In an interesting weekend of conference competition in the CCHA, everyone played except for Bowling Green. Here’s what we learned.
1. It was tough to score, even for the top teams in the league. On Friday night, six of the 10 teams playing were held to one goal or fewer; in Saturday’s action, four teams were held to a single goal. The top team in the conference, Notre Dame, was held to two goals for the weekend by Michigan State, where the Irish won 1-0 and lost 3-1. Miami and Western Michigan each had four goals in the weekend.
This is not surprising if you take a look at the CCHA goaltenders. Four league goaltenders are among the top ten in the country for goals against: Ohio State’s Brady Hjelle, Notre Dame’s Steven Summerhays, Western Michigan’s Frank Slubowski and Michigan State’s Jake Hildebrand. Three of these — Hjelle, Hildebrand, Summerhays — are among the top 10 goalies in the country for save percentage, joined by a fourth, Lake Superior State’s Kevin Murdock.
And even though Jared Coreau isn’t among the top 10 goaltenders in the country, he made 43 saves when the Wildcats beat the RedHawks 2-1 Friday night.
2. It was tough to sweep, again. Only one series resulted in a sweep, Alaska’s two games in Ann Arbor. The Nanooks beat the Wolverines 5-4 and 4-1, and the sweep was the first for Alaska versus Michigan. Going into the weekend, the Nanooks had beaten the Wolverines three times in Michigan’s barn in the previous 26 meetings there. No one else was completely satisfied, as there were two splits outright and a couple of ties to divide the points.
3. It’s tough to beat Bob Daniels when it comes to quotes. After Ferris State’s 3-1 home loss to Ohio State Friday night, Daniels said, “I won’t lose sleep tonight. We played well. There’s not going to be any soul searching.”
After returning the favor with a 3-1 win over the Buckeyes Saturday night, Daniels said, “After seeing Ohio State play, we’re proud of a split [because] they’re a good team. I have a feeling a seven-game series with Ohio State would go all seven games and into overtime.”