Brothers in Arms
Close-knit Buckeyes rally again, face Michigan
for Mason Cup
Miami 3 (OT)
Michael, A. Greene
Bittner, R. Pelley
Caponigri, R. Pelley
Dave Caruso, 60:23, 18 saves, 3GA
Brandon Crawford-West, 60:23, 24 saves, 4 GA
OS 3/6; MIA 3/6
Plays: OS 0-2; MIA 1-2
None of the players on the Ohio State roster are old enough to
remember the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates, but the two teams share
adopted the Sister Sledge disco hit "We Are Family"
as their theme song in honor of their all-for-one, one-for-all
approach to the game. They ended up winning the World Series.
meanwhile, are a close-knit group devoid of stars (and Stargells)
and, after Friday's 4-3 overtime win against Miami, one victory
away from capturing the Mason Cup, awarded to the CCHA playoff
year, there could have been a few guys on different pages,"
said sophomore forward Rod Pelley, who scored a goal and two assists.
"This year, everyone wants the same thing."
take Maurice Clarett's tutor to figure out the differences bewteen
this year's Buckeyes and the team of one year ago. One notable
change is the across-the-board balance that makes up for the lack
of eye-popping talent.
not have guys who are going to score 80 points a year," Pelley
said, "but we've got guys that will chip in every night whether
it's blocking shots, taking hits or making good saves."
points to the character in the locker room as a key component
of the team's recent success. The fact that the Buckeyes will
face Michigan for the CCHA playoff championship even though they
haven't held a lead for one second in either of their two Super
Six games is all the proof one needs.
The last time
OSU faced the Wolverines was in Ann Arbor in early January. The
Buckeyes lost a 3-2 decision in the series opener, but were shellacked
by the home team in the second game, a disappointing weekend for
a team that harbored legitimate aspirations of a run at a CCHA
regular season title. Now, Michigan is all that stands between
Ohio State and a league championship.
wants the same thing," Pelley said. "When we all get
behind each other, we just keep motivating each other. In the
dressing room, it's all confidence and trying to building each
other up. With everyone playing their own roles and specific jobs,
anything can be accomplished."
Northern Michigan 1
Werner, M. Gajic
Gajic, T.J. Hensick
Hensick, D. Rohlfs
Tambellini, D. Rohlfs
Hunter, B. Selden
Tuomas Tarkki, 57:29, 29 saves, 5 GA; Brian Garavaglia, 2:31,
0 saves, 0 GA
Alvaro Montoya, 60:00, 19 saves, 1 GA
NM 4/8; UM 3/6
Plays: NM 0-3; UM 1-4
FULL OF BLUES
finale of the John Belusi-Dan Akroyd classic “The Blues
Brothers”? Jake and Elwood elude every law enforcement officer
in the Chicagoland area in their erstwhile cop car, only to have
the vehicle fall to pieces on the courtyard of the Richard Daley
experienced a similar fate against top-seeded Michigan Friday
afternoon in the first of the day’s two CCHA Super Six semifinals.
magical whirlwind tour – with out-of-nowhere goalie Tuomas
Tarkki serving as guide – ended for all intents and purposes
in the third period when the Wolverines got a quick power play
goal from Brandon Kaleniecki to take a 2-0 lead en route to a
went out and got that quick one and I think that really hurt us,”
said NMU junior forward Matt Hunter, who scored the Wildcats’
lone goal. “We came out and kept playing and kept playing,
and they just kept hammering us.”
tried to keep the game close,” said Northern Michigan coach
Walt Kyle. “Our guys were dead.”
The team traveled
from Marquette to Alaska-Fairbanks for a first round playoff series
and bounced the host Nanooks in two games. Then it was back to
the Upper Peninsula, where the Wildcats had just enough time to
feed the dog and get on a bus Tuesday for a jaunt to Detroit for
the CCHA Super Six. No more than 48 hours later, NMU ousted third
seed Michigan State to advance.
just shows what a boost of confidence can do for the younger guys
on our team,” Hunter explained. “It’s good for
us…it’ll get us started off on the right foot next
and Hunter brushed off the notion of moral victories, saying the
loss is a bitter pill to swallow, but the turn of events will
be remembered in
Marquette for years to come.
“No one expected us to be here except us,” Hunter
said. “We’re the only ones that really believed in
Tonight's Three Stars
Tuomas Tarkki, Northern Michigan
he gave up five goals, but as coach Walt Kyle said, there
wasn't a whole lot he could've done on any of them. He kept
the Wildcats in the game early with 13 first period saves.
Bittner, Caponigri and Pelley, Ohio State
trio combined for eight points against the RedHawks Friday
and each factored into the game-winning goal, scored by Bittner.
Don't forget the little things – Pelley won 10 of the
13 draws he took.
T.J. Hensick, Michigan
a goal and two assists. His two-on-one with Jeff Tambellini
– during which Hensick waited...waited...waited, then
wired a pass to Tambellini at the last possible moment –
was as pretty a play as you'll ever see.
AND HEARD AT THE JOE
The strangest aspect of the Miami-Ohio State game was that even
thought the RedHawks held the lead on three occasions, they never
seemed to capitalize on the momentum associated with breaking
the tie. OSU managed to keep the RedHawks on their heels even
after Mike Kompon gave Miami a 3-2 with a little more than 10
minutes left in regulation.
"There were a few times...as soon as we scored a goal, we'd
let up a little bit," Miami defenseman Andy Greene said.
"They came right back and stopped the momentum we had from
• The loss to Ohio State was Miami's first OT defeat this
season. The RedHawks' mark in the extra session prior to Friday
was 1-0-4. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, are 2-2-0 in OT games and
one of two teams without a tie (Yale is the other).
• Red Berenson switched up his lines for Friday’s
game against Northern Michigan and, while Michigan exploded for
five goals in the final 30 minutes, the Wolverines’ bench
boss said the barrage wasn’t a result of the new combinations.
the lines,” Berenson said. “It’s the attitude.
It’s the effort.”
the Michigan-Northern Michigan game well in hand, Kyle put backup
goaltender Brian Garavaglia in for Tarkki with 2:31 left in the
third period. The Lapeer, Mich., native was summoned from the
Northern Michigan student body to serve as Tarkki’s backup
while erstwhile starter Craig Kowalski nursed a groin injury.
Garavaglia didn’t face any shots.
“He did us a
favor,” said Kyle of Garavaglia, who met the Wildcats in
Fairbanks last weekend. “So we did him a favor in return.”
retreating to the archives at INCH World Headquarters to get a
definitive answer, we feel confident in saying Friday’s
Miami-Ohio State game marks the first time in college hockey history
that a goalie from California (Miami’s Brandon Crawford-West,
a San Diego native) has faced a Georgia netminder (the Buckeyes’
Dave Caruso calls the Atlanta suburb of Roswell home).
all Boston College fans: the banner honoring the Eagles’
December triumph at the 2003 Great Lakes Invitational is conspicuously
absent from the Joe Louis Arena rafters. Statistics on such matters
aren’t kept, but the GLI banner seems to disappear for long
stretches when a team from outside the Great Lakes State takes
his Wildcats were on the short end of the 5-1 decision against
Michigan, those who attended coach Walt Kyle's post-game press
conference could sense how proud he was of his team's effort during
its last 15 games of the season. NMU was 10-3-2 during stretch.
The rest of the CCHA would be wise to note that the Wildcats had
12 freshmen and sophomores in the lineup Friday.
few people were around to witness it (former Enron accountants
announced a crowd of 11,216 for both games at Joe Louis Arena
Friday) but the third period of the Miami-Ohio State contest was
an entertaining 20 minutes, with three goals and plenty of big
Miami, for wasting a fine performance by senior forward Mike Kompon.
The Thunder Bay, Ont., native scored a pair of goals for the RedHawks.
He's got 10 points in the team's last six games.
of the assembled media – present company excluded –
chose Al Montoya as the first star of Friday's first semifinal
game. The Wolverine goaltender had a decent outing, stopping 19
of 20 shots, but Hensick or Brandon Kaleniecki (two goals) were
far more deserving.
Ohio State play for a championship Saturday. Hmmm...have these
two schools ever met for conference bragging rights on
a Saturday in any sport?