Archive for the 'CCHA' Category

Home Stretch: Things to Know

Monday, February 13th, 2012

With just four games remaining in the regular season (and just two remaining for Ohio State and Alaska), Ferris State holds a 5 point lead in the CCHA standings. But with every league win potentially worth three points, there are plenty of opportunities remaining for the teams chasing the Bulldogs for the regular season crown.

As the season winds down, here are some things to know:

  • Unbeaten now in 12 games (three shy of the program record), Ferris State is currently the No. 1 team in the nation according to the Pairwise Rankings and — as a result — would be the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament if the tourney began today. I expect Ferris State to sweep Bowling Green (currently in an impressive 0-for-30 power play slump) this weekend to set up a final weekend home-and-home showdown with second-place Western Michigan. The Broncos swept the Bulldogs earlier this season, and the CCHA regular season crown could be decided on the final night of the season. Ferris State vs. Western Michigan — just like we all predicted months ago…
  • Six of the Pairwise’s Top 15 teams and 9 of the top 20 are CCHA members. But having seen how these things tend to play out year after year, I don’t expect more than five of the league’s teams to ultimately make the NCAA tournament. Ohio State and Miami are currently hanging on to the final two spots, and the Buckeyes and RedHawks play a pivotal final weekend home-and-home series as well. Ohio State finally won a game on Saturday, splitting their weekend series with Western Michigan and thereby ending an 11-game winless streak that saw the Buckeyes tumble from first-place in the league. Ohio State needs a strong finish perhaps more than anyone in the league. (more…)

Alive and Kicking

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

The CCHA’s days may be numbered, but the lame duck conference has been far from, well, lame this 2011-12 campaign, the league’s penultimate season.

A look at the current Pairwise rankings (as of 12am on January 29) shows six CCHA teams — Ferris State (4), Ohio State (5), Michigan (7), Miami (T-8), Northern Michigan (12), Notre Dame (13) — within the top 13. Starting in the fall of 2013, those six teams will play in four different conferences. Another three — Western Michigan (T-18), Michigan State (20), Lake Superior (21) — sit on the NCAA tournament bubble.

And if the NCAA tournament started today, the CCHA representation would be twice that of the WCHA.

But let’s look closer at all the numbers: (more…)

Friday the 13th review

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

A look at who in the CCHA had an unlucky — or at least, a particularly unfortunate — Friday the 13th last night:

  • Obviously, the list starts with Notre Dame: The Irish seemed to fall asleep for just a short stretch of time in the third period last night against Western Michigan. In a game filled with controversial penalty calls, Notre Dame led the Broncos 2-1 before taking a bench minor penalty… which led to the tying goal by WMU sophomore Chase Balisy. Just 14 seconds later, senior Kyle O’Kane put Western Michigan ahead for good. It’s a tough loss for Notre Dame, as the Irish had been on the heels of first-place Ohio State, coming into the game with momentum after holiday-break wins against Boston University and Minnesota. Still, the Irish sit in 4th place in the Pairwise as of Saturday morning.
  • Ohio State: Two days before their outdoor showdown with Michigan in Cleveland’s Progressive Field, the Buckeyes and Wolverines played in front of almost 10,000 indoors in Columbus. Unfortunately, Ohio State couldn’t give them much to cheer about, as 46 shots on goal were turned aside by Michigan senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick, who earned his eighth career shutout. (more…)

Merrill returns for Michigan… and other CCHA notes

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Michigan defenseman Jon Merrill will be in the starting lineup tonight, as the sophomore makes his season debut against Lake Superior. Merrill, a rare bright spot for Team USA last week at the World Junior Championships (WJC), had been suspended for the entire first half of the season, missing 22 games. Stay tuned to CHN through the weekend, as we’ll have much more to come on Merrill’s return, including a feature story by early next week. (more…)

Pre-season expectations vs. Reality

Monday, December 12th, 2011

There are no more CCHA league games until 2012, so as we head into the holiday break, here’s a look at the CCHA standings — compared to the projected standings as predicted in the pre-season by the media.

First, the 2011-12 pre-season media poll:

2011-12 Preseason Media Poll
1. Notre Dame (44) 819
2. Miami (16) 772
3. Michigan (12) 757
4. Western Michigan 604
5. Alaska 449
6. Michigan State 439
7. Ferris State 425
7. Northern Michigan (Tie) 425
9. Ohio State 386
10. Lake Superior 298
11. Bowling Green 170

… Compared to the current CCHA standings: (more…)

CCHA: Miami rises, Michigan falls

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

The Miami RedHawks swept the CCHA’s monthly awards for November — an exclamation point after a series of performances that have allowed Enrico Blasi’s team to silence the early season whispers. The RedHawks, who didn’t lose a game in the month of November have slowly climbed up the standings, from last place to their current position of sixth — ahead of Michigan (more on that in a moment).

Just days after we published an article here on CHN about the young freshmen who have sparked Miami’s turnaround, the RedHawks went on the road to defeat Providence (6-2) and host Denver (4-2) last weekend to capture the Denver Cup Classic title. It was Miami’s second time winning the tournament after also claiming the crown in 1997.

Junior Reilly Smith was named the CCHA’s Player of the Month — and after scoring a league-leading seven goals, it’s difficult to argue with that selection. Two of Smith’s tallies were game-winners, and perhaps most impressively, the Dallas Stars draft pick didn’t commit a single penalty during November. He capped off the month with a tournament MVP performance at the aforementioned Denver Cup, scoring the game-winning goal against Denver on Saturday night. (more…)

CCHA Wrap, Nov. 20

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

From Ohio State’s two-game sweep of Michigan to Notre Dame’s thrilling overtime win against Boston College… what a weekend in the CCHA. As we head into Thanksgiving, here are some items worth mentioning:

  • I got a first hand look at Miami, as the Red Hawks hosted Bowling Green over the weekend. On Halloween, Miami was struggling and at the bottom of the CCHA standings. Since? The RedHawks are unbeaten in six games, and senior goaltender Cody Reichard has started all six of those contests, seemingly taking over the No. 1 netminder position — a position that had been notably shared by Reichard and classmate Connor Knapp for the past three years.
  • While Reichard has played better — his performance in Saturday’s 4-4 tie against Bowling Green notwithstanding — it was clear that the real impetus for change in Oxford over the past three weeks has been the play of Miami’s freshman forwards. (more…)

CCHA Wrap, Nov. 9

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Finally, Miami looked like the RedHawks of old, while elsewhere, Ferris State and Northern Michigan had solid and productive weekends.

Some thoughts on the past weekend’s play:

  • Ferris State swept its weekend series against Bowling Green, and a pair of Bulldogs were honored this week by the CCHA. Senior forward Jordie Johnston, who was a +5 this weekend with two goals and two assists, was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week. His classmate, Brett Wysopal was also +5 and scored two goals en route to being named the league’s Defenseman of the Week. The Bulldogs are quietly 8-2-0 — the same record as Lake Superior. The Lakers play a pair at Ferris this weekend in a matchup of two of the more surprising teams in college hockey so far this season. (more…)

CCHA Wrap, Nov. 2

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

There’s been a lot of talk in the early going this year about upstart teams like Lake Superior (7-1-0 and first place in the league), Bowling Green, Ferris State, etc. And more on those teams in just a moment. But first, somehow — and perhaps not surprisingly, given their coach — the Michigan Wolverines haven’t seemed to miss a beat despite losing one of the all-time great Michigan senior classes last year.

Yesterday, the CCHA honored Michigan senior Shawn Hunwick as the league’s goaltender of the month and freshman Phil Di Giuseppe as rookie of the month. In October alone, Hunwick posted a 6-0-1 record with one shutout, a 1.37 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage in those contests.   (more…)

CCHA Wrap, Oct. 25

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

It’s only October, but seven of the top 15 goaltenders in the country — based on current goals-against average — are from the CCHA. Courtesy of

  1 C.J. Motte                 Ferris State      FR       180:00     1    0.33
  2 Joe Howe                   Colorado College  JR        80:00     1    0.75
  3 Frank Slubowski            Western Michigan  FR       124:56     2    0.96
  4 Doug Carr                  UMass Lowell      SO        60:00     1    1.00
  5 Joe Cannata (VAN)          Merrimack         SR       179:54     4    1.33
  6 Taylor Nelson              Ferris State      SR       179:24     4    1.34
  7 Dan Clarke                 Quinnipiac        SR       259:05     6    1.39
  8 Alex Evin                  Colgate           SR       125:00     3    1.44
  9 Troy Grosenick             Union             SO       249:44     6    1.44
 10 Andrew Hammond             Bowling Green     JR       363:47     9    1.48
 11 Shawn Hunwick              Michigan          SR       316:52     8    1.51
 12 Nick Pisellini             Western Michigan  JR       249:40     7    1.68
 13 Stephen Caple              Air Force         SR       246:33     7    1.70
 14 Paul Karpowich (STL)       Clarkson          SR       363:53    11    1.81
 15 Kevin Kapalka              Lake Superior     SO       358:22    11    1.84