Miami locked up the CCHA regular season title on Friday evening with a win over Bowling Green, but the real fireworks didn't come until Saturday evening.
It's been an emotional couple of weeks for the Miami hockey team since the tragic loss of former team manager Brendan Burke. Earlier last week, the whole team traveled to Boston for Burke's funeral. Miami has won all four games since losing Burke, but tempers have also been a bit short. The Redhawks racked up 50 penalty minutes in last Saturday's 10-4 win over Lake Superior, and then this Saturday, in the middle of a 10-2 win over Bowling Green, this happened:
The play starts when Bowling Green's Max Grover crashes into Miami goalie Connor Knapp. I don't have a big problem with that play. Grover is going hard after the puck and tries to hold up once the goalie covers it, but can't and falls into him. You could say he shouldn't be making such a reckless play with his team down 6-1 late in the second period, but I see no crime in giving 100% effort. I also have no problem with the Miami guys trying to protect their goalie. Regardless of intent, if you hit a goalie like Grover did, you've got to pay a price.
The only real problem I have with the whole thing is the terrible cheapshot Alden Hirschfeld takes at Grover while the linesman is holding him. The scrap is over, the guy is in a vulnerable position, and Hirschfeld took a shot at him. I could see that earning a couple games of suspension.
Also, props to Tony Molina for being able to hold Grover back and keeping the whole thing from escalating into something really bad. Even without the Porno 'Stache, he's one of the best in the business.
FInally, the end of the video doesn't catch the whole thing, but Miami coach Rico Blasi was ejected from the game about midway through the third period. On his way out the door, he gave a round of applause to the officiating crew and also took a bow. He did learn under The Master of graceful exits.(That Gwoz video is maybe one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time.)
I doubt the CCHA sees the humor in Blasi's walk-off though, so he'll probably get some sort of slap on the wrist. Miami's Hirschfeld and Bowling Green's Grover and James Perkin will all miss their next game due to game disqualifications, because apparently that's what happens in other leagues when you take your gloves off and try to fight. I could see Hirschfeld's lengthened by at least a game, possible more considering the stunt he pulled.