First of all, check out the recently-published CCHA Preview and CCHA Watch List here on CHN for a comprehensive preview of all-things CCHA.
Alhough I’ll be at Agganis Arena (Boston, MA) tonight for Denver’s visit to Boston University (with no CCHA teams in sight), here are some quick thoughts about last night’s action involving CCHA teams:
Maybe Ferris Should Move to the ECAC
Named the CCHA offensive player of the week after a three-goal weekend against St. Lawrence a week ago, Ferris State forward Kyle Bonis showed no signs of slowing down in last night’s 4-0 victory against another ECAC foe, Rensselaer. Bonis, a junior, added another two goals — one of which was an empty-netter, giving him a total of five tallies for the young season.
The only CCHA player averaging more points per game so far is Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick and Notre Dame sophomore T.J. Tynan, whose seven points through three games trail only Minnesota sophomore Erik Haula, who has eight. Tynan’s second-period tally against Ohio State last night tied the Irish/Buckeyes contest 2-2, before classmate Anders Lee scored to put the Irish ahead for good.
But back to Ferris State for a moment: coach Bob Daniels said before the season began that he was “looking forward to increased goal production.” Though the sample size is small, perhaps the Bulldogs are already hoping to take a big step forward after finishing over .500 for the last two years. It’s been a decade since Ferris went to the NCAA tournament, winning 31 games behind then Hobey finalist and current NHL star Chris Kunitz.
The Bulldogs have also been helped in the early going by a power play converting on over 26 percent of its opportunities. And of note, Travis Oullete — after starting slowly last season — already has five goals this season as well.
Short Suspension: Smith Returns for Miami
After violating team rules and punished by sitting out Miami’s season opening split against Bemidji State last weekend, sophomore Reilly Smith returned to the ice last night for the RedHawks’ visit to Hamilton to take on Colgate.
One has to wonder if Smith’s offensive numbers from a season ago would carry over to this year — after all, recall that, as a sophomore, the Mimico, Ont., native led the RedHawks in scoring with 28 goals, overshadowed though by a combined 128 points from Hobey winner Andy Miele and All-American Carter Camper.
Well, through one game, Smith showed that maybe he doesn’t need Miele and Camper after all. With a hat trick last night, Smith led the RedHawks to a 4-3 win at Colgate. Smith was efficient too, scoring on three of his four shots on goal, and helping senior netminder Cody Reichard earn his first win of the season.
Still, Miami managed only 15 shots on goal for the entire game.
Greenham’s Streak Ends, Alaska Wins Anyway
After starting 79 consecutive games for Alaska, senior netminder Scott Greenham sat out last night’s Nanooks win against Mercyhurst. Junior Steve Thompson — an Anchorage native — earned the victory for Dallas Ferguson’s squad.
Greenham was a CCHA Second Team selection last year after compiling a .921 save percentage and a 2.19 goals-against-average.