>CCHA Round 2 – Miami v. Alaska

>Oxford, Ohio – If defense wins championships, then offense wins games. Fortunately for the seventh ranked Miami RedHawks, they have plenty of each.

The 2010-11 edition of the Miami RedHawks (19-9-6, 16-7-5-2, 3rd CCHA) finished second overall in team scoring and first overall in team defense in the CCHA. It was another stellar year for the program that continues to set the bar higher and higher.

Led by seniors Andy Miele (19-42-61) and Carter Camper (17-33-50), Miami boasts three of the top 17 scorers in the nation, and two of the top four, with sophomore Reilly Smith pacing the RedHawks with 24 goals.

Junior netminders Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp once again turned in solid seasons with each posting goals-against averages around 2.10 and save percentages near .910. Reichard leads Miami in minutes played, victories (12) and shutouts (3), while Knapp’s 1.76 goals-against average in conference play was best in the CCHA.

Under Dallas Ferguson, Alaska (16-15-5, 10-13-5-3, 7th CCHA) has taken a defense-first approach. It’s no understatement to say the Nanooks do not score much. But, while their offense ranked 8th overall in the CCHA, only Miami and Ferris State allowed fewer goals. Led by junior netminder Scott Greenham, Alaska allows an average of just 2.31 goals per game. In fact, Greenham played all but ten minutes of empty net time in goal this year for the Nanooks and earned second team All-CCHA honors for his efforts.

This weekend offers an opportunity for Miami to advance to Joe Louis Arena to play in the conference semi-finals for the third time in four years. Importantly, this series against Alaska offers the chance for at least two games against a current TUC and a chance for the RedHawks to improve their record in that PairWise category. If Miami can win this weekend’s series, and win at least one game in Detroit against another TUC, they will solidify themselves as a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament. Should the RedHawks finally capture the Mason Cup, it’s conceivable that Miami could earn a #1 seed in the national tournament.

Prediction

Miami has played just two games since February 12. They will enter the weekend’s series rested, and presumably, healthy. But it’s possible there could be some rust. The RedHawks are playing their best hockey of the season. They enter the weekend riding a 9-game unbeaten streak. The seniors are leading by example and you know they want one more chance at a Mason Cup and I think they’ll get it.

Miami advances to the semifinals in two games, 2-1 and 4-1.

Notes:

  • Miami is 33-14-5 all-time against Alaska and 18-7-2 in Oxford
  • Miami is 1-4 all-time as the #3 seed in the CCHA playoffs
  • Miami and Alaska have split each of the last four regular-season series in Oxford
  • Miami won the only other previous playoff meeting 2 games to 1 back in 1994 in Oxford
  • The RedHawks haven’t made it to the Joe in an odd numbered year for the CCHA Championship weekend since 1997
  • Hobey Baker Award front runner Andy Miele enters the weekend having notched a point in 13 consecutive games. During the streak, he’s scored 28 points
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Posted on March 10, 2011, in Alaska Nanooks, Andy Miele, Carter Camper, CCHA, Cody Reichard, College Hockey - Analysis, Connor Knapp, Miami RedHawks, Reilly Smith, Scott Greenham. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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