15 really small things

After Notre Dame lost to Michigan, 5-3, Saturday night, ND head coach Jeff Jackson said, “They scored three goals that must have bounced off 15 things.”
That got me thinking about all the little things that make a difference — or don’t — in college hockey.
Keep in mind that small is a relative term.

  1. Points separating Nos. 1 through 4 in the CCHA standings: four. It’s the same as it was last week, only the top four teams – Notre Dame (17), Michigan (16), Miami (15) and Alaska (14) each have three more points.
  2. Number of goals Ferris State scored against Lake Superior last weekend: 0. Laker freshman Kevin Kapalka earned two shutouts against the Bulldogs Nov. 12-13.
  3. Number of CCHA goalies who rank among the top 10 nationally for save percentage: 0. LSSU’s Kevin Kapalka (.929) has the highest overall save percentage in the league, and that puts him at No. 13 nationally. This is an unusual trend for a league that is normally littered with great goalies. WMU’s Nick Pisellini (1.85 GAA) and Miami’s Cody Reichard (1.92) are Nos. 9 and 10, respectively, nationally among goalies for goals-against average.
  4. Number of wins Michigan has on Friday nights this season: 1. The Wolverines haven’t registered a Friday-night win since beating Bowling Green Oct. 8. They’re now 1-3-1 on Fridays.
  5. Amount of time left in regulation when Carlo Finucci scored Alaska’s game-winning goal over Miami Saturday: 1:29. Finucci scored from Jarret Granberg and Colton Beck at 18:31 to earn the split. The Nanooks and RedHawks have now split each of their last four series in Oxford.
  6. Amount of time it took to Phil Fox to net his first goal in Northern Michigan’s 5-1 win over Bowling Green Saturday: 1:12. Fox also had the game-winner in that contest, and the only goal in NMU’s 2-1 loss to BG the night before.
  7. Bowling Green’s power-play success: 8.2 percent, No. 55 in the country. The Falcons had netted three PP goals in 10 games prior to their series against NMU last weekend, in which BG’s Brett Mohler scored two.
  8. Northern Michigan’s penalty killing success: 73.0 percent. The Wildcats have killed off 46-of-63 opponent power plays through 11 games, giving them the No. 55 PK in the nation. Incidentally, the Wildcats are second in the nation for penalty minutes, averaging 20 per game.
  9. Number of non-RedHawks who have earned league offensive Player of the Week honors: 2. Miami swept that award in October, Buckeye Danny Dries won Nov. 8, and this week’s award goes to Spartan Derek Grant, who had a goal and four assists in a split against OSU.
  10. Carter Camper’s scoreless streak: one game. Camper has registered at least a point in every game he’s played this season except for Nov. 6 against Ferris State.
  11. Number of CCHA teams among the top 10 in the nation for scoring offense: 1. It’s Miami, of course, bolstered by Camper’s 11 goals. There are four CCHA teams, however – Alaska, Miami, Ferris State and Western – among the nation’s to 10 defenses.
  12. Time senior Miami goaltender Ben Saska has spent in net this season: 3:59. The St. Clairsville, Ohio, native faced no shots in the final minutes of Miami’s 9-1 win over Northern Michigan Oct. 23. He’s the third goalie for Miami, brought up from the club team for that position – and what Miami did for him that night is one of the reasons I love this sport. Saska was interviewed by the Wheeling Intelligencer just days before he got to play.
  13. Number of penalty minutes Western Michigan’s lead scorer, Max Campbell, has this season: 0. The senior has five goals and four assists in nine apparently cleanly played games.
  14. Number of games Ohio State has lost by more than one goal this season: 1. Saturday’s 4-0 loss to MSU was the first multi-goal loss of the year for the Buckeyes.
  15. Number of wins Bowling Green needs before reaching No. 800 in program history: 1, and I couldn’t be happier that it will come during the new Chris Bergeron era in BG. And, yes, disbelievers, the Falcons will win another game this season.