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#4 Miami University Defeats CCHA Foe Ferris State 5-3

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Fourth-ranked Miami University exerted their power over visiting Ferris State University 5-3. An announced attendance of 3,436 witnessed team captain Ryan Jones’ first collegiate career hat trick. With the win, the RedHawks improved to 9-2-0 in the brand-new, $34.8 million state-of-the-art, Steve Cady Arena.

With the score locked at three entering the final stanza, Jones appeared to will his team to victory, scoring two even-strength goals. After the game, RedHawks head coach Enrico Blasi said, “Jones sensed something needed to be done and stepped up.”

4:05 into the third, Jones tapped in the game winner in front of a crowded net. After a lengthy review, the goal was counted. When asked if he was nervous the goal was going to be overturned, Jones said, “I really didn’t see the puck. I kept poking at [the puck]. It was sitting on [O’Keefe’s] pad, hit one of their players, and went in. The [referee] was reviewing the play for a long time; you always worry.”

Leading by one 11:16 into the third, Jones gave the Red-and-White breathing room with a dazzling shot past goalie Mitch O’Keefe’s stick-side.

After surrendering a rare short-handed goal (Miami is ranked first nationally in penalty-killing efficiency), the RedHawks scored three unanswered goals to start the second period, taking a 3-1 lead. All three goals were products of the team’s power-play unit, which has been responsible for approximately half of Miami’s offense this season. Defenseman Matt Case scored on a 5-on-3 man advantage and Jones gave Miami the lead 32 seconds later. After assisting Case on a goal, defenseman Ray Eichenlaub scored on a man-advantage to give the RedHawks a two-goal lead.

Although Miami dominated most of the second period, Ferris State was not to be denied. Trailing by two with fewer than three minutes remaining in the second, FSU fought back with two goals. Senior defenseman Joe Van Culin netted an even-strength goal at 17:25, and less than two minutes later, left-winger Dan Riedel netted the game at three with a four-on-four goal.

Game notes:
• With the victory, Miami takes control of the Central Collegiate Association standings.

• Jones pushed his scoring streak to six consecutive games. During the stretch, Jones has six goals and three assists.

• While Jones extended his scoring streak, Davis, the nation’s CCHA’s points leader with 30 (13 goals, 17 assists), saw his streak end at five games. During Davis’ run, he had four goals and five assists. While Davis was not technically awarded a point on the night, Jones received Davis’ face-off winner on his way to his third goal.

• Senior Matt Christie became the 37th RedHawk to reach the 100-point plateau, assisting Jones in the second period.

• Junior defenseman Charlie Fetzer added three assists. When asked about Fetzer’s play, his teammate, Jones, had rave reviews. “He always makes the right play.” Blasi credited Fetzer’s recent play, especially during an injury-plagued time. “When you have injuries, you need guys stepping up, and that’s exactly what Charlie is doing right now.”

• Jeff Zatkoff manned the net for the sixth consecutive game, posting a 5-1 record over that span. Zatkoff stopped 23-of-26 shots on the night. Zatkoff had been platooning with junior Charlie Effinger (out with illness).

• Due to Effinger’s illness, he did not make last weekend’s road trip, but he was dressed for tonight’s action.

• After blanking the RedHawks in the first period, Bulldogs’ goalie Mitch O’Keefe extended his shutout streak to four periods. O’Keefe, under tremendous pressure during the second and third periods, stopped 30-0f-35 shots on the night.

• After the holiday weekend against non-conference foes, all 12 CCHL teams are paired up this weekend.

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