Columbus, Ohio (Dec. 11, 2009) - With all due respect to Red Bull, maybe their tagline should be revised. Junior captain Tommy Wingels netted #1 Miami's first four goals including three on the powerplay as the RedHawks cruised past Ohio State 6-0.
Wingels, who entered the game with six goals on the season, also added an assist for a final line of 4-1-5 enabling him to assume the team lead in goals (10) and forge a tie with junior forward Carter Camper for team points supremacy (18). It was Wingels first four-goal game of his college career and he couldn't remember a time in recent history that he'd had a similar performance.
"It hasn't happened in a while, maybe not since the squirt leagues," Wingels said. "We're all happy to come out with the win, no matter who scores. Our goal was just to finish with three more (CCHA) points for the team tonight." (Ohio State Buckeyes)
Three other RedHawks enjoyed three point evenings as Camper (0-3-3), junior forward Pat Cannone (1-2-3) and freshman forward Curtis McKenzie (0-3-3) helped set up Wingels and senior Jarod Palmer who scored the sixth and final goal of the night for Miami at 15:49 of the third period.
Lost among the offensive fireworks was the solid defensive job Miami was doing in holding the Buckeyes to just 17 shots on goal. The team effort enabled sophomore goaltender Cody Reichard to notch his second consecutive shutout and lower his nation's best goals-against average to 1.34 as he improved to 10-1-2 on the season. Miami has not allowed a goal since November 28 as they have recorded shutout victories in their last three games. In fact, the scoreless streak has now reached 202:14 minutes which is a school record.
For the Buckeyes, the loss had to be disheartening as head coach John Markell thought he was settling in on a starting goaltender in sophomore Cal Heeter that he could ride during the second half of the season. Heeter came into Friday's game with a 2.75 GAA and 91.4 save percentage. However, the native of St. Louis, Missouri was average at best surrendering all six Miami goals and perhaps had a case of the jitters. With the performance, Heeter earned himself a spot on the bench for tonight's series finale in Oxford. Junior goaltender Dustin Carlson will apparently return to the Buckeye crease to face the always creative Miami student section in Steve Cady Arena.
“(Heeter) is not too happy with himself,” Markell said. “I thought he had some freshman moments there… He made some saves in the second period just couldn’t sustain it.” (USCHO)
With the win, Miami improved to 12-2-5 on the season and 9-1-3-1 (31 points) in the CCHA. Miami will need to continue to win as both Michigan State (26 points) and red hot Ferris State (25 points, two games in-hand) continued to post league W's and are in the RedHawks rear view mirror for the top spot in the conference.
Ohio State will be looking for a better effort in tonight's rematch in Oxford as they saw their record drop to 7-11-1 overall and 5-7-1-1 in the league. The Buckeyes' 17 points is good enough for 8th place and the final home ice slot if the CCHA playoffs began today.
- Reichard's shutout was his third on the season which is a new career high. Last year, Reichard posted two shutouts during a stellar freshman season.
- Given the winter break begins after tonight's game, it will be interesting to see if Miami coach Enrico Blasi goes with his typical Saturday goaltender (sophomore Connor Knapp) or if he goes with the red-hot Cody Reichard as this is the final league game for about a month, and as such, is very important for Miami.
- Wingels is just five goals behind his career high of 15 that was established during his freshman season with more than 18 games to play. He has responded both on and off the ice in his new role as RedHawk captain.
- Camper recorded the 100th point of his career with his assist on Wingels' second goal.
- The Buckeyes have been shutout three times this season and are averaging just 2.31 goals per game.
- Miami was 4 for 6 on the powerplay while Ohio State was 0 for 6.
- Miami has now successfully killed 23 consecutive opponent powerplays and Ohio State has not converted in their last 24 man advantage situations.
- Heeter made 27 stops as the RedHawks outshot the Buckeyes 33-17.
- A pro-Miami crowd of 4,496 was in attendance at Value City Arena.
- Tonight's game will be televised live across the great state of Ohio on ONN at 7pm.