Mich. — Remember that “Seinfeld” episode when
Jerry dropped his car off with a valet, only to have said valet
befoul the vehicle with a obnoxiously pungent odor that clung
everything that came into contact with it, including Elaine’s
hair? And try as they did to subdue the smell – taking the
car to a detailer, washing their hair with tomato sauce –
it still lingered.
kind of what the Miami RedHawks are like. And that’s a compliment.
senior forward Derek Edwardson
that stench in Seinfeld’s luxury import, the RedHawks aren’t
going away. That’s despite the sentiments of just about
everyone who monitors the CCHA, who are counting the days until
a more heralded team Lysols Miami from the top of the league standings.
said RedHawks coach Enrico Blasi following his team’s 2-1
win at Michigan State Friday, “have done it all year.”
Through the first 40
minutes of the series opener, it didn’t look like the RedHawks
were going to get it done. Seven minutes into the first period,
the host Spartans took the lead when Adam Nightingale bulled his
way up the right wing, cut to the net and pancaked Miami goalie
Brandon Crawford-West, completely blowing the freshman netminder
out of the crease. The puck trickled in as both players lay sprawled
on the ice and, incredibly, referee Kevin Hall called no penalty
on the play. Miami trails 1-0.
Seven minutes into
the second period, back-to-back penalties on the Spartans’
Brock Radunske and David Booth give Miami a two-man advantage.
The RedHawks, owners of the CCHA’s best power play, fail
to score. A sell-out crowd of 6,623 roars its approval. Big Mo
is waving green and white pom-pons.
Still, an odor still
lingered in the air at Munn Ice Arena.
“There was no
panic in the locker room,” Blasi said. “There was
no panic on the bench.”
Why would they? Less
than a minute into the third period, freshman Marty Guerin –
a Lansing native playing in front of 30 family members and friends
– scored a fortuitous goal to tie the game, then suffered
the indignity of having the Spartans’ public address announcer
pronounce his last name “GREW-in.”
later, Guerin gathers in a faceoff won by senior linemate Derek
Edwardson and threads a pass – “You’ve got to
appreciate it from ice level with all the sticks going by,”
Blasi said – that finds the tape of the linemate and fellow
freshman Matt Christie. Christie rocketed into the MSU zone, sped
past Spartan defenseman A.J. Thelen, shifted the puck to his backhand
and slid it between goaltender Dominic Vicari’s legs for
the game-winning goal.
point is huge,” Guerin said. “Regardless of whether
it was Michigan State or Lake Superior State…it’s
another game, another win.”
modus operandi works because they came back today to earn a 2-1
victory and maintain their perch atop the CCHA standings.
gives us a chance to win,” Christie said. “We pick
up the paper and see we’re not supposed to win. Everybody
in this room knows how to win. There’s no question we’re
going to succeed this season.”
Smells like a winner to me.