#10 Alaska at #7 LSSU
Two of the more defensive teams in the CCHA tallied 7 goals on 69 shots as the Lakers edged the Nanooks 4-3 in the first game of their best of 3 series. Alaska jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from former Spartan Adam Henderson just 4:55 into the game. LSSU tallied the next three goals in the game, including two in the final three minutes of the first period, and one in the first five minutes of the second period.
Alaska did manage to make it a 3-2 game just 14 seconds into the 3rd period, but Kellan Lain responded just 46 seconds later to put LSSU up for 4-2. Alaska would add a late power play marker to get us to a 4-3 final. The Nanooks out-shot LSSU 39-30 for the game, and both teams went 1 for 4 on the power play.
Game 2 is tomorrow night in the Soo.
#11 Bowling Green at #6 Northern Michigan
It took Bowling Green just 53 seconds to plant a seed of doubt in the minds of the Wildcats, but Northern fought hard scoring a pair of third period goals to break a 2-2 tie and pull out the 4-2 victory. Bowling Green beat Northern last season in the best of three series. Northern won game one last year as well.
Bowling Green was trailing 2-1 in the second period before Adam Berkle tied it up. Andrew Cherniwchan broke the 2-2 tie just 1:27 into the 3rd period with a power play goal. Tyler Gron added the insurance marker with just over 8 minutes to go. BGSU out-shot Northern 33-26 for the game. Bowling Green was 0 for 3 with the extra man, and Northern was 1 for 2.
Game 2 is in Marquette tomorrow night.
#9 Ohio State at #8 Notre Dame
Steven Summerhays made 33 saves to earn the shutout as Notre Dame beat Ohio State 2-0. Billy Maday scored both goals for the Irish, the first 9:08 into the game, and the second one just 2:50 into the second period. Ohio State out-shot Notre Dame 33-30 for the game. OSU was 0 for 5 on the power play and ND finished one for four.
Game 2 is in South Bend tomorrow night.
So what did we learn?
Well, getting out-shot seems to be the best recipe for winning. Though it usually stands the team with more shots means more opportunities, unless the quality shots just aren't there. The only margin that was somewhat shocking was Alaska with 39. The Nanooks aren't known for their offense, but they looked like they were throwing a lot of rubber on net.
Michigan State also moved up the PairWise into a tie for 10th place (up from a tie for 11th). Go byes!