Monthly Archives: March 2011

>Miele, Camper Nab CCHA Awards

>Detroit, Mich. – For the second consecutive year, a Miami RedHawk has won the CCHA’s Player of the Year award. Last season, then sophomore Cody Reichard led Miami to a runaway CCHA regular season championship. This year, Detroit native and Miami senior assistant captain, Andy Miele pulled off his own sort of runaway.

Miele led the nation in scoring as he torched the NCAA for 21-44-65 and counting. Miele’s points total was the highest for a CCHA scoring champion since 1991-92 and he is the only scoring champion in CCHA history to have had more assists than anyone had points.

Senior captain Carter Camper won Miami’s first ever CCHA Scholar Athlete Award as he also had an outstanding final season in red and white notching 17-35-52. The native of Rocky River, Ohio, Camper will end his Miami career among the top three scorers in program history.

Congratulations to both young men. They are prime examples of what the Miami program stands for both on, and off, the ice.

Notes

  • Miele and Camper were both named finalists for the Hobey Baker Award given to the nation’s top collegiate player
  • In a stunner, Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson was awarded the CCHA’s Coach of the Year honor beating out Michigan’s Red Berenson and much more surprisingly, former Miami assistant and current Western Michigan head coach Jeff Blashill. Blashill has completely reinvigorated a dormant, declining program and gotten them to the CCHA’s Championship Weekend. How Blashill did not win this award is beyond me. Frankly, it’s a disgrace.
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>FS Ohio to air Miami/Notre Dame

>Detroit, Mich. – In a move that seems years overdue, Fox Sports Ohio (Directv 660, 661) announced today they will carry Friday’s Miami/Notre Dame CCHA semifinal matchup across the state. In addition FSO will broadcast Saturday night’s Mason Cup Final regardless of who is playing but they will not carry the Western Michigan/Michigan semifinal which follows Miami’s game Friday evening.

FS Detroit will carry every game on FS Detroit + which is channel 644 on Directv though I have yet to see that posted on Directv’s channel guide.

It’s great to see FS Ohio finally get with the (state’s premier college hockey) program, but this should have happened years ago. Why it’s taken so long is unknown to me since ONN has been carrying broadcasts of Miami games for years.

Better late than never.

>Poll Activity

>Oxford, Ohio – The RedHawks move up one spot to 6th in this week’s USCHO.com poll and have moved all the way to #3 in the INCH Power Rankings which are more based on recent performance than an entire body of work. Considering Miami’s 11-game unbeaten streak, their ranking seems to make sense but could be a little high.

Importantly, Miami enters the CCHA Championship Weekend tied for 4th in the PairWise Rankings with Michigan, a team they could conceivably meet over the weekend depending on the outcome of each semifinal on Friday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

>CCHA Championship Weekend

>Farmington Hills, Mich. – The CCHA has announced the times for the two semifinal matchups on Friday, March 18 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Miami will play the early game on to set up better TV viewing and attendance for Michigan’s game later that evening.

Miami and Notre Dame will begin play at 4:35pm with Michigan and Western Michigan to face off at the made-for-TV time of 8:05pm.

Normally, you want to “protect” the number one seed by having them play the earlier game, but to enable as many local WMU and U-M fans to attend as possible, the league has moved the game to prime time. This simply means the Wolverines will have a little less time to recover for Saturday’s championship or consolation game as appropriate while Miami and Notre Dame will benefit from a marginal amount of additional rest.

Hobey Miele Update

Oxford, Ohio – With two goals and two assists including a game-winner over the weekend, Hobey Baker Award candidate Andy Miele increased his nation’s best points and assists totals to 65 and 44 respectively. Miele’s line on the season is now 21-44-65 as he leads the national scoring race by 10 points over Niagara’s Paul Zanette and by 11 points over North Dakota’s Matt Frattin. Frattin once again picked up huge points against Michigan Tech, the nation’s 52nd ranked team by KRACH, with 4-1-5 on the weekend including an empty net goal.

Miele has now notched at least one point in 15 consecutive games, a career best. He has picked up his game and carried Miami into the postseason over the past two months. The RedHawks are 10-2-3 during Miele’s streak including an 11-game unbeaten streak heading into their semifinal matchup at Joe Louis Arena against Notre Dame.

For the season, Miele has been at his best when the score is close.

Of his 65 points, 25 (38%) have either given Miami the lead or tied the score during games this season. Clearly he is both shooting and distributing the puck appropriately right now and will be counted on over the final weeks of the season to carry Miami along with fellow seniors Carter Camper and Pat Cannone and sophomore Reilly Smith.

As a key cog in both Miami’s power play and penalty kill, Miele plays at both ends of the ice and is a major reason why both units rank in the top 10 in the nation. Miami’s power play ranks 5th nationally and their penalty kill ranks 2nd among all of Division I.

www.gotmiele.com

>Miami to face Notre Dame in CCHA Semifinals

>Detroit, Mich. – Fresh off last night’s 4-1 win to sweep the Alaska Nanooks out of the CCHA playoffs, Miami had to wait until tonight to determine their next opponent. With a 4-2 over Lake Superior State, Notre Dame will face the RedHawks for the fifth time this season in one semifinal match at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The teams split the season series 1-1-2 with Miami winning and losing at home and tying twice in South Bend.

Michigan will face Western Michigan who defeated Ferris State in overtime earlier this evening.

Presumably Miami and Notre Dame will play the early game on Friday but the CCHA should announce the game times shortly.

>The Case for Andy Miele or Debunking the Myth of the Frattin

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Photo: Rachel Lewis Photography

Oxford, Ohio – Over the past several weeks, there has been a significant push from fans and the SID of the University of North Dakota to promote their one-year wonder, Matt Frattin (32-21-53, 38 games) for the Hobey Baker Award. As you know, Miami has a Hobey Baker candidate of our own, the nation’s leading scorer, senior Andy Miele (20-42-62, 35 games).

Much of the misinformation has been directed at one thing, UND’s perceived strength of schedule advantage over Miami. While the Fighting Sioux’s schedule strength is rated fourth by College Hockey News and Miami’s is rated 14th, it’s simply not a big enough discrepancy to matter. If we were talking about Yale’s SOS (42) or Boston College’s (27), then there might be an argument. But, just to even the playing field, I’ve pulled each players statistics in games against teams that finished in the top 6 of the WCHA and CCHA (top 6 since both UND and Miami are in the top 6 so we have 5 league teams to evaluate) and against common opponents.

Here’s what I found.

In 19 total games against Denver, Omaha, Duluth, Minnesota and Colorado College plus common opponents St. Cloud, Notre Dame and Maine, Frattin posted 11-9-20.

In 18 total games against Northern Michigan, Ferris State, Western Michigan and Michigan plus common opponents St. Cloud, Notre Dame and Maine, Miele posted 12-21-33. Since Notre Dame is a CCHA top 6 opponent as well as a common opponent, we could add New Hampshire to Miele’s resume as another top tier team. If you do that, Miele’s numbers become 12-22-34 in 20 total games.

To drill even deeper, what if we take two opponents from each league such as Denver and Omaha, and Michigan and Notre Dame, and break down each player’s performance against the very best of each league?

Frattin had 2-2-4 in 6 games and Miele posted 2-12-14 in 6 games.

Or, what if we just look at common opponents?

Frattin had 7-7-14 in eight games against St. Cloud, Maine and Notre Dame. Miele had 4-9-13 in eight games so that comparison’s about even.

So, what we’ve seen is that Frattin has absolutely destroyed the bottom half of his league and lower ranking non-conference opponents racking up huge numbers (33 points) against the likes of Minnesota State, Alaska-Anchorage and poor Michigan Tech with only 20 points against better competition.

Consider — with still one more game to play, Frattin has absolutely destroyed Michigan Tech, the 49th ranked team by KRACH of 58 in the NCAA.

  • Frattin has scored 11 points or 21% of his total against Michigan Tech
  • He has scored 5 goals or 16% of his total against the Huskies
  • Frattin has 29% of his assists (6) against MTU
  • This in just three games (8%)

Frattin’s performance against Michigan Tech has been superb. However, the Huskies are so bad, his stats are being padded against incredibly inferior competition. Remove the games against MTU and Frattin’s line is 27-15-42. And, he would have played the same number of games, 35, as Miele with 20 fewer points.

Meanwhile, Andy Miele has performed better against top competition and more evenly distributed his points with 33 against top tier teams and 29 against lower performing teams.

Lastly, Miele has been a staple in the community and has built a body of work over the past 3 1/2 seasons. Consider he had 14, 31 and 44 points in his first 2 1/2 seasons (Miele played just half of his freshman season as he enrolled at Miami at the midpoint to help push the ’07-’08 team over the hump) whereas his chief competition had just 15, 25 and 19 points (missed half of last season due to suspension) before putting up 53 in 38 games this year. Further, Frattin had just 4, 13 and 11 goals before coming out of nowhere jumping to 32 this year.

Miele has steadily improved and is clearly not a one year wonder as his goal totals have risen from 6 to 15 to 20 and counting this year. Plus, Miele’s stick handling and playmaking ability set him apart from most players in the NCAA. A trait he has demonstrated since he set foot on campus.

While the Hobey Baker Award is not a career achievement, past history, behavior and playing your best against your best competition should count and I believe they will.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, well make that the Hobey Baker selection committee, I rest my case.

Miele for Hobey.

www.gotmiele.com

>Miami defeats Alaska 4-1

>Oxford, Ohio – Andy Miele and Reilly Smith scored in a decisive third period as #7 Miami defeated Alaska 4-1 at Steve Cady Arena.

Chris Wideman and Patrick Tiesling also scored for the RedHawks who outshot the Nanooks 36-18 in stretching their unbeaten streak to 10 games (7-0-3).

After falling behind 1-0 through one period, Miami evened the score on a powerplay goal by Wideman, his third of the year at 5:06 of the second period.

Miami dominated the third period as Tiesling, Miele and Smith found the back of the net. Tiesling’s goal would stand as the game-winner, just his second of the year, with assists to freshman Max Cook and senior Justin Vaive at 3:15.

Miele and Smith added insurance goals at 11:11 and 17:35 as the big guns got in on the action. For Miele it was his career best 20th goal and 62nd point of the season while Smith tallied his CCHA best 25th marker on the campaign.

Junior netminder Cody Reichard surrendered a goal on the first Nanook shot on goal, but shut down Alaska from that point forward to earn the win.

Miami goes for the series sweep tomorrow night at 7:05pm at Steve Cady Arena. The game will be televised around Ohio on the Ohio News Network and is also available online via Miami All-Access.

>Three RedHawks Named Finalists for CCHA Awards

>Farmington Hills, Mich. – Andy Miele, Reilly Smith and Will Weber were three Miami RedHawks named finalists for the CCHA’s most prestigious awards that will be handed out next Thursday night in Detroit, Mich.

Miele, a senior assistant captain from Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. was named one of three finalists for the RBC CCHA Player of the Year Award. As the nation’s leading scorer, Miele is the leading candidate to win the award and is the front runner to win Miami’s first ever Hobey Baker Award, given to the nation’s best collegiate hockey player.

As a two-time recipient of the RBC CCHA Player of the Month Award and the reigning HCA National Player of the Month, Miele could be in line to pick up Miami’s second straight CCHA Player of the Year award. Junior netminder Cody Reichard won the award last year.

Junior defenseman, and reigning CCHA Defensive Defenseman of the Year, Will Weber has battled through a tough season that saw him need surgery and 100 stitches and 15 staples to repair a serious laceration as a result of an errant skate blade. Despite that, Weber missed just six games, contributed ten points and blocked 28 shots this year. If nothing else, Weber has proven his toughness and his determination by returning so quickly from such a scary injury.

Super sophomore Reilly Smith was named a finalist for the CCHA Defensive Forward of the Year. To be perfectly honest, this feels like a nod to Smith’s superb year without actually having a proper award category for him. Since he was not named a finalist for Player of the Year, I guess the league’s coaches and administration saw the need to ensure Smith was recognized for his 24 goals and 44 points.

Smith was twice named the CCHA Offensive Player of the Week and is joined as a finalist for the award by Michigan senior forward Carl Hagelin who is also a finalist for Player of the Year. Something tells me the powers also wanted to reward Hagelin’s solid, if not inconsistent and uninformed, season by throwing him a bone. With three Miami players named first team all conference, I wonder if Hagelin would like to amend his earlier comments?

That Miele guy and his friends sure seem like a pretty good offensive team to me.

>RedHawks Pick Up Swag

>Farmington Hills, Mich. – If postseason awards are any indication of future results, Miami should be in great shape during the remainder of the 2011 college hockey season.

Miami placed six players on the CCHA All Conference teams with a league-leading three on the first team.

Seniors Andy Miele and Carter Camper were joined by sophomore Reilly Smith as the RedHawks offensive stars dominated the first team.

Miele, the nation’s top scorer and leading candidate for the Hobey Baker Award was a unanimous selection to the first team, the first CCHA player to do so since 2008. The senior assistant captain was named to the conference’s second team last year while Camper was honored with a first team selection for the second time in his career after earning honorable mention a season ago.

For Smith, the league’s leading goal scorer, it was his first selection to the CCHA All Conference team in just his second year in the league. Smith potted 8 goals and 20 points a season ago but has tripled his goal output (24) and more than doubled his point total (44) in a breakout season.

Junior defenseman Chris Wideman was named to the second team after earning a spot on the All-Rookie team two seasons ago. For the year, Wideman had 2-18-20 in 34 games as the offensive minded defenseman has eclipsed the 20 point barrier in each of his three seasons.

Senior Pat Cannone and junior Cody Reichard were named honorable mention to round out the RedHawk contingent.

The three RedHawks on the first team is a school record.