19 , 2004
Ohio State backup steps front and center
Being a back-up
goaltender can be a lot like being a left-handed relief pitcher
in baseball. You’re asked to sit around for long stretches,
not sure when you’re going to get the call to appear. And
when you’re summoned for duty, you’d better be ready
to perform or else it’s back opening the door on the bench
(or spitting sunflower seeds in the bullpen.)
If that’s the
case, Ohio State netminder Dave Caruso would be making a strong
bid for a reliever of the year honors. He’s played just
seven games for the Buckeyes this season and owns a 6-1-0 record.
He’s been particularly impressive in the team’s last
three games, allowing four goals on 72 shots and helping OSU to
see too many goalies in the NHL come in right away and play,”
Caruso said, referring to players such as Colorado’s David
Aebischer and former Michigan standout Marty Turco, now with Dallas.
“It helps being the backup.”
to Ohio State was a circuitous one. Born on Long Island, he lived
there until he was seven, when his family moved to Roswell, Ga.
Despite the transfer to the Deep South, Caruso continued to play
hockey in suburban Atlanta. He was the sole netminder on most
of the teams he played for while growing up. Caruso stayed in
Georgia until he completed midget hockey, then moved on to play
for the Boston Bulldogs, an independent junior team.
Even though his favorite
goaltender is New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur – Caruso
became enamored with the Devils in 1994 while his mother and uncle
rooted for their beloved New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference
Finals – the sophomore credits his philosophy to Anaheim
backstop Jean-Sebastien Giguere and his mindset during last year’s
shot at a time. That’s my motto,” Caruso explained.
“Giguere said it during the playoffs last season. I know
it’s a cliché, but I just try to take it one day
at a time. Day by day, week by week.”
With his notoriety
heightened because of his play over the past two weekends, we
wondered whether Dave Caruso (the goaltender) ever gets asked
if he’s David Caruso (the actor).
get it a ton,” the Buckeye netminder replied. “Not
too many people know about David Caruso from “NYPD Blue”
and “CSI: Miami.
they do ask, I’ll tell them, ‘No, I’m Dave Caruso,
the hockey player.’”
AND HEARD IN THE CCHA
"D" DOES IT ALL – Notre Dame defenseman
Tom Galvin gained possession of the puck just inside of the Ferris
State blue line less than three minutes into the first period
of Saturday’s game at the Joyce Center. With three opposing
skaters in front of the net occupying the Fighting Irish forwards,
the Bulldogs dared Galvin to beat them.
He did just that, nimbly
moving wide of an oncoming forward then cutting toward the center
of the ice with the puck on his backhand. Using the traffic jam
in front of FSU goaltender Mike Brown as a screen, Galvin ripped
a shot into the net to give his team an early lead.
was the first of three from the blue line in Notre Dame’s
4-1 win over the visiting Bulldogs. Three goals by defensemen
isn’t normal for the Irish – the team’s rearguards
have combined for 13 markers this season. It is, however, a testament
to the versatility the Irish blue line corps possesses.
is real dynamic,” said Galvin, who hails from Miller Place,
N.Y. “If we keep playing as well as we have been, we’ll
be an important stepping stone for what’s ahead.”
The unit earns its
keep with their play in front of goalies Morgan Cey and David
Brown. Want to know how a team that ranks tenth in the CCHA in
offense can challenge for home ice in the first round of the CCHA
playoffs. The Irish – behind a talented corps featuring
Galvin, Komadoski, senior Brett Lebda, junior Joe Zurenko, sophomore
Chris Trick and freshmen Wes O’Neill and Noah Babin –
are tied for first in the league in scoring defense (2.37 goals
per game) and lead the conference in penalty killing. They boast
an 88.9 percent success rate, and the team hasn’t allowed
a power-play goal since Jan. 23.
confident in both David and Morgan to make the great stop and
the easy save,” Komadoski said. “It’s up to
us to clear the front and make sure they’re seeing shots.
If a shot does get through and…[the goalie] can’t
get the rebound, it’s our job to clear the guys out and
get the puck to the corner to make sure they can’t get second
and third chances.”
While taking care of
business in its own end is the top priority, Poulin is encouraging
the defensemen to help out offensively. He’d like to see
more shots from the point and he’s getting just that, as
evidenced from the 27 shots from Irish blueliners in last week’s
“If we get the
puck to the net and nobody touches it and it goes in, that’s
great,” Komadoski said. “But we’ve got some
big forwards that can bang in front of the net. If there is a
rebound, they’re going to out-muscle a d-man and put the
puck in the net.”
Regardless of whether
they give the Irish a shot in the arm offensively or not, Poulin
knows his defensemen will play a major role in team’s fortunes
from here on out.
this time of the year, it’s going to be defense that does
it,” Poulin said. “Goals are going to get harder and
harder to come by. Going into this time of year, to be playing
well defensively is integral.”
Great Weekend Getaway
State at Western Michigan (Fri.-Sat.): The league
is bereft of marquee matchups this weekend, so this series
at Lawson Ice Arena gets the nod by default. The Buckeyes
and Broncos are caught in that Dan Ryan Expressway-on-Friday
evening jam in the CCHA standings in races so close, one
wonders if commissioner Tom Anastos will have the teams
in the middle of the pack play first-round playoff series
at a neutral site. Adding a bit of intrigue to this series
is the fact that both OSU and WMU are about as predictable
as a Jeremy Roenick soliloquy.
you’re there: The INCH staff, for the most part, doesn’t
spend much time following college basketball. In fact, we
don’t pay much attention to the sport unless it messes
with face-off times or parking plans. Our friends at ESPN,
however, have dubbed Saturday “Bracket Buster Saturday”
and are devoting the bulk of their airtime to showdowns
featuring mid-major schools. The schedule includes Western
Michigan, leaders of the MAC’s West Division, against
perennial Southern Conference powerhouse College of Charleston.
The game tips off at University Arena at 4 p.m.
hardly the most stirring arena in the CCHA, but Notre Dame
has succeeded in making the Joyce Center a surprisingly
electric hockey venue. Virtually every seat in
the arena at Saturday’s game was filled. The school’s
pep band is first rate, and they’re a vociferous group
when not playing the greatest fight song in the world. The
Joyce Center added a St. Louis Blues-style foghorn to celebrate
goals and a siren similar to the one at the old Montreal
Forum marks the end of each period. The highlight of the
evening – besides Tom Galvin’s pretty goal to
open the scoring in the first period – was the mini-mite
exhibition during the first intermission. Terrific stuff.
be it from me to criticize the job Atlanta Thrashers’
G.M. Don Waddell has done this season, but binary
code that formed last week’s notebook had barely been
assembled when the Thrash sent defenseman Mike Weaver –
if you don’t know who he is by now, shame on you –
back to its AHL affiliate in Chicago. Weaver has been up and
down before, but this trip to the parent club was so short,
the cup of coffee he bought at Tim Horton’s in Calgary
following his only game with Atlanta last week was still hot
when he landed at O’Hare.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• One of the changes NHL general managers proposed last
week in an effort to increase scoring is to prohibit goalies
from playing the puck below the goal line. Michigan’s
Al Montoya, one of the more active netminders in the college game,
obviously is against such a rule.
think it would be a good idea for the game,” Montoya explained.
“You’re eliminating athleticism somewhat. Besides,
I think there are more goalies that make mistakes behind the net.
You see more goals go in when goalies are standing behind the
net than goalies making assists halfway down the ice.”
is proud of his acumen in moving the puck, it should be noted
that more that one NHL scout feels Montoya plays the puck too
we mentioned last week, Miami’s power play was in the throes
of an extended drought, a skein that mercifully came to an end
last weekend as the RedHawks scored on their first mad-advantage
chance against Michigan Saturday, ending an 0-for-22 skid. Opponents
have succeeded in shutting down Miami’s extra-man attack
by pressuring the point men – the Wolverines’ Dwight
Helminen and Mike Brown were particularly effective Friday –
and making them quickly move the puck into the corner. The RedHawks
like their point men to set up inside the blue line, unleash a
heavy shot from the point and let the forwards to crash the net
in search of rebounds.
State is idle this weekend, welcome news for a team whose
training room looks like a Civil War battlefield. The
Bulldogs, who entered last weekend’s series at Notre Dame
without defensemen Jeremy Scherlinck and Matt York and forward
Matt Rutkowski, lost junior forward Jeff Legue after he was hit
in the head with a puck in Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Fighting
Irish. The following night, junior goaltender Mike Brown had to
leave the game after he was hit in the throat with a shot.
Brown, who was taken
to a South Bend hospital as a precaution, was replaced by sophomore
Tom Mueller, a Cadillac, Mich., native who transferred to Ferris
State from Division III Minnesota-Crookston and had been the Bulldogs’
third-string goalie up until last weekend. Mueller acquitted himself
nobly, stopping 15 of the 17 shots he faced in Notre Dame’s
4-1 victory. Coach Bob Daniels was effusive in praising his team.
played probably as well or better than could be expected,”
Daniels said. “I thought the kids played well. Some guys
had some opportunities that they don’t normally get. I thought
they responded pretty well. I’m displeased with the loss,
but I’m not displeased with their effort.”
Obscure Bowling Green Note of the Week has taken
on a life of its own, so much so that people with much better
things to do than send me e-mails…well, sent me e-mails.
Thanks to the correspondence, I’m pleased to present Notes
of the Week featuring goalie Jordan Sigalet, natch.
comes courtesy of Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune scribe
Kevin Gordon, who notes that Sigalet and the Falcons have two
shutouts this season – both scoreless ties against Lake
Superior State – and adds that BGSU is 3-1-4 in games in
which they allow one goal or less.
will be pleased with this fact from the desk of CCHA Director
of Communications Fred Pletsch, who reports that in Sigalet’s
two scoreless draws against the Lakers, the junior made 36 saves
Nov. 15 and stopped 21 shots last Saturday. Add those two numbers
and you get 57 – Sigalet’s jersey number. Freaky.
are in order for Nebraska-Omaha senior forward Andrew
Wong, who moved into second place on the school’s
all-time scoring list after he picked up two assists in the Mavericks’
4-3 loss at Ohio State Saturday. The Calgary native has 38-76—114
in 144 career games for coach Mike Kemp. David Brisson, with 144
points, is the top scorer in UNO history.
John-Michael Liles made his first trip to Detroit
as a member of the Colorado Avalanche last weekend. The former
Michigan State standout is more than familiar with Joe Louis Arena
– he played many games there as a Spartan – and while
he’s a relative newcomer to the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry,
he says it’s on par with the rivalry between MSU and Michigan.
the college rivalries are a lot more up close and personal because
you're going to class with a lot of the fans and you're always
around them," Liles told Rick Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain
News. "Plus, you have the bands and everything else
that goes along with college sports."
on the game-winning goal in Colorado’s 5-2 win over the
Red Wings. With former Bowling Green star Rob Blake sidelined
with a leg injury, Liles has been elevated to the Avalanche’s
top power-play unit.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.
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