Five members of the 2012-13 Miami RedHawks were honored this week with CCHA recognition of their efforts on and off the ice.
Freshman Riley Barber was named first-team All-Conference and was also named to the All-Rookie team on the strength of his 15-21-36 line and +13 rating. Barber led the RedHawks in goals, the CCHA in scoring, collected a gold medal with Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championship and has a earned a regular season title with Miami. So far, so good for the native of Livonia, Mich. In addition, Barber was the only unanimous selection to the All-Rookie team, was a four-time CCHA Rookie of the Week recipient including Rookie of the Month for the months of October and November and led the nation in assists and points among all freshman. It is certainly reasonable to believe that Barber will be a finalist for CCHA Player of the Year which will be awarded next week in Detroit.
Freshman Matthew Caito was also named to the CCHA All-Rookie team finishing with five goals and 16 points, leading Miami defensemen in all three scoring categories. Playing in one of Miami’s top defensive pairs, Caito finished with a +9 rating and was named the CCHA Defenseman of the Week twice.
Freshman Ryan McKay was named the CCHA All-Rookie team’s goaltender by posting a league best 1.32 goals-against average and .951 save percentage, while earning an 8-3-1 record with two shutouts. In overall play, McKay’s 1.17 goals-against average and .957 save percentage were the best in the country among all goaltenders. He was recently named the CCHA Goaltender of the Month for February as he recorded a 4-1-0 record with one shutout, helping the RedHawks to a 6-2-0 record on the month. His 1.20 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage led all goaltenders in the nation for February, as he allowed just six goals and made 148 saves.
Joining Barber on the CCHA All-Conference first team, was his sophomore linemate, Austin Czarnik who notched an 11-22-33 season’s line and +18 rating. Czarnik, who tied for the most first-place votes with eight and earned the most total vote points (46), finished the season in fourth place in both conference scoring (8-18-26) and overall scoring.
Lastly, Miami senior captain Steven Spinell was nominated as the team’s designee to become the 2012-13 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be chosen from the group of nominees with the winner announced at the 2013 CCHA Awards on Friday, March 22.
Congratulations to all five student-athletes and best of luck in the playoffs!
Light the Lantern! Miami sweeps Lake State
On the strength of 44 saves from freshman phenom Ryan McKay and goals from classmates Riley Barber and Matthew Caito, the #3 Miami RedHawks defeated Lake Superior State 2-1 Saturday night in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
In doing so, the RedHawks are now just one point away from clinching a share of the final CCHA regular season title and two points from an outright championship to close the league. Frankly, going into this season with so many new faces and young players, I would not have predicted a regular season title. But this team, coached so well by head man Enrico Blasi and his associates Brent Brekke and Nick Petraglia have molded the 2012-13 RedHawks (21-8-5, 16-6-4-4 1st CCHA) into an intense, system-based and fast squad that is a nightmare to play against. The RedHawks lead the nation in team defense and are sixth in penalty killing despite an offense that has just one point-per-game player (Barber) and no skaters ranked higher than 14th (Barber) in the national scoring race.
Last night, the ‘Hawks were carried by their talented freshmen as they served up a hard-fought victory. Though frankly, you never really felt as if Lake would be able to get past the one-goal barrier with McKay back between the pipes and the Miami defense stinging a bit after allowing four Laker goals the night before. Read the rest of this entry
Before we recap the week, we remember Brendan Burke. Burkie died 3 years ago today (February 5, 2010). Each and every RedHawk, including those freshmen who didn’t know him miss him like a brother. His legacy will live on in Oxford and throughout hockey and sports through the You Can Play project. We encourage you to support You Can Play at http://www.youcanplayproject.org, and always remember Brendan as an important part of The Brotherhood.
For the second week in a row, Miami has swept their opponent out of Oxford, this time sending the Alaska Nanooks back to Fairbanks significantly cooler than they were coming in. The 2 wins snapped a 6 game win streak for the Nanooks, who fell back out of the polls, but still remain as a TUC in the PairWise – a good thing for Enrico Blasi’s talented young squad. Here’s what you missed so far this week.
Compared to our views yesterday, the USA’s fates have completely turned. Not only on the scoreboard, but in the Pool of Death as well, as Russia skated to a 2-1 victory over Team USA today in Ufa, Russia.
This morning’s game (evening in Russia) matched a US squad that had our hopes very high for the World Junior Championship, and Russia was coming in with a little trepidation. Russia needed overtime to be Slovakia in their tournament opener on Wednesday, and had lost one of their players to suspension on a viscious and dirty cross check late in that game. The host country needed the 3 points they earned today, and they did it much as we would expect the Americans to do so: with gritty defense and outstanding goaltending.
The goals haven’t come as quickly at Miami for freshman sniper Sean Kuraly as he would like, but on Thursday in Ufa, Russia, the 19 year old from Dublin, Ohio opened the scoring for Team USA in the 2013 World Junior Championship as the Americans routed Germany 8-0. Assisting on his goal was Miami teammate Riley Barber who contributed a goal and two assists to help the Red, White and Blue to an opening day win. Barber tied for the team high in shots on goal with six while Kuraly finished with 1-1-2 and won 10 of 14 faceoffs (good enough for a team-leading 71.4%), something we’ve come to expect from him thus far at Miami.
The RedHawks lit the lantern and earned
5 points against OSU this weekend.
This past weekend’s game had me singing “takin’ care of business” after the RedHawks took 5 points from Ohio State in their own barn in 2 hard-fought contests. We expected some gritty hockey with lots of big hits and a whole lot of energy, and what we received for the weekend was well worth the admission price. Both games were very intense, with Friday night’s game going all the way to a shootout, and Saturday’s coming down to some staunch defense in the third period for an exciting 3-1 victory. Here are some game notes and our weekend recap.
- Miami had only 5 shots in the entire first period. Ohio State had 10 for the first, but didn’t register their first shot until 6:45 into the game. After the slow start and subsequent slow second period, the Hawks had us thinking that we were headed for a “Rico Swoon.” We’re also happy it didn’t end up that way.
- It wasn’t until the third period until any scoring happened, with OSU’s Devin Krogh scoring 3:52 in to put Ohio State up 1-0. Jay Williams made a big save, but kicked out a rebound to the right side, and on an awkward angle, Krogh snuck the puck through his legs for the first tally of the season
- At 11:25 of the third, Krogh then took what would turn out to be a very costly penalty. At 12:43 of the period, Riley Barber made a slick pass into the slot area and Curtis McKenzie drilled a 1-timer that found twine, and the game was tied. The power play goal was McKenzie’s 3rd goal of the season, and it earned him the #1 star of the game. It was nice to see Curtis was flying around the ice throwing body blows all night. He ended the night with a team-high 5 shots and also recorded 2 blocked shots.
- The defense and goaltending were the stories of the night on both sides.
- Miami was limited to 5 first period shots and just 7 in the third.
- Ohio State had more shots in overtime (4) than they did in the third (3), and had just 23 total on the night.
- Somehow, Ohio State goalie Brady Hjelle was named the #2 star of the game ahead of Jay Williams, who won his 8th game in Oxford and stopped all 3 shootout attempts. For the season, Miami has now faced off with 4 different opponents in shootouts and has not allowed even one attempt to find the back of the net (3 wins for Williams and 1 win for Ryan McKay).
- In a somewhat troubling statistic, Miami’s record in the faceoff circle was a paltry 22-41. Austin Czarnik had a rough night all around, and won just 2 of the 19 faceoffs he fought for. Ohio State’s Tanner Fritz was 19-3 on the night, and this was likely a big contributing factor to the sloppy looking play for the first half of the game.
- Czarnik made up for his rough night on faceoffs with yet another sweet move in the shootout. He beat Hjelle with a forehander that had it all: speed, deception and creativity… AND he roofed it over the goalie’s shoulder. We’ve got the video of the goal (and the game winning save from Williams) below.
- Blasi put a somewhat strange lineup on the ice for the night. Bryon Paulazzo, Jimmy Mullin and Taylor Richart got the night off, possibly because of finals week. There were no indications of injuries, and only Paulazzo did not play on Saturday.
Here’s Czarnik’s shootout winner:
And here’s the save and celebration from Jay Williams:
- Ryan McKay was the story on Saturday and almost came away with his 3rd shutout in just his 5th career start. Unfortunately, after spotting OSU a 2-0 lead, he did allow a goal 6:20 into the third, but he stood tall and stopped the flurry of shots Ohio State threw at him the rest of the way, stopping 22 of 23 on the night.
- McKay allowed just 1 goal on the night, the third ever of his young 5-game career, and it was the first even strength goal he has allowed.
- Alex Gacek scored his 3rd goal of the season in the first period, and from there Miami settled into their shell and just stifled Ohio State the rest of the way.
- Blake Coleman returned to the scoring sheet, as he assisted on Gacek’s 1st period goal and scored the eventual game winner in the second.
- Miami was 5 for 5 on the penalty kill, and did not allow any shots on the power play until the 5th and final kill, which started with 12:39 left in the third period.
- Once again, no mention of a Miami goalie in the 3 stars of the game, where Coleman, Hjelle (!?!?!?!?!) and Riley Barber took those honors. There is no explanation other than being a home game for Ohio State that Hjelle got the 2nd star of the game nod each night. It’s clear once again that Ohio State can’t seem to get over themselves when they were outclassed on the ice on Saturday night.
For his efforts this weekend, Riley Barber once again earned the CCHA Rookie of the week award. Barber is the 2-time reigning CCHA Rookie of the Month, and this is his 3rd rookie of the week honor. On Friday night, he had an assist on McKenzie’s goal. He had the OSU goalie beat on his shootout attempt, but his shot hit the knob of the goalie’s stick and didn’t trickle in. He also tallied a goal (the empty net clincher that sent Ohio State fans to the exits) and an assist on Saturday night in Miami’s 3-1 win. Barber now has 8 points and 14 assists on the season, and leads the CCHA in scoring. He has left Oxford and is now in New York in hopes of playing for Team USA with teammate Sean Kuraly in the World Junior Championships.
Speaking of the WJC, tryouts will start in Finland tomorrow the 19th, and you can keep an eye on Team USA during the tournament on the NHL Network. The 2013 World Junior Championships will be held in Ufa, Russia Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 5, 2013. (We’ll post any roster updates and the upcoming schedule when we know more.) The only other CCHA players headed overseas are Michigan freshman Jacob Trouba and Notre Dame freshman Mario Lucia.
After this weekend, Miami is in a tie with Notre Dame for the top spot in the CCHA. Looks can be deceiving, however, as the Irish have 3 games in hand on Miami. In fact, the RedHawks have played the most games in the CCHA, and 3rd place Western Michigan has 2 games in hand on them and sit just 4 points behind. Meanwhile, Michigan, selected #1 by the media and #2 by the coaches of the CCHA in the preseason polls, sits in a tie for 7th with Alaska and behind teams like Ohio State, Lake Superior State and Ferris State. It should be an interesting second half, that’s for sure. Miami will need to keep taking 5 and 6 points a weekend and also play well in their non-conference games to be well positioned in the PairWise rankings, which will lead to a berth in the NCAA tournament.
And finally, let’s take a quick look at the polls. Miami now sits in the #5 spot in both polls, staying exactly where they were last week. Seeing as though it’s the half way point of the season, now is a good time to take a good look at the PairWise, and Miami is currently 9th there. Not a bad place to be, especially considering the recent opponents. Teams like Dartmouth, Yale and Quinnipiac should drop a smidge, and Miami should be able to move up with upcoming opponents like Wisconsin (in Madison January 18-19), Western Michigan (in Kalamazoo February 8-9) and Notre Dame (home and in Chicago on February 15th and 17th).
The Hawks will be off for 2 weeks, adn return to action December 28th in the Three Rivers Classic. Miami plays the same Ohio State squad on Friday night, and Saturday’s games will be determined by Friday’s results. It will be Robert Morris or Penn State on Saturday night.
Light the lantern!
Fueled by the return of freshman goaltender Ryan McKay and the first two goals of senior transfer Marc Hagel’s Miami career, the fourth ranked Miami RedHawks (9-2-3, 6-2-2-2 CCHA) completed the weekend sweep of the Alaska Nanooks 4-0 at Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska on Saturday night.
McKay, who had missed Miami’s last eight games due to injury, recorded his second career shutout in just his fourth career start. In 3+ games (he was injured early in his start against Michigan on October 26 and played just five minutes), he has allowed only one goal and sports some outrageous numbers. In four games, McKay is 2-0-1 with a 0.32 goals against average with an astounding .989 save percentage. Last year’s co-USHL goaltender of the year has most definitely come in “as advertised.” And, that’s to take nothing away from classmate Jay Williams who has been very good in his own right. Williams has carried Miami over the past month and is 7-2-2 on the season with a 2.16 goals against average with a very strong .918 save percentage.
After a scoreless first period that featured an Alex Wideman disallowed goal, the sophomore from St. Louis would get on the scoreboard as he converted a pass from Austin Czarnik for a 5×3 powerplay tally to give Miami the only goal it would need.
From there, the teams traded powerplays and quality chances, but McKay and the RedHawks stood strong taking 1-0 lead into the second intermission.
Miami broke the game open in the third period with two goals in a three minute span as Hagel took advantage of a Blake Coleman rebound to beat Nanook netminder John Keeney for his first as a RedHawk at 8:20. Then, at 11:24, Czarnik found sophomore Jimmy Mullin on a breakaway and the Cincinnati native made it look easy in beating Keeney for just his second goal of the season.
For Coleman and Mullin, it was nice to see them rewarded on the scoresheet, and in Coleman’s case, he was very involved in the game finishing with a team-high four shots on goal and a +2 rating. Though he did not put the puck in the net, he was all over the place creating offense notching his third assist of the season. Hopefully, Mullin and Coleman will continue to pile up the points providing additional scoring threats to complement Riley Barber and Czarnik. Speaking of ‘the Czar,’ the sophomore center collected two more points with assists on Hagel’s first goal and the Mullin breakaway. He has now taken over the team and league lead in points with 19, one ahead of Barber in both categories and 10 more than senior Curtis McKenzie for Miami’s top honors.
To close the scoring, Hagel collected his second of the night with a shorthanded empty-netter with 47 seconds left as Alaska attempted to capitalize on a late powerplay by pulling Keeney. Freshman defenseman Matthew Caito and McKenzie were credited with assists. Caito leads all Miami defensemen in scoring with 1-5-6 on the year.
Next weekend, the RedHawks return home to face the Lakers of Lake Superior State on Friday and Saturday at Steve Cady Arena. Over the weekend, the Lakers (7-9, 4-6 CCHA) were swept by Notre Dame in South Bend and will again face a lengthy bus trip south as they head to Oxford.
- Mullin’s goal was his first since October 27 in a 4-3 win at Michigan.
- Coleman’s assist was his first point since November 9 when he registered an assist against Northern Michigan in a 5-2 Miami victory. He has not scored a goal since October 20 in a win against Providence.
- McKay’s two shutouts are good enough for fourth nationally though he has started just four games.
- Czarnik continues to pour on the points. His five-point weekend gives him points in Miami’s last three games and his 19 points ties him for eighth nationally in the overall scoring race.
- Miami is now unbeaten in its last seven games (5-0-2) with the RedHawks’ last loss coming on November 2 when they were shutout 3-0 at Ferris State.
The #5 Miami RedHawks completed their four-game Michigan roadie by splitting both series against conference rivals Michigan and Ferris State in what will be Miami’s final regular season trips to those schools as conference mates. In doing so, Miami avoided losing ground to either squad in the standings and returns home this weekend to face #16 Northern Michigan (4-3-1, 1-2-1 CCHA) at Steve Cady Arena.
Last weekend, Miami dropped the Friday opener 3-0 as Ferris State sophomore C.J. Motte blanked the RedHawks by stopping all 25 shots he faced as the Bulldogs outshot the RedHawks 31-25. Saturday was a much different affair as Miami came out flying notching a 4-2 victory on the strength of freshman Sean Kuraly’s first collegiate goal and two goals from sophomore sniper Austin Czarnik. Freshman Jay Williams played both nights in net as Ryan McKay recovers from injury, and picked up his fourth win of the season making 24 saves as Miami outplayed and outshot the Bulldogs 40-26.
On the season, Miami is now just 1-2-1 on Friday nights, but is a perfect 4-0 on Saturday as they ran their overall record to 5-2-1 and 2-2 in the CCHA. Miami is locked in a five-way tie for second in the league.
Looking ahead to the weekend’s opponent, Northern Michigan lost a shootout and defeated Michigan in Marquette blowing a lead on Friday and nearly doing the same on Saturday as Michigan’s senior captain A.J. Treais toyed with the hearts of Wildcat players and fans on both nights.
On Friday, Treais, who has seven goals and ten points on the season, scored with just 0.6 seconds left in regulation as Michigan overcame a 4-1 third-period deficit to send the game into overtime and ultimately to a shootout. In the shootout, Treais notched the only goal giving the Wolverines two league points on the evening and sending the Wildcats home disappointed.
On Saturday, the Wolverines faced the same 4-1 third period deficit and again rallied as Treais and Mac Bennett scored to pull Michigan within one. However, the Wildcats held on to take a 4-3 victory earning three league points and four of six on the weekend.
Earlier this week, sophomore forward Alex Wideman tweeted that he is “mono free” and hopefully that means we’ll see him this weekend in Oxford.
Sophomore Austin Czarnik (5-5-10) and freshman Riley Barber (4-6-10) share the team lead in points and are tied for second in the CCHA with the aforementioned Treais and trail Northern Michigan’s Matt Thurber (1-10-11) for the league’s top spot. It is interesting to note that both Treais and Thurber are seniors.
Miami is the highest ranked CCHA team (fifth) and seven of the eight NCHC schools are in this week’s top 20 with only Nebraska-Omaha failing to crack the rankings. Only Denver is ranked higher than Miami (third) of teams that Miami will face regularly beginning next season.
Senior defenseman Joe Hartman was again absent from the Miami lineup last weekend. Hopefully big Joe returns soon.
Miami’s victory on Saturday in Big Rapids snapped a five-game losing streak at Ferris’ Ewigleben Ice Arena. The RedHawks last won at Ferris State on Saturday January 16, 2010 when Tommy Wingels netted two goals to lead the RedHawks to a 5-4 victory and a weekend series sweep of the Bulldogs.
The RedHawks are making a concerted effort to take advantage of their speed and defensive lapses by executing stretch passes with Curtis McKenzie and Austin Czarnik hooking up several times already this year. Czarnik is a master with the puck and has extremely good vision while McKenzie is doing a fantastic job getting open by moving his feet up the ice. On Saturday, Czarnik found McKenzie for a breakaway which ultimately resulted in a penalty shot for the RedHawk senior forward that he was unable to convert, but the effort will pay off in time.
No recap this weekend? No problem!
With the seemingly endless stream of awful coming from new Miami All-Access partner NeuLion, and the lack of a video stream of last weekend’s games, the point of doing a recap of each game was moot. None of the Warriors really got a chance to even listen to Miami’s radio voice, Greg Waddell, call the games because the damn feed was in and out of service every few minutes. And, for much of the time, it was out for several minutes at a time.
That said, you may have heard that then #3 Miami split its two-game set at then #6 Michigan losing 4-2 Friday and winning 4-3 Saturday.
Miami freshman netminder Jay Williams was the hero of the weekend as he stopped 30 shots in a losing effort Friday after coming in cold off the bench as starter Ryan McKay was forced to leave the game early after apparently injuring his leg or groin muscle. And, on Saturday, Williams’ 37 save effort propelled Miami to a 4-3 victory as the RedHawks scored three times in the third period to overcome a 2-1 deficit.
Both games were played at breakneck speed with Miami and Michigan registering in excess of 65 shots on goal each night and were tightly contested.
On Friday, the teams were tied 2-2 after two periods as the Wolverines capitalized on two quick goals in the third to register the 4-2 victory. And, on Saturday, Michigan led 2-1 after two, but saw the RedHawks score three goals in just 2:41 as they held on to earn the split, 4-3.
Offensively, Miami was led by the tandem of Austin Czarnik and Riley Barber as they combined for six points on the weekend while Williams ran his collegiate record to 3-1.
Following their stellar effort, Miami finds themselves ranked fourth in the nation in both major polls and in a six-way tie for third place in the CCHA, just a point back of second place duhOSU and three points behind Notre Dame.
This week, Miami is on the road again at national runners-up and #19th ranked Ferris State in Big Rapids, Mich.
Last weekend, the Bulldogs split a home series with Alaska winning 6-3 on Friday before dropping the Saturday finale 3-2. Sophomore goaltender C.J. Motte was in net for both games making 76 saves on the weekend, the most for a Bulldog goaltender in a two-game weekend set since 1992. If that means anything, it could indicate the Bulldogs defense-first, trapping system isn’t properly functioning yet with the defensive departures of team captain Chad Billins, Brett Wysopal and Aaron Schmit. The Bulldogs are breaking in three freshmen defensemen, Simon Denis, Jason Binkley and Travis White, and you’d like to think the RedHawks can take advantage of their youth as teams have tried to do to Miami over the season’s first month.
We’ll have a full preview later this week, but the teams square off at 7:05pm both night. Hopefully, Miami All-Access and Greg Waddell have the call if NeuLion can get its act together.
Photo: Ryan McKay courtesy MURedHawks.com
Freshman netminder Ryan McKay made 37 saves and classmate Riley Barber scored his second goal of the season as Miami fought to a 1-1 draw with visiting Providence on Friday night.
As freshman goaltender Jay Williams has put it, “Miami is goaltending nation.” Or, something like that.
In a highly competitive, somewhat chippy and certainly entertaining college hockey game last night, Miami’s other touted freshman goaltender, Ryan McKay, again put his substantial talents on display as he made a career-best 37 saves helping the RedHawks salvage a 1-1 tie against Providence of Hockey East. McKay, who has now allowed just one goal in his first 125 minutes of collegiate play, made several outstanding saves and was beaten just once on a 5×3 Providence powerplay as Miami has now successfully killed 15 of the first 16 opponents powerplay opportunities in 2012.
This game, that more appeared more like a conference tilt but featured just 8 powerplay situations and 10 man advantages overall, was closely fought and the competitive nature of the game made it feel more like a mid-season clash rather than the third game of the season for both squads. Second-year coach Nate Leaman’s Friars carried the play through the opening period and at one point led the shots on goal category 14-3. However, Miami began to tilt the ice back in the RedHawks favor in the second and seemed to carry most of the play during the third. Seeing Providence and Miami play in last season’s Denver Cup, I thought Providence would be better than a 6-2 drubbing, and they showed last night they belong on the ice with the nation’s fourth ranked team.
After allowing the first goal of the game for the second time already this year, Miami found itself down 1-0 after the first period. The RedHawks were outplayed and outshot 15-7 as the Friars came out hot early on the road in Oxford. Sophomore forward Ross Mauermann netted what would be the Friars only goal on the evening as he converted a rebound on the powerplay to give Providence the early lead.
Miami would rally in the second period with the help of 10 more saves from McKay and a goal from classmate Riley Barber, his second of the season, off a feed from sophomore Austin Czarnik. Senior Curtis McKenzie, seeing his first action of the new year, added the secondary assist. It was certainly good to see #16 back out on the ice as this team can surely use his experience and grit, particularly as Providence tried to get physical with several smaller Miami forwards during the night. As Miami got back into the game, they also tightened up on the defensive end but saw Providence freshman Jon Gillies (perhaps the nation’s top goaltending recruit – he’s 6’5″ and just 18 years of age) make six saves on just seven RedHawk shots to keep the Friars even.
In third and into overtime, both teams had outstanding chances but McKay and Gillies were flawless. McKay did get some help on a tremendous stop by Curtis McKenzie as he flung himself in front of a wrap around attempt late in the third that should have given the Friars the lead while McKay was out of position.
Overall, this was a highly entertaining game with lots of end to end action. It will be interesting to see how Miami adjusts to the Providence pressure and what they do to get the big Friar goaltender moving side to side. Look for the RedHawks to let the puck do more of the work and I’d suspect a slower tempo tonight from Miami as I’d think they’d try to slow Providence in the neutral zone and make it more difficult for them to move the puck into the RedHawk end.
Tonight’s series finale is at 7:05pm. Expect to see Jay Williams in net tonight for Miami.