Feb. 14, 2006
OXFORD, Ohio - With a convincing 6-3 victory over Ohio State on Tuesday night, the Miami University RedHawks clinched the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's regular-season championship, the program's first league title since the 1992-93 season. The RedHawks (21-5-4, 18-4-2 CCHA) scored three unanswered goals in the second period as they downed the Buckeyes (15-15-4, 10-12-2 CCHA) for the third time this season.
Sophomore Nathan Davis (Rocky River, Ohio) opened the scoring for Miami just 16 seconds into the first period with his team-leading 16th goal of the season. After a failed clearing attempt by the Buckeyes, sophomore Ryan Jones (Chatham, Ontario) picked up a loose puck inside the OSU zone and fed it to Davis who promptly fired a wrist shot through the legs of Ohio State goaltender Dave Caruso.
Ohio State responded less than one minute later when Rod Pelley redirected a shot from the point by Jason DeSantis past Miami's Charlie Effinger at 1:24 for a 1-1 tie.
The RedHawks did not wait long before retaking the lead as senior Chris Michael (Glenview, Ill.) netted his fifth of the year at the 2:40 mark of the first. Senior Taylor Hustead (Scottsdale, Ariz.) won a battle for the puck along the left half boards and chipped the puck into the left-wing corner for junior Joe Cooper (Toronto, Ontario). Cooper slid the puck to Michael, who skated out from behind the net and buried a short-angle shot between Caruso and the near side post for a 2-1 Miami edge.
Just as a Miami penalty expired, Ohio State tied the game 2-2 at the 12:41 mark of the first. Effinger made the initial stop on a shot from the point by DeSantis, but Dan Knapp was waiting on the doorstep to hammer in the rebound for his third goal of the season.
Miami freshman Kevin Roeder (Glenview, Ill.) picked an ideal time to find the back of the net for the first time in his college career as he gave the Red and White a 3-2 lead just 1:13 into the second period. Nathan Davis picked up the puck behind the net and fed Roeder at the top of the right circle before he skated in on Caruso and beat him between the pads.
Sophomore Mitch Ganzak (Canton, Mich.) made it 5-2 for Miami as he potted his second goal of the year with the RedHawks on the power play when he swatted the rebound of a shot by senior Andy Greene (Trenton, Mich.) out of midair and behind Caruso.
Just 2:43 into the third period, Jones drove the nail into the coffin, making it 6-2 for the RedHawks with his second of the night, a power-play marker and his 15th goal of the season. Assists went to Nathan Davis and sophomore Nino Musitelli (Macomb, Mich.), who finished the game with a trio of assists.
With 3:08 remaining in the contest, Ohio State's Kenny Bernard registered a shorthanded goal that was not enough to silence 2,850 screaming fans at a sold out Goggin Ice Arena.
Effinger was sparkling in goal for Miami, making 30 saves and taking home the game's third star. His season record stands at 9-2-3. Caruso turned away 29 shots and dropped to 12-14-4.
Miami returns to action on Feb. 17-18 when it travels to Michigan State for a two-game series with the Spartans. The Feb. 17 game starts at 7:30 p.m. and is being broadcast live by FSN Detroit, while Saturday's game gets underway at 7:05 and is not televised.
NOTES: SO Nathan Davis' first period goal extended his point streak to a career-best seven games ... Davis has 15 points in his last seven games ... SO Ryan Jones extended his point streak to five games ... Miami has four regular season games remaining this season.