DETROIT — The Miami RedHawks displayed their style of play against Ferris State on Saturday, edging the Bulldogs 2-1 in the CCHA tournament consolation game.
Miami and Ferris State took the ice both looking to rebound from tough losses. Ferris State lost a heartbreaker in overtime against Northern Michigan, while Miami was blown out 5-1 against Michigan. Because of that, Miami head coach Enrico Blasi decided to go with Connor Knapp in goal after Cody Reichard gave up five goals to Michigan yesterday.
Neither team established any offense in the first period. Miami outshot Ferris State 8-7, but both teams’ shots were scattered throughout the period.
Miami got on the board at 4:44 in the second period when Chris Wideman blasted a slap shot from the top of the circles that went off of the cross bar and went right off of Steve Mason for the goal. The goal was Mason’s first collegiate goal of his career.
“I think we came out tentative and played tentative until Miami scored the first goal,” said Bulldogs head coach Bob Daniels. “Then I think we shifted gears from being nervous about winning to playing to win.”
Justin Vaive was called for interference with 6:50 to play in the second period, putting Ferris State on the power play.
Ferris State capitalized with the man advantage on a controversial goal by Casey Haines. The Bulldogs set up in the RedHawks’ zone when the puck came to Blair Riley on the left wing boards. Riley threw the puck to the net and the puck deflected off of Casey Haines’ skate past Connor Knapp. The play was originally ruled no goal but after a review, the referees determined that Haines did not purposely kick the puck in, making the play a good goal.
Miami controlled the puck from that point on. At even strength, the RedHawks were looked like they were on the power play the way the moved the puck and kept possession.
With the game clock winding down, Miami turned up the pressure on Pat Nagel and would get rewarded.
Jarod Palmer broke the tie with his 19th goal at 15:56 in the third period. Palmer faked a slap shot just inside the blue line, walked around a sliding Bulldog defender, and then snapped a quick shot past Nagel. Wideman earned his second assist of the night on the play.
“It was kind of a jumbled play,” said Palmer. “Wideman made a nice pass to me at the point. I just pushed it to the middle and got lucky.”
The Bulldogs pulled Nagel for the extra attacker with just under two minutes to go in the game. Miami kept the puck along the boards and out of harm’s way while facing six skaters for Ferris State.
Ferris State’s NCAA tournament hopes hang in limbo with a pair of losses at the Joe. The RedHawks claimed third place in the CCHA tournament, while possibly improving their chances to the No. 1 overall seed in next week’s NCAA tournament.
“If this team ends up being number one seed overall, it’s a pretty good season,” Blasi said. “You want to go into the tournament on a winning note and I’m real proud of our guys.”