In a clash between Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) co-leaders, the nationally second-ranked Miami (Ohio) needed only one goal as the RedHawks received an outstanding effort in goal to tally a 4-0 league win over the sixth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team Friday (Jan. 15) night before a crowd of 2,277 fans at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
The opening game of this weekend's pivotal series went Miami's way as the RedHawks dictated play from the outset and received a notable 23-saves performance from goaltender Cody Reichard (11-2-2), who posted his fourth shutout this season. Miami would notch a combined three goals in the opening 40 minutes of play and outshot the Bulldogs 30-16 during that time.
The loss drops Ferris State's record to 16-5-2 overall and 10-3-2-2 (34 league points) in the CCHA this season. The Bulldogs also had their school-record 12-league game unbeaten streak come to an end as well as suffering their first home loss of this season in their 12th home appearance of this 2009-10 campaign.
Miami would register what was the game-winning goal at 7:02 into the first period as Jarod Palmer put in a rebound past Bulldog junior goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) on a shot from the point by Vincent LoVerde.
The RedHawks would add two more scores in the second period with the first coming on an Andy Miele lamplighter to gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at the 5:19 mark. Miele put the puck in the FSU net after taking a nice setup pass from Will Weber at the back post. Miami would increase its margin to 3-0 with 6:59 remaining in the frame when Brandon Smith potted a goal as a result of taking a pass from across the crease on a RedHawks' breakaway advantage.
A Trent Vogelhuber extra-attacker goal with 1:34 left in the contest from his own rebound shot put the game on ice for Miami, which is now 14-4-5 overall and 11-1-3-1 37 league points) in the CCHA.
Ferris State, which was outshot 38-23 for the game, had some scoring opportunities to avoid the shutout but couldn't get the puck past Reichard. The Bulldogs were unsuccessful in seven power-play chances, which included a five-minute major whistled on the RedHawks' Alden Hirschfeld near the midway point of the third period. Miami had six power-play opportunities as well and also was on a five-minute power play late in the second period to gain a five-on-three man advantage at that particular time.
Pat Nagle (7-3-1) would turn away 34 shots for Ferris State, which included 13 stops in the first period followed by 14 saves in the second frame.
The contest was a physical one as Ferris State was assessed 27 minutes on eight penalties while Miami was whistled nine times for 29 penalty minutes.
Ferris State would look to avenge tonight's series-opening loss this Saturday (Jan. 16) as the Bulldogs faceoff against the RedHawks in the weekend CCHA series finale at Big Rapids, Mich. Game time is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. (EST) and for ticket information, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.
Notes: Ferris State had a school-record 12-league game unbeaten streak (10-0-2) entering tonight's contest which started on Nov. 6 with a 5-1 home triumph over Bowling Green State . . . The Bulldogs were held scoreless for only the second time this season after being blanked 1-0 at Canisius earlier this season (Oct. 10) . . . FSU hadn't been shutout at home since Feb. 7, 2009 vs. Michigan State (Lost 1-0) . . . Pat Nagle's 34 saves against Miami marked the third time this season in which the Bulldog netminder has garnered 30 or more stops in a game . . . Miami's win over Ferris State snapped a series six-game non-winning streak as the RedHawks were 0-3-3 before the series-opening matchup in Big Rapids.