Only a few weeks into the new season, the CCHA has earned some big wins already. Now it is time to start beating up on each other.
Michigan State will travel south to play Miami, while Lake Superior State is host to Ohio State.
The Spartans are coming off of a split with Maine last weekend. Michigan State took the first of two by a score of 5-3, but Maine stole game two of the set by the same score.Corey Tropp had a hat trick in game one and then added a goal and an assist in game two to cap off a five point weekend. Freshmen Derek Grant was on his game as well, chipping in with three assists on the weekend.
Tropp and Grant have been quite the offensive tandem for the Spartans this year. Tropp leads the team five goals and nine points, while Grant is tied for the team lead in assists and is second to Tropp in scoring.
Drew Palmisano gave up seven goals on the weekend and will need to tighten things up when facing Miami’s high powered offense.
The RedHawks are still undefeated, sporting a 3-0-1 record early in the season. Miami traveled to New Hampshire last weekend and came back with a win and a tie. Captain Tommy Wingles had four assists on the weekend, while Carter Camper had two goals and an assist. Cody Reichard got the start and win in game one and was then called upon in game two to relieve Connor Knapp. Knapp gave up five goals on just 21 shots through a period and a half.
Miami’s offense has been clicking just like everyone thought it would be, but the defense has shown that it is not perfect. In the second game, New Hampshire pumped in all five of their goals in the second period.
Michigan State has a much improved offense this year, thanks to the emergence of Tropp, Grant, and the return of Nick Sucharski. Miami will have to play sound defense against the re-vamped Spartan offense if they are going to be successful.
The other in-conference match up is between Lake Superior State and Ohio State.
The Buckeyes are off to a slower start than expected, dropping their first three games of the season. It looks like the Buckeyes might have things turned in the right direction though with a 4-0 victory over Denver, one of the top teams in the nation.
Cal Heeter earned the shutout as he got the nod over Dusty Carlson. Shane Sims and C.J. Severyn each had a goal and an assist in the win.
The Ohio State offense has not been the one we grew accustomed to last year. The offense is off to a slow start and needs key players like Peter Boyd to get going. Boyd is still scoreless through the first four games.
Lake Superior State dropped their first game of the season to Minnesota-Duluth, but they have rebounded to win their last three games in a row. The Lakers beat Michigan Tech, and swept Canisius last weekend.
The Lakers haven’t had one big time goal scorer so far, but they have had production from all over the line up. Eleven different players have scored goals so far for Lake Superior State.
In goal, Brian Mahoney-Wilson has been stellar. He has played all four games, going 3-1 and posting a .911 save percentage and a 2.56 goals against average.
The special teams have been a big reason the Lakers have been successful so far. They are not taking many penalties, but the ones they are taking are getting killed off. The Lakers have killed off 15 of 17 penalties, while their power play is clicking at 20 percent.
The Buckeyes are going to have their hands full this weekend when they hit the road to play Lake Superior State.
In other CCHA action this week(end), Notre Dame came up with a big win at Boston University, and Michigan beat Niagra 3-2. The remaining weekend match ups look like this:
Notre Dame vs Boston College
Ferris State vs. Robert Morris
Western Michigan at Alabama-Huntsville
Northern Michigan vs. Bemidji State
Bowling Green vs. Providence
Michigan at Boston University