Prior to Michigan’s showdown with then-first place Miami
at Yost Ice Arena on Friday night, forward David Moss received some
big news from the coaching staff. His line — Moss alongside
forwards Andrew Ebbett and Jason Ryznar — would be matched up
with Miami’s top-scoring line.

The RedHawks’ trio of Marty Guerin, Matt Christie and
Derek Edwardson — the CCHA’s leading scorer — had
combined for 39 goals this season prior to the series, half of
Miami’s total offensive output. It was up to Moss and his
linemates to shut down possibly the top line in the league.

“We had no idea we’d be matched up with them,”
Moss said. “They surprised us. Just before the game, they
told us, ‘You’re starting.’ We all looked at each
other with smiles on our faces.”

The tall task was an important part of winning the series. Miami
entered the weekend atop the league standings, and a Michigan sweep
would land the Wolverines in first place by one point.

When the two teams met in Oxford, Miami’s top line torched
the Wolverines for five goals over the two-game series.

“We knew in the back of our heads that if we shut down
that line and we shut down their top players, we have a better
chance of winning,” Moss said. “That was a skilled
line.”

Michigan coach Red Berenson felt that the combination of Ebbett
at center and the so-called “twin towers” of Moss and
Ryznar — both are taller than 6-foot-3 — would be
physical enough to slow down Miami’s powerful offensive
punch. Guerin — the son of Dallas Stars winger Bill Guerin
— is Miami’s biggest player on the top line, and at
6-foot, couldn’t match up well with either winger.

One of the team’s best finesse players combining with two
physical players on his wing has won the favor of the coaching
staff.

“Ebbett is a smart player and he’ll make good
decisions on the ice,” Berenson said. “I like the size
of Ryznar. He gives you a physical presence. And Moss has been
playing the best hockey this season. That line has a lot of
confidence now, and they know they’re an important line to
our team.”

All three players did their respective jobs to keep
Miami’s top line from dominating the series. Michigan’s
sweep can be credited in part to the Ryznar-Ebbett-Moss line, which
was able to hold Miami’s top line to just two goals on the
weekend — both coming on Saturday.

With Michigan scoring eight goals on Saturday, allowing the
RedHawks top line to score was not such a big deal.

But the line didn’t just shut down Edwardson and company.
They were also able to score three goals themselves this weekend
— Moss with two and Ryznar with one.

“We were happy to shut them down and to get the goal, but
we just wanted to go out there and play our game,” Ebbett
said. “We wanted to make sure they didn’t get any
opportunities.”

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