>CCHA Regular Season Champions!
Bowling Green, Ohio (Feb. 12) – One of the most difficult weeks the Miami Brotherhood has ever endured ended with a silver lining as the RedHawks clinched the third CCHA regular season championship in school history by defeating the Bowling Green Falcons 3-2.
As you know by now, Miami student manager Brendan Burke died suddenly last Friday when his vehicle collided with an oncoming truck on a snowy road in rural Indiana. Burke’s story has been well-documented, and on Tuesday, the RedHawks attended his funeral in Massachusetts and have almost certainly been grieving since learning the unfortunate news after last Friday’s 2-0 win over Lake Superior.
To suggest the Miami hockey team has been through a tumultuous year on and off the ice would be an understatement. Between the high of earning their first Frozen Four appearance last March to losing a close friend last week, the team has been through the ringer. Consider:
- March 2009 – Miami defeats UMD 2-1 to win the NCAA West Regional and a berth in the Frozen Four
- April 2009 – BU defeats Miami 4-3 in overtime rallying from a two goal deficit with less than a minute to play to steal the national title from the RedHawks
- October 2009 – Miami is predicted to finish as high as third in the CCHA pre-season polls
- January 2010 – Miami drops its first two games after the holiday break to lowly Robert Morris to fall from the top spot in the polls for the first time since October
- February 2010 – Miami has been ranked number one in the polls for 15 of the season’s 17 weeks; Brendan Burke dies suddenly; Miami clinches the regular season title
With all that’s happened, this group of remarkable young men have managed to maintain their focus, poise and composure, and continue to play outstanding hockey. With tonight’s victory, Miami runs its school record league unbeaten streak to an amazing 21 games. They have lost just one conference game this season, in overtime, back on October 24 to Michigan State. The RedHawks are now 21-4-6 overall and 18-1-4-2 in CCHA play. Even more astounding is that Miami has yet one more game in-hand over second place MSU who is off this weekend. The RedHawks have an almost unbelievable 17 point spread over the Spartans and still have five games remaining before a first round bye in the CCHA tournament.
Ultimately, this Miami team will be remembered for a remarkable regular season. But, history will judge them by what they do in March, and hopefully, April. Will their amazing run continue? Or will they falter during the playoffs? With what they have accomplished during the season, there is absolutely no reason why the RedHawks shouldn’t win their first ever CCHA Tournament Championship and hoist the Mason Cup at Joe Louis Arena in just over a month. But, to do so, will require this team to dig deep once again and find the strength, courage and resiliency they’ve shown over the past year.