winner at 4:52 in overtime.

Fred Cassini had two goals in the second game for Lake Superior, including the game-winner, the only goal scored in the third period by either team. Cassini had the first goal for the Lakers on Sunday, cutting Notre Dame’s lead to 3-1. Irish captain Joe Lavin’s sixth goal of the season – the third goal in ND’s first period – held up to be the game-winner Sunday.

“Tonight we scored that third goal,” said ND head coach Jeff Jackson after Sunday’s game. “Give Lake Superior credit. They battled hard all weekend. They played a great series and made it really tough on us, but I expected that.”

LSSU freshman goaltender Kevin Kapalka stopped 95-of-105 in the three games; ND sophomore Mike Johnson made 72 saves on 80 shots. The Irish limited the Lakers to just 15 shots in Sunday’s contest.

No. 6 Alaska vs. No. 3 Miami

The RedHawks beat the Nanooks in two 4-1 games, having to come from behind in each after allowing the first goal in the first period both nights. After being down, though, Miami scored in batches to dominate late in each contest.

In Friday’s contest, Alaska led 1-0 after one on Bryant Molle’s goal at 10:02. Chris Wideman tied it for the RedHawks at 5:06 in the second, but the RedHawks scored three unanswered in the third to take the game.

Saturday was a little different. The game was tied 1-1 after the first on Chad Gehon’s goal for the Nanooks and Cameron Schilling’s for Miami. The RedHawks netted three in the second period – including Andy Miele’s game-winner 16 seconds in – to run up the score.

Miele had a goal in each game and two assists in Saturday’s for four points on the weekend. Reilly Smith also scored in each game with a helper in each for four points. Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp split time in the Miami net, with Reichard winning Friday and Knapp Saturday. The RedHawks had 36 shots on goal each night while limiting the Nanooks to 18 Friday, 15 Saturday.

Alaska goaltender Scott Greenham stopped 64-of-72 on the weekend.

“Our guys came to play tonight,” Miami head coach, Enrico Blasi, said after the Saturday win. “They played with a purpose, obviously the purpose to get to Joe Louis and be in the semifinals.”

No. 5 Ferris State vs. No. 4 Western Michigan

The Broncos needed three games – and overtime – to beat the Bulldogs to advance to Joe Louis Arena. Ferris State took the first game, 3-1, before Western won 3-1 Saturday and 5-4 in OT Sunday night. In Sunday’s game, the Broncos had a 3-0 lead before the second period saw a whole lot of scoring.

While every Bronco on the ice contributed to the series win, the heroes of the weekend were seniors Max Campbell and Jerry Kuhn. Campbell had the fourth Bronco goal of the game at 5:48 in the second, answering Bulldog Aaron Schmidt’s power-play goal at 5:10, as well as the game-winner from Dane Walters at 2:23 in OT.

Kuhn played every minute in net for the Broncos, stopping 85-of-93 shots, including 29 saves in the deciding game – six in overtime.

“Jerry made huge saves for us at the end,” said WMU head coach Jeff Blashill. “He put himself in a position to be a hero like that.

“Max Campbell has done everything we’ve asked of him all season. He’s been a great leader, and he’s obviously the right guy to have in an overtime situation like that.”

Campbell had two goals and four assists in the series; Shane Berschbach had two goals for WMU; Walters had three assists.

For Ferris State, Travis Ouellette scored two goals in Friday’s game, including the game-winner, and another pair Sunday – consecutive goals to bring the Bulldogs to within one in the middle of the second. He also assisted on the only goal Ferris State scored Saturday, Mike Fillinger’s marker at 17:02 in the second.

How did I do?

Well, a certain goaltender for a certain team that shall remain nameless made it public that he didn’t like my picks and proved me wrong. Overall, though, not as bad as I thought I’d do:

Quarterfinal weekend: 7-2 (.777)
Season/postseason to date: 118-74-26 (.601)

Helping Japan

Once again, events of the world remind us that there are much bigger things than playoff hockey. If you want to help the men, women and children of Japan following the recent devastating natural disasters, visit the home page of the American Red Cross to learn how you can donate.

As always…

…feel free to vent below. Also, you can email me (paula.weston@uscho.com) or tweet (@paulacweston).

  • streaker

    Losing Wohlberg really hurts. Tough way to end the season. He was definitely in a ton of pain going to the bench and right off the ice after.

    Oh- and ironic how Kuhn, Hunwick and Johnson (all netminders that got zero recognition from the CCHA for their conference play-especially Hunwick) made it to JLA and the two CCHA first and second team goaltenders did not.

    • Paula Weston

      The goaltending irony wasn’t lost on me, either.

      I saw the Wohlberg collision on television and watched it a couple of times. Poor kid.

  • Kuhn was just amazing…I willl be at the game on Friday once I can figure out how to get tickets..Ticketmaster? Stubhub? are they even on sale yet? Broncos finally getting the respect they should have had for giving losses to teams like Ohio, Union and Alaska….they are overcoming all those predictions..Go Broncos…

    • Paula Weston

      Kuhn is certainly having a career season. I’m very happy for him and all the Broncos who are experiencing success after years of hard work without much of anything to show for it. I’m especially happy for Kuhn and Mike Levendusky, as the attention this team is getting will probably open doors for them after this season ends.

      The Broncos did have to prove themselves in this round of the playoffs — and in fairness to hockey fans who don’t see the world through WMU-colored glasses, the Broncos improved steadily as their unbeaten streak continued. They were not the same team at the end of that streak as they were at the beginning. They’re pretty finely tuned now. I’m looking forward to excellent hockey in Joe Louis Arena next weekend.

    • RedHawkOne

      I’ve been to the Joe for the last 4 CCHA playoffs, and I didn’t buy tickets til I got there on site. at least 2 of those weekends, I bought tix cheaper from a fan selling them right outside the box office than you could get them for at the window. I’ve never seen it totally sell out. If Miami wins Friday, I’ll be up there on Sat for the championship game myself, but work schedule this year will make it impossible to get there Friday. Hope to see you there!

      • RedHawkOne

        Oh, and if you want to get tickets before heading up, check with your school box office this morning. They should have an allotment for sale to the local fans that will put you in their section for the best seats near the rest of the fans wearing Broncos gear. Other than that, call the Joe, or check the CCHA website. Either of those places should be able to get you tickets before you make the drive so they are waiting for you to pick up.

        Major Congrats to Jeff Blashill for an AMAZING run this season! If he doesn’t take home the CCHA coach of the year on Thursday night @ the Fox, I’ll be very surprised. I’m hoping they knock out Michigan on Friday myself as well. Wish I could be there to see it! :-) I’m hoping to see Miami Vs. Western for the finale on Saturday. Go RedHawks!

  • Bring it!

    Western will beat Michigan on Friday. They have been in playoff hockey mode for the last month, and they know how to win the big game now.

    • Ricklos12

      you do realize UM swept Western a few weeks ago don’t ya? UM wins the Mason Cup for the second yr. in a row. GO BLUE!!

  • CCHA tourney TV info

    Michigan, Notre Dame, Miami and Western Michigan have advanced to the CCHA Championship to be held at Joe Louis Arena this Friday and Saturday, March 18-19.

    The RedHawks and Fighting Irish will square off for some ‘Hockey in the D’ on Friday at 4:35 p.m., while the Wolverines and Broncos will follow at 8:05 p.m. Both games will air live on FOX Sports Detroit Plus in HD as will the third-place game at 3:35 p.m. on Saturday and the Championship Game, which will feature the two semifinal winners at 7:35 p.m.

  • iEatgoophsForBrkfst

    It is the writers of these dumb articles that will give the goophs all the credit for everything. If they split, it will be because they gave one away, not that they sucked or something. And if they sweep, they will write that they are the greatest team ever. Im hoping, like everyone else, that the goophs actually play a caliber team and show their true colors. Its a long season, and eventually they will start to fall apart. There are much better teams around college hockey

    • Mr Hockey

      It’s the writers? You just stated you hope the Gophers play a caliber team. What about Duluth who the Gophers swept in Duluth?  They haven’t lost since being swept by the Gophers and the only other team to beat UMD is Notre Dame. This is what us Gopher fans are talking about.

    • Sandman7733

      First off, given that the schedule is predetermined, how can you say they have not played a “caliber” team?? UMD and North Dakota are not “caliber” teams??
      It isn’t up to the U of Minnesota when they schedule them, or when a team gets hot. What are they supposed to do, wait until UMD or No. Dak is playing their best hockey and somehow alter the schedule to accommodate the naysayers??
      Besides, when Minnesota plays the likes of North Dakota, Wisconsin or UMD, it doesn’t really matter what the teams records are, they are RIVALS and will play each other accordingly.
      So, just WHO are the better teams around college hockey…in your opinion of course?? gigg

      • Fan Man

        Its not up to the U of M when/where they schedule teams?   That might be the dumbest thing Ive heard from a goofer thus far this season!  So who makes the schedule then?  the NCAA no,   hmmm   could be the athletic director from the U and dont think for a second that the coach has no input on when and where to schedule these games.

        • Mr Hockey

          You’re really showing how little you know. The schedules are made 3 years in advance. The point is, 3 years ago Sacred Heart and Vermont had good teams, the Gophers scheduled them as opponents. Now 3 years later Sacred Heart and Vermont don’t,what are you suppose to do cancel the games? Here’s a tip no what you’re talking about before you posts, especially when it’s national.

          • BestUShockeyComesFromMN

            Love all the Gopher haters. Especially the ones who probably have trouble even tying their own shoes. GO GOPHERS !

          • Fan Man

            Sorry dont have to time to be on here twenty five times a day like you to clarify things but here is what I was commenting on you dink.  Sandman says “It isn’t up to the U of Minnesota when they schedule them.  I begged to differ saying that he was a moron for saying that when in fact prestigious schools usually do have the upper hand in when and where they schedule games.  Your not just going to get the Sioux to go play on the road at some little school like Bentley or something…   I know they schedule far in advance too!  For instance,  Maine and the Sioux exchanged home and road games from last year to this year.  So ya I think I do have a pretty good idea of how/who teams schedule.    Another, dont you have a life or do you just troll this site all day and nite looking to pick an arguement.   Get a life!  Im just as knowledgeable if not more but cannot troll around looking for fights like you.  Here’s to hopeing that st.cloud stomps them goofs tonight!!!!!!!!!

            Cheers

          • Fan Man

            Yes 1-0   GO CLOUD GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • iEatgoophsForBrkfst

            4-1 now! Goophs suck. they will come back to reality and play like they have the last 5 years

          • Fan Man

            I am absolutely loving it right now and I dont even like st. cloud!  I just like anybody that puts the goofs in their place…

        • Sandman7733

          Usually the respective conference determines the schedules of teams within the conference well in advance. As to teams outside the conference, that has to be determined by BOTH schools, not just one.
          So, you honestly believe that the U of Minnesota holds a gun to everyone else’s head and says, you play us on this date, etc, etc.??? IT’S A TWO WAY STREET!!!!
          So, according to your logic, the U of Minnesota is somehow able to determine who they will play, when and where they will play precisely to their benefit?? And the opposing school has NO say, what so ever?? That is simply AMAZING!!! Not to mention that they somehow know in advance when an opposing team will become hot and somehow avoid scheduling them at that time??? Even more AMAZING!!!

    • Anonymous

      There are much better teams around college hockey? What?? Do you even watch college hockey? The Gophers swept Duluth and North Dakota and split with Wisconsin. They are in first place in the best conference in College Hockey and number 1 in the rankings in both major polls. 

    • “There are much better teams around college hockey”

      OK,care to elaborate? Judging from everything I can find online,that’s an unsupportable argument,so I am assuming you are privy to information not available to us common folk. I am anxiously awaiting your erudition.

  • CanSeeClearly

    BC > MN

    • Anonymous

      Oh my gosh… What the heck are you doing on this forum you clown. I could write a whole Library of Editions on how The Gophers are superior to BC.

  • Bob

    The press in this division should open their eyes — comments like vvet behind the ears or playing out of his mind — no Gentleman, that is hovv he plays – get used to it because he is going to beat you until the NHL takes him — the league has just obtained a league changer — Ryan Faragher.

  • the bull dogs are weak this year. vermont blows. the sioux are rebuilding.  wisconsin is youn and unpredictable.  the gophers always start the year playing weak teams.   I WIN

  • Fatmikek

    Some guys always think people are bashing their team. To be honest the beaver were very luck that the Sioux couldn’t and didn’t generate any offense. This coming from a UMD fan. UND is a better team just having issues and the grind it out game Simon talked about wouldn’t have helped if UND could have scored. It didn’t work against my Bulldogs.

    • WCHA Fan

      Were the Bulldogs “lucky” that the Beavers couldn’t generate some offense when they won 1-0?  No, it’s called playing solid defense for 60 minutes.  Why then are the Beavers “lucky” the Sue couldn’t generate some offense?  This is what Simon is trying to say.  While few would argue that the Sue have been the better team in the past, have a deeper roster, etc…, that does not mean that they are the better team any given weekend or even this season.  The Beavers split, which implies this weekend that they were equal teams.  The Beavers have played a tough early schedule including all but 4 games on the road, and games against ranked opponents every series with the exception of NoDak.  Still, they hold a three point advantage in the standings against the Sue.  Explain to me how NoDak is a better team right now?  Explain how shutting out a WCHA opponent is a “lucky” win?  I think Simon hit the nail on the head.  No love or respect. 

      • Stoney2323

         Or you can watch the game and see that UND was the better squad both games…. seems pretty logical to me

        • WCHA Fan

          How so?  No scoring in 60 minutes?  9 minutes of power play chances in the 3rd period alone and no goals?  FYI, a team is made up of offense and defense.  Apparently BSU’s defense was better, their offense was better, and goaltending was better on Sunday.  Their schedule has been tougher and their record is better.  I did watch the game on Sunday, obviously you are a Sue fan with their typical blinders on.  Give me a real explanation as to why you think UND is the better squad right now.  You can do better than that.

  • BU stole the game against Cornell.  A phantom interference to give BU a 5 on 3, TWO disallowed Cornelll goals. The Hockey East refs embarrased themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Fire Tim Whitehead

    • it’s 2011

      fire your avatar

      • Anonymous

        Oh, he’ll be gone in Nov 2012

    • Brian Harvey

      can someone get this doofus banned?  his avatar is pretty racist and all he ever posts is “fire tim whitehead”

      • Anonymous

        Ban Brian Harvey AND fire Tim Whitehead!

  • 94Eagle

    Looking forward to BC/BU this weekend and hopefully 4pts for the Eagles! 

  • and wheres umass and yale game pick for wednesday december 7 dont see it

    • After Further Review

      And it says 2nd through the 8th.  UNH/BU game on 12/8 isn’t listed either.

  • After Further Review

    Check the ECAC picks, the picked Harvard as well.  I do cheer for HE and do think UMass will win, but it won’t be as easy for you as you think.  Harvard’s forwards are pretty talented and keeping the puck out of your own net has not been a strong point for UMass this season.
    BBear94, I hope you get your wish and Timmy is gone soon.  As a UNH fan (which are having our ow problems right now), I much preferred a strong Maine team every year… win or lose, it was more fun!

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, and they called BC BU the “best rivalry in college hockey”  A good one, for sure.  But UMO UNH is much better, IMO.  Those 2 games they played at the Witt last year had me on the edge of my seat all the way through….

      • After Further Review

        Heading down there tonight myself.  UNH totally outplayed them and beat them 5-0 a couple weeks ago, so wouldn’t be at all surprised to see UML take it to them pretty good tonight.  Bazin has done a great job with a very young team down there, so far.  Hopefully Digi decides to start playing goal again sometime real soon.
        I agree, the UNH/UMO rivalry is the best, no matter where they play.  I love the atmosphere at Alfond too.  I have no problem with the abuse visiting teams and fans take, it’s all part of a great college hockey atmosphere.  As you said in another post, these writers are all just about BU/BC, nobody else matters to them!

        • CommAve

          Tough not to be all about them when they’ve won 3 of the past 4 national tournaments.  I agree it’s too heavily slanted towards them, but not like they haven’t earned lately.  Both Maine and UNH need to step up.  Been awhile since either of them were true contenders.

          • CommAve

            National *Championships

          • After Further Review

            I do agree that the National Championships have helped and I have been there rooting them on, will always cheer for Hockey East.  I also agree that UNH and Maine have to get back to the national powers, but their rivalry is still a great one.  Maybe that’s what makes it better because they are the two teams in the East, not from Boston, that have been fairly consistent.  Anyways, I was not slighting the BC/BU rivalry at all, just making conversation about another good rivalry, that’s all.
            Enjoy the season!

          • Anonymous

            Yes, we need a new coach and if this season plays out as expected, maybe we’ll get our wish this offseason….

          • After Further Review

            You got a nice win last night, BBear… if UNH had played more than 15 minutes, maybe they would have too!

      • CommAve

        Come on guy.  I’m a fan of all Hockey East (didn’t go to any school, just from Boston), but you cannot say BC/BU isn’t the greatest rivalry in the sport.  They’ve met for the National Title before, have 9 championships between the two, Beanpot, 3 miles away from each other, students who live in the same aparment buildings…Nothing against Maine/UNH because it’s absolutely awesome, and I’ll be at Fenway on the 7th for that and UMass/UVM, but BC/BU is gold standrad when it comes to rivalries.

        • Anonymous

          # of championships between the schools has no bearing on the greatness of their rivalry, only the games played head-up.  1 meeting in the national title game? So what.  UMO and BU played in the 95 title game.  UMO and UNH played in the 99 title game.  So, by your standards, UMO/UNH or UMO/BU s/b the greatest rivalry??

          News for you on beanpot – nobody outside of the 4 invited schools cares. And remember, that’s not an open tournament so being in it has nothing to do with the quality of the teams in play.

    • hahaahhaah ecac guys pick harvard too? WOW where are these people coming up with this harvard AT UMass where UMass has been great and beat far better teams espec bc but harvard not that great in hockey was joke last year and lost st lawrence this year recent tie clarkson i believe they wont be able beat umass i expect to go 5-0-2 tonight when i go umass home games

      • an they all pick 4-2 wow these guys are dumb 7-2 umass lets put it this way even if its closer umass should win ill be stunned if i see a loss and this is the 1st home loss in 7 games to harvard no way harvard wins

  • Anonymous

    I was at that Maine game and UMass was really strong, except for a few mistakes in the early first period where they gave up 2 goals.  I think there is too much prognosticating by these 2 “writers” who never seem to make it to the rink unless it’s a BC or BU game.  Not sure they even know where Amherst, Orono, or Burlington are…

    • After Further Review

      I do think UMass is pretty good, but the only time I saw them in person was at UNH and the goaltending sure seemed to be an issue.  They pulled the starter and put in another Freshman who has played the majority of the minutes and he gave up 2 goals on 4 shots and was pulled too.  I know UNH’s D and G haven’t been great either, but Harvard put up a 7 spot on us, which shocked me after UNH had built a 4-0 lead!

      • they have been awful at home but as student ive been to all 6 home games and theyve been awesome at home usually only allowing 2 goals as theyve done in each of their last 5 home games after giving up 2 to bentley and beat bc tied bu tied maine beat northeastern i think itll be 7-2 umass tonight harvards not good in hockey umass deff better espec at mullins center

      • unh is just like umass awesome at home awful on road

    • yeah deff doesnt sound like it when theyre picking HARVARD TO WIN IN UMASS!!! what a bunch of jokes

  • i hope after i come back to the dorm after umass beats harvard these guys will at least admit how wrong and stupid they were for picking harvard.. harvard HAHAHAHAHA no way 

  • while you guys were right on number of goals harvard would score unbeleivable both of u plus ecac guy would all say 4-2 harvard same score but harvard only got tie cuz refs apparently were from harvard i have not seen worse officiating cert not this year and overall not in lnog time federico and hansen you refs sucks u shouldnt be allowed to conitune reffing after tonight deff not in amherst 6-1 harvard in pps? ru  kidding some of them i was wondering what did the mniutemen guy do yet during game espec in ot after we killed off yet another penalty couple of times harvard shouldve been called for penalty of coruse no call on them THESE REFS WERE THE WORST!!!

  • Solid Pick for the NU-ND today. I agree ND is too tough for NU….oh wait, what’s that? Hung 9 and first team to win at new rink? Nothing like beating #11 @Michigan and #2 @ND in back to back weeks for a 4 game winning streak. Welcome to Hockey East ND! 

    • makes umasses win over NU look good all sudden when NU only had 1 win for while im stunned and shocked they go into ND and win 9-2 wow stunner of the year

  • Sam

    Jim’s pick: The Huskies are playing well, but I don’t see them getting a win in South Bend.
    ND 3, NU 1
    Dave’s pick: Agreed. The Irish are just too tough.
    ND 4, NU1 Hahahahaha, what a joke.

    • After Further Review

      GREAT WIN for NU!

  • Not that I don’t think Michigan deserves a bump but to put them at 3 seems a little premature!  Ohio State not having a win in the last 4 in a row has to force them down just a little bit more than 4!  Just what crosses my mind!