Monthly Archives: October 2008

>Knapp and Reichard Meet The Media

>Miami head coach Enrico Blasi

On the freshmen goalies
“Our main goal as a team has been to get better every day and you can really see that in this team. They are continuing to grow and they are making some solid adjustment and they are really starting to gain some confidence.”

On the team
“Cody (Reichard) has been great, Connor (Knapp) has been great and they have both executed well. That is the main thing that you have to do whether you are goaltender, a forward or a defenseman is you have to execute on the ice and I think top to bottom we done a good job of that so far.”

Connor Knapp, Freshman goalie
On splitting time with Cody Reichard
“I like it. As a freshman you get to know going into the weekend exactly what your job is and you have to go out and take care of business one night. It is really the fair way to do things as long as we both continue to play well.”

On his freshman year
“I am really starting to gain some confidence in net and I think I’m starting to play better. I feel more relaxed on the ice and I think it shows in the way that I have been playing.”

Cody Reichard, Freshman goalie

On the Notre Dame series
“They are a good team and we knew it was going to be a battle. They got some really good attempts on me and I was able to make some saves and my defensemen were able to stop a couple of really good chances that they had, it was a real team effort on both nights.”

On Alaska
“When I was playing juniors up there I never got to see a game. Most of the time they would have us out of town when they (the Nanooks) were in town. I know they (Alaska) are a good team though and they have some forwards they are really solid up front.”

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>Nanooks Roll Into Oxford

>Radio Schedule:

Friday Night- 910AM WPFB-AM

Saturday Night- 1450AM WMOH-AM

Miami returns to Oxford after a four-game road trip to take on Alaska Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday Nov. 1. Both games will start at 7:05 p.m. and will be televised on the Ohio News Network.

CHECKING” ALASKA
Miami leads the all-time series against the Nanooks with a record of 30-12-4, and the RedHawks lead the series in Oxford 16-5-2. Miami has won the last two meetings and three of the last four, but last season Alaska split the two-game set in Oxford with a shutout of the RedHawks on Dec. 7, 2007. This was the last time Miami was shutout.

Even with the shutout Miami was able to outscore Alaska a season ago 12-6 including 7-2 win by Miami in the final meeting of the season.

EARLY FOR ALASKA
This is the earliest in the season Miami and Alaska have played a game since 1997. That season, the Nanooks and the RedHawks faced off Oct. 25.

MIELE NAMED OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Following a big weekend sweep of Notre Dame, Miami sophomore Andy Miele was named the CCHA Offensive Player of Week.

Miele found his way to the score sheet for the first time this season in the two-game set against Notre Dame. Miele did all but score last weekend for the RedHawks as he got his first point of the season in game one when he weaved through two players and left it in front of the net for Pat Cannone. Miele then picked off a Notre Dame clear attempt and found Gary Steffes in the slot to give Miami a two-goal lead. The next night, Miele fired a shot from the left faceoff circle and was credited with a goal until a review showed that Gary Steffes made a tip in front and earned the goal.

The conference honor is the second conference honor of Miele’s career as he earned Rookie of the Week honors in the final week of the regular season last season after posting a goal and three assists against Ohio State.

BIG ONE TWO
Coming into the 2008-09 season, Gary Steffes had scored 11 goals in his Miami career. Steffes had netted five as a freshman and six more during his sophomore campaign a season ago. After six games this season, Steffes already has five goals and is tied for the lead in CCHA overall goal scoring. Steffes and the RedHawks return to Steve Cady Arena this weekend the sight of his biggest offensive explosion this season. In the second game of the year, Steffes netted a hat trick against Ohio State in the RedHawks’ 7-3 win.

ROAD WARRIORS
The RedHawks traveled 2,367 miles in the first three weekends of their season as five of Miami’s first six games where on the road, including trips to Burlington, Vt., Columbus, Ohio and South Bend, Ind. The Red and White handled the road well as they went 2-1-2 in their first five road game, including a two-game road sweep of No. 13 Notre Dame.

POWER OUTAGE
Notre Dame boasted one of the nation’s top power-play units coming into the two-game set with the RedHawks. Miami put a stop to the Fighting Irish’s power play as they held them to 0-16 on the weekend. Since giving up a 5-on-4 goal on the first penalty kill of the season, Miami has not allowed a 5-on-4 goal, going 37-of-38 on the penalty kill, allowing one 5-on-3 goal against Vermont.

>Have You Checked Out…

>D1hockey.com? It’s a great resource for Division I hockey information. Basic membership is free and worth checking out. Actually, the site is something to behold. Very well organized and informative.

>A Promising Future for Weber, Mercier, Zatkoff

>Over at Hockey’s Future, they have released the 2008 Columbus Blue Jackets’ “System Audit,” as it’s called. RedHawk freshman defenseman Will Weber headlines the group of young Blue Jacket…”future” defenseman (and Goodness, don’t they need it right now.)

In the amateur ranks, the Jackets have a number of defensive prospects who may develop into NHL-caliber talents with more seasoning in either the NCAA, junior North American leagues or across the ocean. Headlining this group is 2007 second-round pick Will Weber, a lanky two-way rearguard still growing into his oversized 6’4 frame. While still several years removed from an NHL audition, Weber may well have the most talent below the NHL level among the organization’s defensive prospects. He’ll get a chance to further refine his game just a few hours down the road from Nationwide at developing collegiate powerhouse Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of Weber…offensively and defensively. In my opinion, he hasn’t shown much in this early season, but he definitely has the size and the ability to adapt to the college level and play “his game.” As a Blue Jackets fan, I’m very excited to watch him develop.

Also, Justin Mercier receives a mention among the Colorado Avalanche prospects:

Mercier, a sixth-round pick in the 2005 draft, plays a game that may adapt easily to the pros. He always competes hard on the forecheck and backcheck and is effective with the puck down low. He broke out last season with Miami University with 25 goals in 42 games and has four points in six games to date this season.

And finally, Jeff Zatkoff gets some love from the LA Kings:

Two other goaltenders that will be battling Bernier for the starting duties in Los Angeles every step of the way are Jeff Zatkoff and Jonathan Quick. Zatkoff, who is in his first professional season, does not have the athleticism of Bernier or Quick, but is a fundamentally sound goaltender. He might be the perfect fit as the back-up to Bernier in five years if he does not beat out Bernier as the starter or can be used in a trade to fill gaps in other areas. Which ever of the three that finds himself as the starter in net for Los Angeles will have earned it with the level of competition that there is in the system. The others may find solace in the arms of another organization.

>The Zatkoff Talk Continues

>The latest LA Kings Prospect Update has been posted on the club’s official web page and it profiles on man in particular…Jeff Zatkoff. As we know, Zats has been very impressive with Ontario of the ECHL thus far, and one would think he’d be in line for a call from Manchester sometime soon, but I digress.

From reading the update, it seems that Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford seems to have a lot of faith in the Chesterfield, MI native. Take a look for yourself:

“I had a chance to see Zatkoff in his first [professional] game [on Oct. 18]. He is a young guy with a lot of energy and he is excited about his first year pro. I think he will bring that enthusiasm to the group of guys in Ontario. If everything goes according to plan, we will see him in Ontario for one or two years, but in a perfect world, hopefully next year he will be able to make the jump to the American Hockey League. Then after a few years in the AHL, make the push for one of the jobs in L.A.”

“Jeff does a really good job with rebound control with his stick, and up to this point, he has done a very good job in controlling pucks to his body. In today’s game most goals are scored are on little tiny rebounds in front and he has been doing a good job in taking those away. The biggest thing that he has got to work on is dealing with traffic and his foot speed, being quicker in the crease.”

Let’s hope that “JZ” doesn’t stick around in the ECHL for two years! If you’re interested in reading the rest of the Prospect Update (there is more on Zatkoff), click here.

>RedHawks Honored and Carter Camper…for Hobey?

>After a sweep of Notre Dame this weekend, our RedHawks are getting some well deserved praise. College Hockey News has picked Miami as the Team of the Week.

Though it’s still early, Miami has proven a lot already — getting a close loss and tie at hostile Vermont, then going into Notre Dame this past weekend and sweeping. It was a complete weekend, with key scoring; strong defensive play from the vets, newcomers and forwards; and solid goaltending from the young goaltenders. As a result, Miami is the CHN Team of the Week.

The article also offers a nice perspective from Andy Miele. I encourage you to read the rest of it, at this link.

Carter Camper is also drawing some attention, especially from USCHO columnist Elliot Olshansky, who mentions Camper’s name with…the Hobey Baker Award? Take a look:

Carter Camper was a big hit last season with the likes of Dave Starman, Matt McConnell and Adam Zucker from CBS College Sports, who took turns touting the Rocky River, Ohio native on their Hobey Watch ballots. Of course, broadcasters have more than one reason to like Camper, as “Carter Camper” does tend to roll off the tongue a fair bit easier than, say, “Matti Kaaltiainen,” but when a guy is coming off a 41-point freshman season in which he was also a +21 for his team, you have to imagine a shot at the Hobey isn’t out of the question. Meanwhile, fellow RedHawk center Pat Cannone turned heads with a six-point effort against Ohio State in the second game of the season – the first such game at Miami in 21 years – and when a player can put up six points in one night, it’s certainly worth taking a look.

To read the rest of Olshansky’s column, as well as the rest of the article about Carter Camper (what I posted is only a short excerpt), click here.

>Wingels Answers 20 Questions

>CCHA.com has released their latest “20 Questions” feature and RedHawk forward Tommy Wingels is one of two players grilled this week. I love the following answer:

Toughest CCHA rink to play in: Ours – Steve Cady Arena

You can see Tommy’s answers to the other 19 questions at this link.

>Zatkoff Named RBK Goalie of the Week

>Former RedHawk goaltender Jeff Zatkoff has been named the RBK Goalie of the Week in the ECHL. Zatkoff, a member of the first-year Ontario Reign, is undefeated in this early season.

Ontario Reign rookie goaltender Jeff Zatkoff is the RBK Hockey ECHL Goaltender of for Oct. 20-26. He was a runner up for the award last week after making 29 saves in his first professional start, a 2-1 win at Bakersfield on Oct. 18.

Selected in the third round (74th overall) by Los Angeles in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and under NHL contract to the Kings, the 21 year old was 2-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.50 and a save percentage of .954 against defending National Conference champion Las Vegas. After making 28 saves in a 4-2 win at Las Vegas on Thursday, Zatkoff had 34 saves in a 4-1 win on Saturday as the Reign won their first game in the new Citizens Business Bank Arena. In his first three professional starts he is 3-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.33 and a save percentage of .958. He is tied for the league lead in wins and ranks third in goals-against average and save percentage.

Zatkoff played the last three years at Miami University where he was 55-21-5 with seven shutouts, a goals-against average of 1.93 and a save percentage of .927 in 82 games.

Runners Up: David Shantz, Dayton (2-0-0, 0.50 GAA, .979 save pct.) and Jean-Phillippe Lamoureux , Alaska (1-0-0, 0.00 GAA. 1.000 save pct.).

>Miami Moves Up & Miele Honored

>- The latest USCHO Division I Men’s Poll was released today and the RedHawks have moved up three spots to take over the number seven ranking after a weekend sweep of number eight Notre Dame (the Irish dropped to thirteenth.)

1. Colorado College
2. Boston College
3. Boston University
4. Denver
5. Minnesota
6. New Hampshire
7. Miami
8. Michigan
9. Northeastern
10. Princeton
11. Michigan State
12. Minnesota State
13. Notre Dame
14. Vermont
15. Clarkson
16. Cornell
17. Air Force
18. North Dakota
19. St. Cloud State
20. Harvard

– Congratulations to Andy Miele, as he is the current CCHA Offensive Player of the Week.

Miele (0-3-3, +2) assisted on both goals in Friday’s 2-0 win and the opening goal of Saturday’s 3-2 decision as the RedHawks swept at Notre Dame.

>Around the Minors

>– Former RedHawk defenseman Mitch Ganzak carried his share of the load by adding four assists as the Wheeling Nailers defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones on Friday night, 9-7.

With tonight’s totals, Ganzak now has a total of four assists on the season and is seventh in the ECHL among the assist leaders.

– Another good night for another RedHawk defenseman as Alec Martinez scored his first professional goal in a 3-2 Manchester win on Friday night over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Martinez’ tally came on the power play, in the third period and was the game winner.