NOTE: Blue Jackets television analyst Bill Davidge has spent over four decades playing, coaching, scouting and analyzing the game of hockey. He's one of the most plugged-in sources for news on Ohio's college hockey teams, and checks in here with an update on last weekend's CCHA action.
Photo credit: Miami (Ohio) athletics
Friday Night: Miami at Ferris State
Bulldogs skate away with 3-0 shutout of the RedHawks
There are some great story lines for the fans of college hockey, especially if you are from the Columbus area. During the last NHL lockout in 2004-05, I had the distinct pleasure to assist in coaching the Quebec Peewee representatives from Ohio. Two young men on that team were Sean Kuraly (the son of my former player/record holder at Miami (Ohio) University) and Jason Binkley, a talented young sophomore. Kuraly wears No. 9 for the RedHawks from Miami and Binkley sports his school colors and No. 7 for Ferris State. He is coached by a triumvirate of coaches that obtained their Masters degree and coaching residence from Miami during my tenure…head coach Bob Daniels, Assistants Drew Famulak and Mark Kaufman.
The two youngsters went head-to-head and both were able to contribute to their respective teams. Kuraly scored his first collegiate goal, and Binkley added two assists in the Saturday night contest.
"Friday night lights" showed some great goaltending from sophomore C.J. Motte. His effort, combined with a lackluster performance by the fourth-ranked RedHawks, led to a 3-0 win for 19th-ranked Ferris State. “They outplayed us in every aspect of the game,” said Miami head coach Enrico Blasi. “First period, second period, third period...we just didn’t have an answer for them."
The 25-save performance from Motte was the difference in the contest, as Daniels reiterated the standout effort of his young goaltender.
Saturday: Miami earns weekend split with a 4-2 win
Sophomore forward Austin Czarnik scored the game-winning goal for Miami and secured the win with a short-handed, empty-net goal as the RedHawks topped Ferris State 4-2 to split the series. Freshmen forwards Kevin Morris and Sean Kuraly also scored for Miami. Sophomore forward Justin Buzzeo and senior forward Travis Ouellette scored for the Bulldogs, with Ouellette’s tally coming on the power play. Freshman goaltender Jay Williams backstopped the RedHawks to the win by stopping 24-of-26 shots. At the other end of the ice, Ferris State sophomore goaltender C.J. Motte stopped 36 shots.
Friday: Bowling Green wins a 1-0 nail-biter over Michigan State
Senior goaltender Andrew Hammond stopped all 29 shots he faced in his first game back after an injury, and sophomore defenseman Connor Kucera netted the lone goal late in the first period as Bowling Green edged Michigan State, 1-0. Falcons sophomore forward Adam Berkle notched the only assist in the contest.
For the Spartans, freshman goaltender Jake Hildebrand turned aside 24 of the 25 shots he faced in a losing effort.
"I'm going to give Bowling Green the credit; I thought they played a very patient road game that was difficult to play against their team," Spartans coach Tom Anastos said. "Early, they were just dumping pucks out of their zone and not allowing you to establish a forecheck and creating races in the neutral zone.
"When they got opportunities, they did a good job forechecking and played well around their goaltender."
Saturday: Spartans fight back and handily earn split with Bowling Green
Michigan State freshman forward Matt DeBlouw notched four points (2G, 2A), helping the Spartans to a 6-1 win over Bowling Green to split the series. Sophomore forward Matt Berry also tallied four points for Michigan State, scoring a power-play goal and adding three assists.
Michigan State junior forwards Lee Reimer and Greg Wolfe and freshman forward Michael Ferrantino all scored with the man advantage. The lone goal for Bowling Green came from junior forward Camden Wojtala. Junior goaltender Will Yanakeff turned aside 18 shots for Michigan State, while Bowling Green senior goaltender Andrew Hammond and freshman goaltender Tommy Burke combined to make 17 saves.
Falcons coach Chris Bergeron says the responsibility lies with him.
"The penalty kill was ineffective," he said. "Execution and momentum were lacking form the drop of the puck. Give MSU credit; they embarrassed us in our building and that was the worst game we have played in the three years that he has been the head coach."
One can bet that the Falcons will find a way back to respectability in short order, starting this week at practice.