Other Random Weekend Thoughts
Fresh off seeing Miami for the first time in-person this weekend, here are a few thoughts about this team after two months of play.
It’s an effective offense that’s starting to emerge for Miami. Led by junior sniper Reilly Smith’s 11 goals, the first line featuring Smith and freshmen Austin Czarnik and Jimmy Mullin can be potent. Czarnik is tied for second on the team in goals (5), leads the team in assists (9) and is tied for the team lead in points with Smith (14). It’s pretty impressive that a freshman is averaging nearly a point per game in his first season in college hockey.
Senior co-captain Alden Hirschfeld is well on his way to setting career highs in goals and points as he has registered 5-8-13, good enough for a tie for second in goals, second in assists and third in points.
Blake Coleman has also been impressive showing vision, speed, tenacity and hands. I especially like Coleman’s feisty approach as he has the potential to become a devastating power forward for the RedHawks.
Miami is starting to develop the sort of scoring depth that maybe won’t overwhelm the eyes on the score sheet, with the exception of Smith’s goal tally, but will help them avoid becoming too reliant on one or two scorers which may have plagued this team last season.
Big, strong, ferocious. Senior co-captain Will Weber had it all last night against Denver as he provided a physical presence that, frankly, appeared to intimidate the Pioneers early on.
Cameron Schilling is beginning to reemerge as the swift skating puck-mover that we’ve come to know over the past few years while Chris Wideman consistently contributes offensively as he leads all Miami defenseman in points (8) and is third on the team with seven assists.
And, Miami is getting quality minutes of shut down hockey from unheralded Garrett Kennedy as he leads Miami in +/- at +8 in just 13 of Miami’s 16 games.
With the defense standing up in front of Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp, it will make their lives much easier and we should see their statistics improve. However, they have to cut down the bad turnovers because right now at least, it seems every defensive zone turnover winds up in Miami’s net.
At 8-6-2, it’s not exactly a blazing start. However, Miami has erased their 2-6 mark through eight games to go 6-0-2 over the last eight to move within striking distance both in the league and nationally as the season nears the halfway point.
If Miami can continue to find scoring from several lines, including the freshmen, and get the physical, but not-over-the-line defense from Weber and company, they should be set for a second half run.