Monthly Archives: January 2012
Well, it’s finally official!
Today, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference announced its first television deal with CBS who has been providing tremendous coverage of college hockey over the past several years. The deal calls for a minimum of 18 conference games as well as the league’s semifinal and championship tournament contests — wherever they may be held.
This is terrific news for Miami fans as regular season away series become much more difficult as road trips to Bowling Green, Ann Arbor and Columbus are replaced with flights to Colorado Springs, Denver and Grand Forks.
Here is an excerpt from the release over at DenverPioneers.com
CBS Sports Network has agreed to a multi-year agreement with the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference, beginning in the 2013-14 season. CBS Sports Network will be the exclusive national television partner for the conference, which will feature eight of the nation’s top college hockey programs. The announcement was made today by Dan Weinberg, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports Network, and Jim Scherr, Commissioner of the National.
The agreement calls for a minimum of 18 conference games, including the National’s semifinal and championship contests. Currently six teams that will be in the new conference are ranked in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll.
“With top teams and passionate fan bases, the National is poised to be an elite college hockey conference, and we’re thrilled to be the national television partner,” said Weinberg. ”College hockey has been a staple of our programming and we’re pleased to expand our coverage and further serve fans with compelling and competitive conference action.”
“We are delighted to be associated with the preeminent national broadcaster of college hockey,” said Scherr. “It is our goal to be the premier single-sport conference in intercollegiate athletics and the unmatched exposure and production quality that will be provided by CBS Sports Network will contribute significantly to realizing that vision.”
On Monday, Miami’s Blake Coleman was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week for his efforts in Miami’s home series split with Northern Michigan.
For the weekend, Coleman was 1-2-3 with a blocked shot earning the first weekly award of his career.
Miami freshman have now claimed 1/3 of the league’s rookie awards with Austin Czarnik having earned three and Coleman and Tyler Biggs with one apiece.
Coming off a weekend that saw the RedHawks play and deserve better than a series split against Northern Michigan, here’s a quick look at where Miami checks in the national polls. This week, the RedHawks are #16 (Inside College Hockey), #18 (USCHO), and effectively, #17 (USA TODAY) in all three major polls. They can’t seem to crack the top 15 of the USA TODAY poll which only ranks fifteen teams unlike the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings and the USCHO poll which rank the top twenty.
And, after a weekend shakeout of the PairWise, Miami checks in tied for 10th in the all-important rankings that largely determine the field for the NCAA tournament. The PairWise rankings also tell us that Miami has the most wins in the country against Teams Under Consideration (TUCs) with 14. Alaska’s win over Notre Dame on Friday night enabled the Nanooks to reenter the rankings as a TUC, and on the strength of Miami’s two wins earlier in Fairbanks, the RedHawks have a nice exclamation point to add to their NCAA tournament resume. That said, it will certainly help Miami if Alaska can continue to play well and win a few more games down the stretch.
As for Miami, they’ll have a chance to improve upon that win mark as six of their remaining eight games are against TUCs (Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State). The only exception is the home series with Alabama-Huntsville in Oxford later this month.
Lastly, Miami is holding down the 11th position in the KRACH rankings that, by many prognosticators estimates, are a truer way to rank teams than is the PairWise. The KRACH tells us that Miami has played the fourth most difficult schedule to date which makes Miami’s 15-11-2 record that much more impressive when you consider the level of competition the RedHawks have faced this season.
If the RedHawks can win five of their final eight regular season games, they’ll finish with 20 victories for the seventh consecutive year and the ninth time in ten seasons. The last time Miami finished with fewer than 20 victories was the 2004-05 season when they finished 15-18-5.
This weekend, Miami travels to Ann Arbor for the final road series of the regular season (that’s hard to believe, but it’s true) to take on 7th ranked Michigan. The teams met in Oxford back on November 11 and 12 as the RedHawks gutted out a 2-1 victory on Friday and had to settle for a 3-3 tie and shootout win after they surrendered the tying goal late in the third period. We’ll have a full preview up later in the week.
In case you’ve forgotten, here’s Bryon Paulazzo’s sick shootout winner as he does the spin-o-rama and roofs the backhand over Shawn Hunwick.
For those of you who don’t follow us on Twitter (GASP!!!), here are your Saturday and Sunday #SixPacks from @redskinwarriors. No, they aren’t this kind of #SixPacks, or even this kind. But check out our twitter feed for some highlights and low lights from the night’s games across college hockey.
- Shots on the night were 41-13 #miamiu. NMU had 2 goals on 4 shots in the 1st period and only 8 shots in the first 2 periods. #
- The Connor Knapp “riddle” was solved last night in the 1st period. 2 goals on 13 shots. 1st game in 6 Knapp allowed > 1 goal. 1st loss since 12/2/11 vs NMU.
- The #RedHawks only have 3 goals in 3 games vs NMU. Miami has outshot NMU in all three L’s this year. Least shots allowed by #MiamiU since 12/30/10 (11 vs SCSU)
- After losing the weekend openers this year, Miami is 0-3 in game 2 vs. the same team (Ferris, Lake St, NMU). #digdeep #youcandoit
- Even with the loss, Miami sits tied for 4th in the #CCHA and with wins tonight, LSSU and Miami could jump to t-1 if WMU/OSU both lose. 6 teams w/in 4 points of #1 #crazyconference
- Ohio State STILL hasn’t won in 2012, and with WMich’s 4-1 win @ BGSU, WMU is now #1 in the #CCHA WMU 36, OSU 35, FSU 34, MU/LSSU 33, Mich 32
Here are your highlights from Friday night as well:
- Miami outshot NMU 81-29 on the weekend. Reilly Smith scored his 100th point. A Wideman scored for first time since 10/7/11. #insidetheboxscore
- Cody Reichard ties David Burleigh for career shutouts at #MiamiU. Burleigh played 134 games. Reichard has only played in 88. #brickwall
- Lake Superior State has won all 4 shootouts they have been in. Kevin Kapalka has been in net for all 4. LSSU just 2 points out of first. #CCHA
- Notre Dame and Alaska split their series. At puck drop on Saturday night, it was a balmy -44 degrees in Fairbanks. -52 after the game. #brrr #ohioweatherisntthatbad
- Ohio State 0-4-4 in 2012. Couldn’t hold 2-1 or 4-3 leads. Ferris sweeps Mich St, 6-0-2 in 2012. Standings: Ferris 37, MIA/WMU/OSU 36, LSt 35, ND 33, Mich 32
- Pairwise update: Miami sits tied for 8th after the weekend. #MiamiU has the most wins (14) vs Teams Under Consideration. http://www.uscho.com/rankings/pairwise-rankings/d-i-men/ #NCAAHockey
(The above in reference to the 10-minute delay due to a lighting malfunction in the Arena. We send out a special thanks to Miami’s Director of Hockey Operations Josh Fenton and the Goggin Ice Arena Staff for their hard work!)
The young men on the Miami RedHawks squad know when to flex their muscle. Despite playing their hearts out on Friday night, the Hawks couldn’t recover from 2 early Northern Michigan goals. Tonight was a different story, however, as Miami showed the Wildcats why they are one point out of first place in the CCHA and why the Wildcats still find themselves in ninth place. Miami showed its size, speed, agressiveness, and all-around skill to put 6 goals past Northern Michigan goaltenders when they had only scored 3 goals in 3 previous meetings this season.
On the offensive side of the ice, Miami was doing their best to get to the 41 shot total they had last night. They came awfully close, hitting the 40 mark, which made a total of 81 shots in the 2 game series. Pretty impressive, and truly off the charts when you consider on the other end of the ice, Miami allowed 7, 7 and 2 shots in the three periods tonight. That’s 16 on the night and only 29 on the weekend.
While the offense was doing its thing all over the ice, the defense did all it could to stop everything coming across the Miami blue line. There was rarely a shot that wasn’t contested, and many rushes were stopped before they could even get started. What did sneak through the staunch defense was easily put aside by Cody Reichard.
Reichard started the evening not having won a game since November 26th against Denver, and only playing a handful of times since then. His confidence may have hit an all time low with his recent results. He had been 0-3-0 in his last 3 games, had allowed 12 goals and was pulled after allowing a goal in the first 9:39 of the first period in the Friday matchup in Marquette against these same Wildcats.
Tonight was the Cody Reichard we have grown accustomed to, as he pushed everything sent his way to the corners, and swallowed the rest. While there weren’t many big scoring chances on the night, Cody comes out of the evening without a puck hitting twine, earning his 2nd shutout of the season, and 12th of his career. This 12th shutout ties him on the all-time career shutout list at Miami. David Burleigh previously set the mark with his 12 shutouts in 134 games. As we all know, Reichard has spent his 4 years at Miami splitting time with Connor Knapp, another phenomenal goaltender, and has equaled Burleigh in just 88 games. (Knapp has 10 shutouts in 73 games between the pipes as well.)
Reilly Smith didn’t want his teammate to get away with the only spotlight on the night, however. As if we didn’t know this before, Reilly Smith is good at hockey. The newly named co-captain leads the team in goals and points, has 7 game-winners, plays on the power play, the penalty kill, and does just about everything on the ice you could ask from your co-captain. A night after seeing his 5 game point streak come to an end, Smith’s assist on Alex Wideman’s first goal was the 100th point of his Miami career, becoming the 47th RedHawk to reach the century mark. Smith later would add to his CCHA leading goals total, scoring his 19th of the season.
After a night where the ‘Hawks seemed to do everything right, but couldn’t get a puck past Jared Coreau, tonight was the complete opposite. As a fair assessment, all 6 goals were of the “dirty” variety, and Coreau was pulled after allowing 4 goals. He lasted 43:43 of game time, and was pulled in favor of Reid Ellingson. On a night where Miami was clicking on all cylinders, I can’t say I blame Northern Michigan head coach Walt Kyle. Coreau was not the same as what the ‘Hawks saw on Friday night or in previous meetings between the two teams.
As the dust settled on the evening, Miami had another 3 points in hand in the CCHA standings. Taking a look at those standings might make you shake your head a couple times.
- Not to be out done by Reichard and Smith, Alex Wideman was the Perani Cup #1 star of the game on the strength of his 2 goals, the first of which was tonight’s game winner. The goals were his first since the season opener vs. Bemidji State. Alex also led the team with 7 total shots on the night, including 4 shots in first.
- On the night, both Widemans (Alex 2G, Chris 2A), Blake Coleman (2A), Matt Tomassoni (2A), Bryon Paulazzo (1G, 1A) and Reilly Smith (1G, 1A) all had 2 points and 12 RedHawks had at least a point.
- With tonight being parents night, almost all of the players’ parents were in attendance for the pregame festivities. In addition, tonight was Mr. Wideman’s birthday. The proud father will certainly appreciate 4 points from his 2 sons on the evening (sure makes for a better present than a new tie or tube socks).
- The Hawks were 5-5 on the penalty kill and 2-4 on the power play tonight. The power play has been ranked in the bottom 15 of the country for much of the season, and seems to be coming around at the right time.
Miami heads to Ann Arbor to play the Michigan Wolverines (off this week). Friday night’s game will be on Fox Sports Detroit and Saturday will be in HD on CBS Sports Network. The puck drops for each game at 7:35pm. As always, the Redskin Warriors will have coverage next week!
Don’t miss out on the Sunday #SixPack. Follow our twitter feed: @redskinwarriors for some bone chilling stats from Saturday night!!
Sometimes there’s a team that simply has your number. Northern Michigan seems to be it for the Miami RedHawks.
The Wildcats received first period goals from Justin Florek and Tyler Gron and that was all sophomore goaltender Jared Coreau would need as he made 40 saves and Northern Michigan defeated Miami for the third time this season in as many tries 2-1.
The RedHawks (14-11-2, 10-9-2-1 CCHA) dominated this game in every facet with the exception of the scoreboard outshooting NMU (12-8-5, 7-7-5-2 CCHA) by an incredible 41-13 margin. Including the December 2 game at Marquette, Mich., Coreau has a 2-0 record, 1.00 goals against average and an unbelievable .970 save percentage this season against Miami.
After falling behind as a result of two defensive mistakes that led to offensive zone rushes, and goals, for the Wildcats, Miami settled down and dominated play outshooting NMU 30-9 over the game’s final two periods.
Freshman Blake Coleman pulled Miami to within one with an early third period goal, but despite having a late powerplay opportunity, then an extra skater on for the game’s final 1:18, the RedHawks were simply unable to find the equalizer.
Miami head coach Enrico Blasi felt his team lost a bit of its composure and became frustrated by the Wildcats’ netminder.
“When you get down to this time of year, one thing you can’t get is frustrated. You have to play with composure and discipline. You have to make plays under duress. Hopefully one thing we learned from tonight was exactly that, you have to keep playing no matter what.”
Frankly, it’s hard to blame the RedHawks for feeling the pressure as they battle to remain in the top 5 of the CCHA regular season standings and the top 16 in the Pairwise. And, with the tilted play in two of the three games against the Wildcats this season, it seems understandable that frustration could be mounting.
Senior tri-captain Alden Hirschfeld had this to say about the effort.
“It was a tough game, a tough one to lose. I thought we had a lot of chances out there. Their goalie made some good saves. We had a couple of turnovers that cost us. I thought we fought back really hard and we just have to let this one go and get ready for tomorrow.”
With last night’s loss, this much is clear.
Miami must find a way to win Saturday night because things do not get easier with next weekend’s series at Michigan, a home series against Notre Dame and the regular season finale, a home and home with Ohio State all still to come. Clearly there is still time for Miami to solidify their standing in the Pairwise and the league, but they will have to do so against the conference’s elite teams. So, it’s imperative they get started tonight, against a Northern Michigan team that Miami is clearly much more talented than.
Amazingly, Miami did not commit a single penalty all night after committing 14 in the previous matchup with the Wildcats.
- Miami is just 1-6 against the Upper Peninsula teams this year (1-3 vs. Lake Superior; 0-3 vs. NMU)
- Miami is an unimpressive 19-34-3 all-time against NMU
- Head coach Enrico Blasi is just 16-19-1 behind Miami’s bench against the Wildcats. NMU is one of the few CCHA teams that he does not have a winning record against.
- Miami is now tied for 10th in the Pairwise. With several games going the RedHawks way, they actually gained ground despite the loss. But, they are in a precarious league position having played two more league games than several contenders who are chasing Miami. They are essentially as close to first as they are to ninth.
- MURedHawks.com reports that senior goaltender Connor Knapp had his six-game winning streak snapped as he allowed more than one goal for the first time since a 5-3 win on December 9 at Ohio State. His last loss was December 2 at NMU. And, Miami had no penalties in last night’s loss for the first time since the 1996-97 season when they did it twice (vs. Michigan State and Cornell) in the same year.
- Check out the CCHA Now featuring Ben Holden. Rico’s RedHawks are featured several times. Be sure to check out the #1 play of the week from Scott Jean of Lake State at the 9 minute mark. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
- Miami Head Coach Rico Blasi comes into the weekend with 198 career wins in CCHA action. He’s 4th on the Active CCHA coaches list, and 9th all time. Here’s the top 10 (* = active)
- Red Berenson* (Michigan), 506
- Ron Mason (MSU, BG, LSSU), 494
- Rick Comley (MSU, NMU, LSSU), 315
- Jerry York (BG), 250
- Bill Wilkinson (WMU), 234
- Jeff Jackson* (ND, LSSU), 224
- Bob Daniels* (FSU), 224
- Jerry Welsh (OSU), 210
- Enrico Blasi* (Miami), 198
- John Markell (OSU), 194
- Connor Knapp continues to impress. I can’t say I’d be surprised if we see a split this weekend in net, but Knapp has truly been extraordinary with stats like these:
12 Games played, 8-4-0 record (6-3-0 CCHA) with 2 shutouts.
GAA: 1.77 – good for 2nd nationally, .13 behind #1.
Save %: .932 – 6th nationally, .005 behind #1.
- Reilly’s Roll continues. These stats are equally impressive:
4 Game winning goals in a row and 7 total – best in the country
Points in 5 straight games
CCHA Player of the week for the 3rd time
INCH National Player of the week
4th in the CCHA in overall scoring and 6th in Conference-only scoring
- This team is starting to make a run, just when we thought the usual “Rico Swoon” would begin. This can only mean good things for the team that was ranked at #2 by the coaches and USCHO, and #1 by USA Hockey and USA Today.
- Just when you thought the polls couldn’t get any wackier, USA Hockey Mag and USA Today ranks WMU 14th and Miami “receiving votes” at 16th after Miami put on a dominating display and beat the Broncos 3-1 and 4-0 last weekend. The next point should make you feel better, though. In addition to the wackiness of the order, there are currently 8 CCHA teams in the USCHO top 20, with Lake State in the “others receiving votes” category at #21.
- The current PairWise Rankings show a different story, with Miami in a tie for 14th, and Western Michigan at #17. If the season ended today, this would put Miami in the NCAA tournament as an at-large team, and WMU would be out. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. There’s a lot of hockey left. For what it’s worth, Northern Michigan stands in a tie for 6th in the PairWise, largely based on their 7th best RPI ranking. For a quick “primer” on the PairWise in easy to understand terms, check out a great friend of Miami Hockey Julie Robenhymer’s Bracketology over at Hockey Buzz.
- Both games will be on the TeeVee on ONN, but there will be no radio for the games this weekend. As always, the Miami All-Access
failpass has streaming video on http://www.muredhawks.com
- Is it too early to start talking about magic numbers? Okay fine. We’ll wait till next week. Promise. But to win the CCHA it’s near… okay. I’ll wait.
- In other CCHA action this week, there isn’t really a marquee matchup other than the Miami/NMU series. Michigan is off this weekend. In the only other matchup of ranked teams, #16 Michigan State visits #10 Ferris State.
Across the country, however, be sure to catch some fantastic action on the national broadcasts (eastern times shown):
- Colgate vs #9 Cornell on CBS Sports at 7pm
- St. Cloud vs #3 Minnesota on Big Ten at 7
- Wisconsin at #18 North Dakota on Fox College Sports Atlantic (FCSA) at 8:30
- Yale vs Harvard on NBC Sports at 7:30
**don’t forget to catch former Voice of the ‘Hawks John Walton as he calls Yale/Harvard
- #20 Maine vs #2 Boston U. on CBS Sports at 7
- Providence at #5 Merrimack on FCSA at 4
- Wisconsin at #18 North Dakota on FCSA at 8:30
- #3 Minnesota vs St Cloud on Fox Sports North at 8
In additon, The NHL Skills Competition is Saturday at 7 and the All-Star Game is Sunday at 4, both of which will be televised on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus).
Have a great weekend, RedHawks fans!
nice HUGE weekend sweep of Western Michigan, where 3 RedHawks made the CCHA Player of the Week roll, Miami welcomes the Northern Michigan Wildcats to Oxford. The ‘Cats swept Miami on December 2-3, 2011 with a 2-1 victory on Friday night and a dominating 5-1 victory the following night.
The standings look a little different for this week’s matchup than they did just 1 week ago, but let’s take a look back where things stood on December 2. On that date, Northern Michigan stood 2-5-1 plus an additional 2 shootout wins. NMU was reeling, having come off of a pair of 4-1 losses at Ohio State, as well as a split at home against Michigan State. The Wildcats were getting pushed around, and Walt Kyle’s team was heading towards the bottom of the league.
Rico Blasi’s squad was also having an interesting go of it. After the 2-6 start of the season, Miami had turned things around, having won 2 games with a score of 2-1 in Alaska, then took 5 of 6 possible points against #4 Michigan, 4 of 6 against BGSU (both in Oxford), and then went to Denver to win the Denver Cup over Providence (6-2) and #9 Denver (4-2). The ‘Hawks had just finished November 6-0-2 and had swept the CCHA Monthly Awards for November. The first weekend in December was certainly one to forget for the Miami faithful, and after the holiday break, Miami sat in NMU’s position – 9th in the CCHA.
Flash forward almost 2 months, and you have the #17 ranked RedHawks on a tear. Miami comes off of a sweep of then #8 Western Michigan, a team previously on fire, and is 5-1 in 2012. Miami sits in a tie for 2nd, just 2 points behind Ohio State in the ever-crowded CCHA standings. #19 ranked Northern Michigan comes to Oxford stuttering, having gone 2-1-2-0 in the new year, with both ties being shootout losses. Having won last weekend at Michigan Tech in a non-conference matchup, the Wildcats have some catching up to do in the conference standings. Currently 9th, the Cats are sitting with 25 CCHA points, putting them just 6 points out of a tie for 5th and a first-round CCHA Playoff bye. Having played 2 less games than many of the top teams will help the Cats gain ground, but they will be need to be willing to throw all 9 lives out on the ice this weekend to gain those precious CCHA points.
With 16 underclassmen on the roster, NMU’s season has been successful thus far. Senior Captain Tyler Gron leads the way as expected with 11 goals and 16 assists on the year. He is the reigning RBC Player of the Month for the CCHA. The ‘Cats only current draft pick is Senior Justin Florek (Boston). He leads the team with 13 goals on the season and 21 points overall, and also has 8 career points in 11 games against Miami. Stopping this duo will certainly be a focus point for Rico’s boys this week in practice.
NMU Head Coach Walt Kyle is is 187-161-43 all time in his current post. Kyle has been doing his best Rico Blasi impersonation this season, rotating games between Senior Reid Ellingson and Sophomore Jared Coreau in between the pipes. Both have played 14 games, with Ellingson going 4-5-3 and Coreau sporting a 7-3-2 record. If ever there was a goaltending conundrum, this would be the game.
You’ve seen our take on the Miami goaltending situation, and Walt Kyle has a similar difficult choice ahead of him this weekend. Ellingson has started most Friday nights for Kyle, and Coreau most Saturday nights including last Saturday’s 5-2 non-conference victory at Michigan Tech. Ellingson last played on January 13th against Michigan State, where he allowed 4 goals before being pulled in favor of Coreau under 8 minutes into the second period. Don’t be surprised if Kyle goes with a hot hand in Jared Coreau, December’s Gongshow CCHA Goaltender of the Month, to try and take a few points out of Oxford.
Will Miami come off of the WMU weekend and slip up and lose focus with another big weekend ahead? Will Northern Michigan be able to show they belong in the CCHA playoffs discussion?
I don’t think so. I look for Connor Knapp to start both games again, and Miami has a weekend similar to the last time the Cats came to Oxford. Last year, Miami swept NMU back to Marquette by a combined 13-1 score.
Miami 4-1 and 5-1 and pulls to an even 12-12-2 against NMU all-time in Oxford.
- Here is Pete Conrad’s take on the weekend’s series at the Dayton Daily News
Former Miami University and current Washington Capitals radio voice John Walton will take his talents and ship up to Boston this Friday night as he and former NHL player and GM Mike Milbury will call the Yale-Harvard game from the Bright Hockey Center on Harvard’s venerable campus. The game will be broadcast nationally on the new NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) at 7:30pm EST.
This is Walton’s first season with the Capitals after spending the past dozen or so in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears and the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. In the A, John called over 1,000 AHL games and was the recipient of the 2004 James H. Ellery Award for his outstanding radio coverage of the league. Other Ellery Award winners include Miami’s current radio voice Greg Waddell, WLW’s Lance McAllister and the CBJ’s Jeff Rimer.