Three quick things from the weekend.
1. You can’t fight city hall. At the beginning of the 2011-12 season, Miami and Michigan were picked to finish second and third, respectively, in both the coaches and media preseason CCHA polls. At the end of the first half of the 2011-12 season, Michigan was eighth in the CCHA standings with 19 points and Miami — one point behind — was ninth. Thanks to their home sweep of Western Michigan, the RedHawks are now tied with the Broncos for second place, each team with 33 points. The Wolverines trail the RedHawks and Broncos by one point and are alone in fourth place. Parity is one thing, but there’s no substitute for histories of sustained success.
2. Sometimes goal scoring isn’t enough to break a slump. Ohio State was on top of the world at the end of the first half of the season; now the Buckeyes hold on to the top of the CCHA standings by two little points. After a loss and tie at home against Ferris State last weekend, OSU’s winless streak extended to six games (0-3-3) and the Buckeyes are looking for their first win in the second half. The first four games in January saw OSU score just four goals. Against FSU, OSU scored six but allowed seven — but the fault isn’t in net. Cal Heeter’s numbers (2.15 GAA, .928 SV%) are still among the best in the nation.
3. Never underestimate those Falcons. When Alaska and Bowling Green played a two-game series in Ohio in November, the Nanooks blanked the Falcons twice, 3-0 and 2-0. Last season, the Nanooks swept the Falcons in Fairbanks, 4-1 and 4-1. Given those two goals allowed in four games, maybe the Nanooks’ coaching staff thought Friday night would be a good night to give starting goaltender Scott Greenham a break and junior Steve Thompson a little bit of game time. Maybe, too, the Falcons sensed they were being — as the kids say — dissed. By 6:40 in the second period, the Falcons were up 3-0. Thompson was replaced at the start of the third by freshman Sean Cahill, who’d never played a college game. Cahill went on to block both shots he faced in the third — yes, the Nanooks allowed just two shots in the third — but the Falcons went on to win their third league game of the season. Greenham was in net the following night and the Nanooks won, 4-1. Kudos to Andrew Hammond for his 27-save performance in Friday’s win.