I was in East Lansing Saturday night when the Buckeyes swept the Spartans. When I was talking to OSU coach Mark Osiecki after that game ended — before all other CCHA games ended because the OSU-MSU game began at 6:05 p.m. — little did I know that the Buckeyes were setting a trend. In four of the five CCHA series this past weekend, one team swept another; in the FSU-UM series, the Bulldogs took four points.
1. Miami has Alaska’s number. The RedHawks are now 9-2-1 against the Nanooks since Dallas Ferguson became head coach and are now 7-0-1 in their last four trips to Fairbanks. Miami outscored Alaska 9-2 in Fairbanks in the series and did so by splitting net time between freshmen Jay Williams and Ryan McKay; the latter had a 4-0 shutout Saturday. McKay has played four games this season, three of which have resulted in decisions and two of those were shutout wins.
2. Ferris State is for real. I talked to a number of people during the weekend who said they were shocked that FSU shut out UM 5-0. I was surprised by the lopsided score but certainly not shocked. The Bulldogs are getting production out of all four of their lines and they have the top power play in the league, the sixth-best in the country. Kyle Bonis — who leads the Bulldogs with eight goals, adding two of those in the 3-3 tie Saturday — was nowhere on the score sheet Friday. The conventional wisdom has always been that if FSU gets consistent offense to accompany its always-tough defense, the Bulldogs would be a force to reckon with. The Bulldogs are now a force to reckon with.
3. All it takes is a weekend like this to clarify the standings for the rest of the season. Heading into the weekend, one point separated first-place Miami from three teams tied for second (Ferris State, Notre Dame, Ohio State), and the RedHawks were six points ahead of ninth-place Northern Michigan and Michigan State. Now Miami is one point ahead of second-place Notre Dame and Ohio State, three ahead of fourth-place Ferris State … but 12 ahead of MSU and NMU, who remain in ninth place. A single weekend like this in which four of five league teams take all available points makes a huge difference, especially given how infrequently it’s likely to happen this season.