A thunderous thump echoed around Miami University’s Goggin Ice Center Saturday as a puck pelted the padding of goalkeeper Cody Reichard.
Reichard earned his second straight start in what is usually a goalkeeping timeshare with Connor Knapp in a weekend sweep over the Bowling Green State University Falcons concluding with a 3-1 win Saturday. In the victory Reichard had a team season-high 30 saves.
“He was great,” Miami Head Coach Enrico Blasi said. “He knew and we knew they were going to come out hard, that they might throw everything at the net and they did. He had some big saves and he’s part of the team. We need that.”
Known for keeping the goalkeeping timeshare in rotation, Blasi hinted Reichard’s starting nod Saturday could mean more time between the pipes.
“We didn’t split them this weekend, so that might answer the question,” Blasi said.
The ‘Hawks (13-8-3, 10-6-2-1 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA)) entered the weekend on a three-game sour skid and hope that the broom sweeping can turn things around.
“We definitely needed it,” sophomore Reilly Smith said. “We came out and let up a goal and we weren’t organized. We came back with urgency, and it’s definitely done a lot for our confidence as a team. A lot of guys were down just because things weren’t going the way they wanted them to. Hopefully this starts something.”
It was the Falcons (7-17-2, 2-14-2-0 CCHA) who started the scoring Saturday. At 5:27 in the opening period, Brett Mohler drilled a one timer off of a Falcon faceoff by Reichard to make it 1-0. The RedHawks roared back as senior Andy Miele pulled the defense and the Falcon net minder to the left before finding Smith on the right side. Smith sent it scorching by the unbalanced keeper with an absolute sizzler. The one timer made it 1-1 at the 6:29 mark.
At 7:57, junior Trent Vogelhuber wanted in on the action. Smith spotted skates slipping by the blue line and found the jersey with the long name.
Vogelhuber touched the feed out of the reach of the defender and squirted around the left side. Just as the Falcon goalkeeper made his move, Vogelhuber lifted the puck and backhanded it into the net for what would be the decisive score.
“The guys played really good in front of me,” Reichard said. “We bounced back, and that was a big step for us. They are a well-coached team, so we knew they were going to come hard tonight. They definitely wanted to get one for Berg (Head Coach Chris Bergeron). No doubt about that. They are going to get better.”
Miele found Smith again with a beautiful cross-ice pass that Smith hit from the center and into the net for the 3-1 RedHawk lead. Neither team scored in the second and third periods, and the Red and White throttled the Falcons defensively to seal the home sweep.
Senior Carter Camper had one assist on the night, but because of Miele’s two helpers the teammates are now tied atop the nation in points.
“Hopefully that’s what we needed to jumpstart our energy and execution,” Blasi said. “I thought we got better as the game went along on the little things as a team — gaining zones, moving the puck, supporting each other, making team-like decisions — I saw a lot of good things tonight.”