Monthly Archives: August 2011

Bowling Green Close to Accepting WCHA Invite?

Looks like the Bowling Green State University Falcons are inching closer to accepting the WCHA’s invitation to join the conference beginning with the 2013-14 season. Frankly, I’m not sure what the hold-up is.

If the Falcons try to wait out the NCHC for an invite, they could do themselves a disservice by turning off their benefactors with open arms — even if the man behind the invite, WCHA commissioner Bruce “Not Some Kind of Merger” McLeod has made it clear the CCHA teams are now subordinate to the WCHA.

Again, I like that Miami and Bowling Green are conference mates and in-state rivals in every other sport. And, it’s been fun beating up on the Falcons over the past ten years as they’ve ignored their once proud hockey program. But in saying that, I just don’t see what BG provides the NCHC, especially as they offer non-qualifiers, even if Notre Dame declines to join the league and they invite Western Michigan. I think it would be better for the NCHC in the near term to go with seven teams and keep searching for an eighth before I’d invite the Falcons in their present state. That in no way precludes the league from later extending an invitation to Bowling Green should their circumstances dramatically change.

For me, offering NQ’s right now wasn’t a smart move by former Miami captain and assistant coach, Chris Bergeron.

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Preseason Poll Update

Miami is getting plenty of respect in preseason balloting

Despite losing a senior class that went to two Frozen Fours, won a CCHA regular season title, a Mason Cup tournament championship and a included last year’s Hobey Baker Award winner who led the nation in scoring, two preseason polls are out and the expectations for the 2011-12 Miami RedHawks are as high as ever.

For starters, in INCH’s initial poll that was released on July 26, Miami opened at number one. Of course that poll assumed former USNTDP hero and Miami commit He Who Must Not Be Named Connor Murphy would honor his word and play college hockey for the RedHawks. But Murphy, and his family including former NHL’er Gord Murphy, reneged on a letter of intent and signed a pro contract with the Phoenix Coyotes signaling a preference to instead play for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL.

Of course, karma can be cruel.

Murphy would injure his knee just a week after signing his deal at the 2011 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. and is expected to be out until at least December. Sometimes a college degree is a handy thing to have.

But, back to the polls.

In naming Miami its preseason number one, INCH lauded the RedHawks for what they have returning as well its stable of highly regarded newcomers.

“Miami welcomes back an elite goal scorer in Smith, an underrated defensive corps, and two veteran goaltenders in Connor Knapp and Cody Reichard. Add in the nation’s best recruiting class, and you’ve got the recipe for a preseason No. 1.”

Today, The College Hockey Blog, unveiled the number three team in its preseason countdown of the top 16, the Miami RedHawks.

Similar to INCH, the Blog noted Miami’s returning strength and its elite recruiting class that has helped push expectations so high. However, TCHB was smart to note the incoming class should have another first round draft pick in it without specifically mentioning Murphy by name.

“Last year Miami featured the Hobey Baker winner and one of the best offenses in all of college hockey. They finished 3rd in the CCHA and were a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Though they were upset by UNH in the first round, they took another step towards establishing themselves as one of the best programs in the country. A solid group back, plus some very good recruits (though, not as many as there should be) make Miami a title threat once again.”

Over the coming weeks, we’ll post our preseason picks, polls and teams and players to watch as the season nears inception.

Biggs, Smith Top NHL Prospect List

NHL Scouting has released its list of top collegiate prospects for the 2011-12 season and two RedHawks rank among the top 13 in the nation. Freshman Tyler Biggs (Loveland, Ohio) and junior Reilly Smith (Mimico, Ont.) were ranked the 5th and 10th best collegiate prospects, respectively, in the nation.

Biggs, the son of longtime Cincinnati Cyclone great Don Biggs, will be joining the RedHawks for his first season of play after being selected in the first round of June’s NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Smith, who was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2009 Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars, is Miami’s leading returning goal scorer after notching 28 in a breakout sophomore season helping Miami claim it’s first ever Mason Cup as CCHA tournament champions and a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Here’s a link to the story at Bleacher Report.

More on WCHA/CCHA Merger

Matt Wellens of the Mining Journal in Marquette, Mich. had a few more tidbits on the invite from the WCHA to the remaining five CCHA schools. Neither Western Michigan nor Bowling Green have accepted the invitation yet and both Lake Superior and Ferris State were, unsurprisingly, asked to update their aging hockey facilities. However, both Alaska-Fairbanks and Lake Superior accepted the WCHA’s invitiation yesterday to join the league starting with the 2013-14 season.

If the NCHC were to add Bowling Green, as much as I think it would be good for Miami, and for the league to have a doormat, it would be quite ironic that these teams would break from their current conference affiliations, finish the work the Big 10 started by destroying the CCHA and add a program like Bowling Green which seems it should be a program these “like-minded” schools wanted to distance themselves from.

If Notre Dame goes independent or to Hockey East I could still support the addition of Western Michigan, but I’m just not certain about Bowling Green. Right now, I don’t see the benefit for the NCHC to do so, and frankly, it seems a bit hypocritical if they were to add the Falcons.

The day the CCHA died

The CCHA was laid to rest today

Though the Big 10 officially announced its intention to start a hockey conference on March 21, 2011, today was the day the patient called the CCHA finally succumbed to its mortal wounds.

The news came earlier this afternoon the CCHA’s left-behinds Bowling Green, Alaska-Fairbanks, Lake Superior, Ferris State and Western Michigan were extended an invitation to join the WCHA beginning with the 2013-14 season. That means, the 40 year old league will in all likelihood conclude play with one final Mason Cup Tournament championship in March 2013.

It appears the only things left in the air are whether Bowling Green and Western Michigan actually accept the WCHA’s invitation. While Western is more likely than Bowling Green to receive an invitation to the newly formed NCHC, neither or both could be invited pending “The Decision” from Notre Dame on where their hockey future lies — with the NCHC, Hockey East or as an independent.

College Hockey News has the latest.

The Brotherhood Video: 2011-2012

The start of the 2011-12 season is still a little over a month away, but if this video doesn’t get the blood flowing and tell the world that Miami hockey is special, well, nothing will.

Check it out.

Did something happen over the summer?

Sadly, the gang here at RedskinWarriors has been too busy pulling jury duty on the Casey Anthony case and avoiding earthquakes to regularly update the blog. But, we heard there was a bit of news over the summer. Something about a new hockey conference and maybe something about a first round draft pick that reneged on his commitment to play for some Canadian junior team.

Well, we promise to figure all this out and over the coming days and weeks we’ll get you caught up as the start of the 2011-12 season nears.

For now, we’re just glad we could do our civic duty and look forward to visually inspecting all Washington D.C. area monuments for earthquake damage.