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POSTED ON Monday, 11.12.2012 / 11:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


NOTE: Blue Jackets television analyst Bill Davidge is one of the most plugged-in sources for college hockey information, and in his weekly blog, he updates us on all the action from Ohio's CCHA clubs.

Friday: Miami cruises to a 5-2 win over Northern Michigan

Three power play goals helped No. 5 Miami (Ohio) down No. 16 Northern Michigan, 5-2, Friday night at Steve Cady Arena at the Goggin Ice Center. Sophomore Austin Czarnik, along with freshmen Riley Barber and Matthew Caito, all had multi-point games for the RedHawks. Barber and Czarnik both had a goal and two assists to tie career highs with three points each while Caito had a score and a helper for his first multi-point effort. Miami sophomore forward Cody Murphy and senior forward Curtis McKenzie rounded out the host's scoring in the first game of two on the weekend.


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POSTED ON Monday, 11.12.2012 / 9:30 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

In the last 48 hours, the Springfield Falcons have won two hockey games and have not allowed a single goal in either of them.

They occupy top spot in the AHL's Eastern Conference by two points over the Syracuse Crunch, who have one less win and have allowed 15 more goals than the Falcons. While the Falcons are a blast to watch every night, it's even more fun to dig into the numbers and find out what's been going well.

I think back to a conversation I had with Falcons head coach Brad Larsen just before the regular season started. I asked him what he thought about his club "on paper" after getting 20-plus assignments from the Blue Jackets; he was excited to see how the players fit together but cautioned that "everyone has a good team in this league right now."

He was right, but as it stands today, his team is one of the best good teams in the AHL.

After some intense number-crunching, here are some interesting tidbits...


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POSTED ON Sunday, 11.11.2012 / 7:10 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Brad Larsen might want to get a patent for the magic he's working in Springfield.

Here are the staggering numbers to kick it off: the Falcons have outscored opponents by a 17-2 margin over their last three games, Curtis McElhinney's goals-against average is hovering around 1.44 (and is going to drop further after tonight's performance), and they have now scored the first goal in 10 consecutive contests.

Springfield recorded its second consecutive shutout this afternoon at MassMutual Center, defeating the Norfolk Admirals by a 5-0 final and solidifying its spot atop the American Hockey League's Eastern Conference.

Though we're only 11 games into the AHL regular season, it's hard not to get excited about the Falcons' hot start, and more than anything, they aren't just beating teams -- it's almost shocking when they allow a goal.

Prepare for another ridiculous statistic: the Falcons have given up just 17 goals in their first 11 games. "Stingy" just doesn't do them justice at this point.

Now that we've digested the numbers, how did this one play out?


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POSTED ON Saturday, 11.10.2012 / 10:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


ERIE, PA -- Otters head coach Robbie Ftorek probably said it best: "every puck looks like a basketball for this guy."

After a 49-save performance from his goaltender, Oscar Dansk, it's easy to see why. He was the story of the game, the No. 1 star, and the No. 1 reason why Erie outlasted a far better team tonight.

Two clubs headed in different directions clashed tonight at the Erie Insurance Arena, and ironically enough, they seemed to be going in different directions after the game, too. Oshawa started fast, tapered off in the middle and got discouraged down the stretch as the Otters scratched out a 6-1 win on home ice.

Despite the lopsided final score, it felt as if this tilt was in the balance all the way through.

Erie didn't look like a last-place club tonight, and conversely, the Generals were good at times but didn't play like the stalwarts they've been in the first 20 games of the OHL season.

Hockey can be funny like that sometimes.


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POSTED ON Saturday, 11.10.2012 / 6:36 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


ERIE, PA -- For the first time since they were selected by the Blue Jackets in the NHL Draft, Boone Jenner and Oscar Dansk will go head-to-head.

Tonight's game at the Erie Insurance Arena does not hold playoff implications nor will it determine the fate of either club for the duration of the season, but both guys will have a little extra adrenaline running as the game gets under way.

Jenner is coming off another stellar performance in the CHL Subway Super Series, where he served as captain for Team OHL on Thursday night in Guelph, Ont. After a pair of disappointing losses to the Russians to start the series, the OHL notched the first win for the Canadian side at Sleeman Centre.

Jenner was a key contributor at both ends of the rink for Team OHL, which continues the Super Series on Monday night in Sarnia.



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POSTED ON Thursday, 11.08.2012 / 4:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Any time the words "Team Canada" and "World Juniors" are in the mix, it's obviously an important period of time in junior hockey.

Such has been the case since Monday night, when the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Subway Super Series began at the Centre d'Excellence Sports Rousseau in Boisbriand, Quebec.

The Super Series is one of Hockey Canada's key evaluation periods for its national junior team selection, and the brass gets to see how its youngsters from three different leagues match up against those from Russia.

The series is comprised of six games in total, meaning each Canadian junior league's top players face the Russians twice. Teams represented by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Western Hockey League (WHL) get two chances to impress scouts in six locations across Canada.

And when the OHL gets its turn on center stage tonight, Boone Jenner will serve as captain for his side in Guelph, Ont. at the Sleeman Centre. He's had a terrific start to his season with the Oshawa Generals (where he also serves as club captain), tallying 15 goals and 15 assists in 19 games for the Generals -- which currently slots him as the OHL's second-leading scorer.


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POSTED ON Monday, 11.05.2012 / 2:00 PM
By Bill Davidge - Television Color Analyst / CBJ Today


NOTE: Blue Jackets television analyst Bill Davidge has spent over four decades playing, coaching, scouting and analyzing the game of hockey. He's one of the most plugged-in sources for news on Ohio's college hockey teams, and checks in here with an update on last weekend's CCHA action.

Photo credit: Miami (Ohio) athletics

Friday Night: Miami at Ferris State
Bulldogs skate away with 3-0 shutout of the RedHawks

There are some great story lines for the fans of college hockey, especially if you are from the Columbus area. During the last NHL lockout in 2004-05, I had the distinct pleasure to assist in coaching the Quebec Peewee representatives from Ohio. Two young men on that team were Sean Kuraly (the son of my former player/record holder at Miami (Ohio) University) and Jason Binkley, a talented young sophomore. Kuraly wears No. 9 for the RedHawks from Miami and Binkley sports his school colors and No. 7 for Ferris State. He is coached by a triumvirate of coaches that obtained their Masters degree and coaching residence from Miami during my tenure…head coach Bob Daniels, Assistants Drew Famulak and Mark Kaufman.

The two youngsters went head-to-head and both were able to contribute to their respective teams. Kuraly scored his first collegiate goal, and Binkley added two assists in the Saturday night contest.


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POSTED ON Sunday, 11.04.2012 / 4:30 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


4:45 P.M. -- A very happy Sunday afternoon to everyone! Welcome back to our BlueJackets.com game day blog, bringing you everything you need to know about the Springfield Falcons before, during, and after the game. Tonight's game is the first of 12 against the rival Connecticut Whale, so this figures to be an engaging affair once the puck drops at the XL Center in Hartford.

As if being separated by a few miles on Interstate 91 wasn't enough to fuel a spirited rivalry, two of the Whale's top players a year ago have joined the ranks in Springfield. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, who picked up 64 points last season for Connecticut, signed an entry-level deal with the Blue Jackets over the summer and has solidifed himself as one of the Falcons' top offensive weapons.


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POSTED ON Friday, 11.02.2012 / 4:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

The calendar has turned to November, and with that, comes a bit of reflection.

Springfield Falcons head coach Brad Larsen knew the month of October would be important for his hockey club. They had a solid training camp and got many things accomplished, but starting the year on the right note was huge for his team.

I think we can safely say the Falcons took care of business and took advantage of a home-heavy October, going 5-1-1 in the season's first month and taking hold of first place in the American Hockey League's Eastern Conference.

Their next big task is to capitalize on October's momentum and keep it going with a difficult schedule in November. After playing all but one of their games inside the MassMutual Center last month, the Falcons play five home games and six road games this month.


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POSTED ON Thursday, 11.01.2012 / 3:30 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Curtis McElhinney is making an early case for comeback player of the year in the American Hockey League, mere months after the word "retirement" crept into his mind.

The veteran netminder has been one of the many bright spots for the first-place Springfield Falcons, who lead the Northeast Division as well as the AHL's Eastern Conference through seven games. He was named the league's Goaltender of the Month for October in a release issued by the AHL this afternoon.

Such recognition for McElhinney comes less than a year after major abdominal surgery that caused him to miss most of the 2011-12 season, and forced him to legitimately ponder life after hockey.


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