Monthly Archives: November 2011

Miami and Michigan Skate to 3-3 Tie

Reilly Smith scored a pair of goals and Cody Reichard made 25 saves as Miami settled for a 3-3 tie with Michigan on Saturday night.

After spotting then #4 Michigan (7-3-2, 3-3-2-1 CCHA) a 2-0 first period lead, Miami (5-6-1, 3-4-1-1 CCHA) stormed back to salvage a 3-3 tie earning the extra point in the league standings with a 1-0 shootout win. More on that in a moment.

Overall, Miami dominated the Wolverines for a second consecutive night winning the battles along the boards and controlling play while outshooting Michigan 41-28. The 41 shots marked a season’s best number for the Red and White. Further, Miami was so dominant, they erased the 2-0 deficit when junior Reilly Smith scored his second goal of the night on the power play with just over 12 left in regulation to take a 3-2 lead. Arguably, this should have been a regulation win for Miami if not for two disallowed goals, one of which was incredibly controversial, and a fluke goal from Michigan freshman Zach Hyman that tied the game at 3 late in the third period.

Perhaps this game should be our 2010 West Regional Final since Michigan fans can’t seem to let that one go and Miami had one stolen away last night. One thing’s certain, Miami looked nothing like the team we’d seen through the season’s first ten games this weekend as Miami had all facets of their game working. The only really negative thing I took away from the weekend is the RedHawks are still guilty of being too aggressive at times. Last night we saw several overplays from nearly every group on the squad that led to Michigan goals. Nothing wrong with working hard, but Miami needs to find that line of aggressiveness that doesn’t result in pucks in their net.

The real highlight of the night might not have been the nice redirection by Reilly Smith that gave Miami a brief lead, but rather, the winning shootout goal from sophomore Bryon Paulazzo.

Paulazzo, shooting fourth for Miami, started to his right and skated toward the Baby Goalie. Knowing that BG had just poke-checked Reilly Smith from close range, Paulazzo kept his distance and at the last moment spun with the puck on his backhand and roofed a shot above the fallen Baby. Here’s video courtesy of Miami All-Access and ONN.

After Paulazzo’s goal, Miami senior netminder Cody Reichard stopped Michigan’s leading scorer, Lindsay Sparks, to give the RedHawks the additional point in CCHA play. Reichard stopped all four Michigan shooters while Baby Goalie stopped three of four RedHawks including Smith, Austin Czarnik and Jimmy Mullin before surrendering Paulazzo’s highlight reel goal.

Next weekend, the RedHawks look to extend their four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1) as they remain home to face Chris Bergeron’s Bowling Green Falcons in a two-game CCHA series.

Notes

– Miami is now 8-3-1 against the Wolverines in their last 12 meetings and is unbeaten in the last five (4-0-1).

– Cody Reichard has been in net for the previous four Miami games as Connor Knapp recovers from injury. Reichard is 3-0-1 in those four games.

– Reilly Smith now has seven goals on the year in just 10 games as he picked up his second multi-goal game of the year. He had 28 goals last year for Miami.

– The two teams will meet again in the regular season in Ann Arbor on February 3-4.

– Miami freshman Austin Czarnik set a career high with 3 points on the evening (1G, 2A).

– Miami has moved to 19th in the Pairwise and 16th in KRACH. They have played the 5th most difficult schedule in the nation thus far.

Miami defeats #4 Michigan 2-1

In their most complete game of the season, the Miami RedHawks (5-6, 3-4 CCHA) received goals from freshmen Jimmy Mullin and Tyler Biggs and senior goaltender Cody Reichard made 20 saves as the RedHawks knocked off #4 Michigan (7-3-1, 3-3-1-1 CCHA) 2-1 at Steve Cady Arena.

It was an all-around effort for Miami as not only did the defense deny the Wolverines time and space, but chipped in with three of the four assists on the two Miami goals. Sophomore Garrett Kennedy and junior Joe Hartman assisted on the Mullin goal while senior co-captain Will Weber and junior forward Curtis McKenzie offered helpers on Biggs’ game winner. And, when the defense did breakdown, Cody Reichard was there to make key saves with none bigger than a lunging stop on Wolverine senior David Wohlberg, who found a loose puck on his stick in front of the Miami net with just over a minute left in regulation.

If last night is to be a harbinger of what’s to come, things are looking up for this team. Miami played with the sort of intensity that toed the line between out of control and physical. Unlike many of the season’s first 11 games that have been a parade to the penalty box, Miami managed to physically dominate the Wolverines but took only three minor penalties for six minutes before a few unpleasantries were exchanged between Michigan’s Alex Guptill and Miami’s Curtis McKenzie at the game’s final buzzer. If Miami can limit their time shorthanded and play their brand of tough, physical hockey, that will help them as the young forwards continue to find their game.

Tonight, Miami goes for their fourth straight win as they conclude this early season matchup with #4 Michigan. With three league points already secured, the RedHawks have an opportunity to play their game and improve upon their 8-3 record against the Wolverines over the past several years. In order to do so, they’ll need to play a game very similar to last night — tough defense, timely scoring and good goaltending. If they can, they’ll erase their early 2-6 start and climb back to .500 overall.

Notes

– Senior Trent Vogelhuber was assessed a 10 minute misconduct for leaving the bench to get involved in the scuffle at the final buzzer. It’s unclear if Vogelhuber was assessed a DQ or if it was just a misconduct. If he received the DQ, he’ll miss tonight’s finale against the Wolverines.

– Miami’s freshman forward Austin Czarnik will return to the lineup tonight after serving his mandatory one-game suspension for receiving a DQ in last Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Alaska.

– After a slow start, senior netminder Cody Reichard is on a roll. His overall record is now 4-3 and he has been in net for the past three Miami victories allowing just three goals while watching his season stats improve dramatically. Reichard now sports a 2.27 goals-against average and .908 save percentage as he begins to round into form. In fact, as of October 30, Reichard’s numbers were an un-Cody-like 3.11 and .870 after the weekend sweep at the hands of Lake Superior State.

– In addition to having a chance to even its overall record at 6-6, a win tonight would even the RedHawks record at home as well as in the CCHA as Miami has moved into 7th place in the league, just two points behind Michigan. A regulation or OT victory would catapult the RedHawks past the Wolverines in the CCHA.

RedHawks Sweep Nanooks, face Michigan this Weekend

After finishing a sweep over the Alaska Nanooks in Fairbanks on Saturday night, the Miami RedHawks (4-6 overall, 2-4 CCHA) come home to face their fiercest rival, the #4 Michigan Wolverines, in a two-game CCHA series at Steve Cady Arena on Friday and Saturday night.

In earning their first two CCHA victories, the RedHawks used a familiar formula of stout defense, solid goaltending and timely scoring. Though this Miami team is still spending way too much time in the penalty box, at least they began to showcase the sort of mettle that’s going to be necessary for this team to win. In short, they aren’t going to win too many pretty games.

On Saturday, junior forward Curtis McKenzie got Miami off and running with a power play goal at 6:25 of the first period, senior Cody Reichard made 24 saves and sophomore forward Max Cook scored the game-winner at 8:32 of the third period as Miami held on to sweep the weekend series. For his weekend efforts, freshman forward Tyler Biggs was named the Gongshow CCHA Rookie of the Week on the merits of his two helpers, +1 rating on the weekend with one blocked shot against the Nanooks. Hopefully, this is but the first of many such awards for the highly regarded first round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs. For the season, Biggs is 1-4-5 with a -3 rating, good enough for a tie for third in scoring for the RedHawks. And, the aforementioned Reichard played both nights in allowing just two goals all weekend.

Looking ahead to this weekend, the RedHawks have no time to recover, nor revel in the sweep of the Nanooks as Miami will welcome the Michigan Wolverines to Steve Cady Arena. The Wolverines (7-2-1 overall, 3-2-1-1 CCHA) split a two-game series in Ann Arbor with Western Michigan last weekend delivering the first loss of the season to the Broncos on Saturday night. Unlike Miami, the Wolverines have found immediate replacements for lost scorers including Carl “That Miele Guy” Hagelin and Louie Caporusso, and have received major contributions from rather unknown upperclassmen such as Lindsay Sparks (13 points) and A.J. Treais (10 points) who lead the team in scoring. In fact, Michigan is averaging 4.6 goals per game, good enough for third in the nation while Miami is averaging just 2.3 goals per night.

Back in net is the “Baby Goalie” himself, senior Shawn Hunwick. Hunwick is off to another strong start with one shutout, a 1.62 goals-against average and sterling .941 save percentage. But, as we know, the Baby Goalie uses a rattle can be rattled. We need the Miami student section to get all over him and hope he loses his cool and “goes Caruso” like he’s done in the past. This season he’s already punched a player (above) earning a 5 minute major and a game misconduct in a loss against Northern Michigan in Marquette. Let’s be loud and get the Baby Goalie off his game this weekend. Rattles in the crowd would be outstanding!

Unfortunately, this is not a good matchup for Miami. Our undisciplined play this season could really hurt us against another talented Michigan squad that’s playing good hockey. While their power play is only converting at a .196 click, they already have seven skaters with at least 9 points meaning they’re getting contributions from everyone. By contrast, Miami does not have a single scorer with more than 7 points (Alden Hirschfeld) and cannot get into an up and down game with the talented Wolverines. To steal a game, we’ll need to clog the neutral zone, play stout defense and get great goaltending from our two senior leaders in net. If last weekend’s performance against Alaska is a sign of things to come, this series could be close. But, in the end, Miami doesn’t seem to have enough right now to build on it’s 7-3 record against the Wolverines over the last 10 games.

As much as I’d like to see Miami improve it’s 1-3 home record this season, I think Michigan sweeps.

The Power Play: 2 (more) Minutes with Scott Hicks

Welcome back to the Power Play, RedHawks fans.  We sat down with Scott Hicks a while back and we just had to give him a 4 minute major penalty so he could blab on and on and on  introduce us to the RedHawks Women’s Club Hockey Team.

The RedHawks had a rough weekend against Michigan State last week. Friday was quite the struggle, as MSU jumped to a 3-0 lead after just 7 minutes of play. The ‘Hawks were able to slow things down and bring it back to 4-4 halfway through the third, but ended up falling 6-4.  Saturday’s contest wasn’t as close, as the ladies were overpowered 4-1 by the defending National Champions.

This weekend provides a great opportunity to catch the Ladies in action as they take on Western Michigan at 9:30 on Friday night and 12:30 on Saturday. If you’re in Oxford for the men’s games, be sure to stick around on Friday night for the Women’s game and catch the second game before you leave for the weekend!

Here’s the second part of our interview with Coach Hicks. If you haven’t read the first half of the interview, click here.

Redskin Warriors (RW): Many of us missed your first couple of series in Oxford against Grand Valley State and Michigan State. What does the rest of the schedule hold? And what can we expect from the Lady RedHawks this season?

Scott Hicks (SH): The rest of the year posses a lot of challenges for our program. Mainly by joining the CCWHA we have increased our competition level. Every week will be a challenge but I see us moving forward and competing every week just like we had this past weekend. We have a few home series left including November 11-12th against Western Michigan and December 2-3 against Northern Michigan. Another highlight is a visit at the end of January from the University of Wisconsin.

I would expect to see exciting hockey from our program this year. We are young and as these freshmen and sophomores get more used to playing the college game they will get more comfortable and we will see increased production. With that, it will open up more chances for our two captains, Jess Wood and Channing Ahbe, who we count on tremendously. Our goals this year are to finish in the top half of the conference and give ourselves a chance to be in the national tournament hunt.

RW: How would you compare the team to the men’s product? Do you have to coach them differently?

SH: You do have to coach women a little differently than Men. Women are tougher than Men, and it poses a challenge at times. I can say I truly have enjoyed coaching women. The response and dedication they provide is more than I have seen from some men’s programs.

RW: The old website for the club team stated you practiced only once a week last year. In your second year, are you practicing more? Do you have more games on the schedule?

SH: Our website is in the process of being refined (many updates are complete – check it out here), but we have increased our ice time. It has more than tripled this year. We practice twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays for an 75 minutes.

In addition, last year we played a 7 game schedule and this year it will be close to a 24 game schedule. We are now members of the Central Collegiate Womens Hockey Association (CCWHA). This will carry a 14 game conference schedule with schools like Michigan, Ohio St., Michigan St., Northern Michigan, Western Michigan, Grand Valley St., and Robert Morris-Chicago. This conference just helps add prestige to our program as it has been the top women’s club conference in the country for some time.

I would also encourage your readers to check out our league website www.ccwha.net as well as www.achahockey.org. The ACHA is the governing body for club hockey and it is a great organization which has nearly 800 total teams that compete under their name at the Men’s and Women’s level. You can see more of our results, schedule, and stats under the Women’s Division I label on the website.

RW: What are the plans for the future of the program? Will we be cheering on a Division I Women’s Ice Hockey team in Oxford soon?

SH: Our plans for the future right now are to really continue our focus of building the foundation we set this year. We want to become a viable national championship contender. We do want to get our name out more, not only on campus but nationwide. We want to continue getting quality girls into our program and keep improving on a daily basis. As for a Varsity program at Miami, I think it would be fantastic. However there are logistical issues with that, first of all being money. But I am hoping that our continued success and growth of our program continues to catch the eye of the school’s administration. Miami is clearly a hockey school and the benefit of a varsity program would be great but I think we are several years off from even that conversation even happening.

Scott,
The Redskin Warriors thank you for your time. You may now leave the penalty box and resume your season. We wish you and your ladies the best of luck and Go RedHawks!!

Friends, Fans and students,
Don’t forget, 9:30 after the men play Michigan on Friday (YOU’LL BE IN THE SAME BUILDING!!!), and again at 12:30 on Saturday afternoon.

If you’re in the Columbus area, the Alumni Chapter will be attending the Miami at OSU game on November 20th in Columbus. Email douglas cut 1 at gmail dot com if you would like to go (no spaces in that email address

Go ‘Hawks!!!

RedHawks get hard fought victory at Alaska

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The RedHawks have made it back into the win column!

After the grueling 3,700 mile journey from Oxford to Fairbanks, the RedHawks get their first 3 points of the CCHA Regular Season with a 2-1 victory over the Fighting Polar Bears Nanooks. The win snaps a 5 game losing streak, and should be a nice confidence booster for The Brotherhood.

Miami got on the board first as Alden Hirschfeld lit the lamp, on assists from Brian Paulazzo and Tyler Biggs at 10:15 of the first period. Alaska tied it up at 9:33 of the second period as Steven Spinell lost control of the puck in front of his own net, allowing Alaska’s Colton Beck to put one home unassisted. Just a minute later though, Reilly Smith hammered in his 5th on the season from Curtis McKenzie and Austin Czarnik for the eventual game winner.

In a game where Miami had more penalty minutes (18) than shots (14), Rico’s squad should be happy with a victory, and we’ll look ahead to a chance at the long distance sweep tomorrow night!

Game time is 7:05 Alaska time on Saturday (That’s 11:05 Eastern for those of  you not watching the end of the College Football “Game of the Century”). The game can be streamed for $8 at http://www.b2livetv.com, or get the Miami All-Access Pass to hear Greg Waddell provide the Miami audio coverage.

Go ‘Hawks!

Welcome to The Power Play: 2 minutes with Women’s Club Coach Scott Hicks

Welcome to the Power Play! Our first installment of our “interview-based” articles features Miami Women’s Club Hockey Head Coach Scott Hicks. The Lady RedHawks take on defending National Champion Michigan State this weekend at The Goggin, so we thought this would be a perfect time to introduce you to Coach Hicks and the Ladies’ Team!

I had asked Scott these questions on the eve of the team’s trip to Buffalo, NY for the Buffalo Blizzard Tournament. The RedHawks started out the tournament against Ohio State, falling 4-1 on October 21st. The next day, Miami took on host school Buffalo, as well as Colorado State, winning over Buffalo 3-1 and CSU 4-1 to take their spot in the Finals on Sunday. Having just lost to Ohio State, the RedHawks were very familiar with their opponent in the Championship game. The RedHawks came back strong and took home the trophy with a 3-1 victory. On a weekend where the RedHawks got their first ever win, they earn sweet, sweet redemption against Ohio State, and took a giant step forward as a program.

Here is the first part of our interview with Da Coach, and next week, we’ll have the second part. Thanks Coach, and Go RedHawks!!!

Redskin Warriors (RW): First of all, give us an update on how the team got started. Most casual fans didn’t even know that Miami even had a Women’s team. Where did you come from? Did the administration come to you to start a team? The other way around? Or did Miami students come to the table with the idea?

Scott Hicks (SH): Well, we got started sometime in 2009 by a trio of students: Natalie Dillion, Jess Wood, and Liz Wardlow. They were a little unorganized, but got a group of girls together. In the summer of 2010 Kevin Ackley and Dan Daikaiwa got involved and really helped them organize and get sanctioned with the university. They called me in August to gauge my interest in being involved and I came on board at that point. So it was a collaborative effort, but driven by the students more than anything, and I think all of us who came on board saw the value and need for a program like ours.

RW: Being a club hockey team, you probably don’t have a very large budget for recruiting. How do you recruit new players, and how are you growing the team?

SH: You’re right we don’t have a large recruiting budget, its virtually at a $0 balance. This is the biggest struggle we have, all recruiting is done on our own time and own dime. This season we were lucky, most of the girls we brought in contacted us with interest and we went from there. But moving forward we hope word of mouth gets out, as well as people close to the program and alumni passing along talented players. But we think our biggest recruiting tool will be our newly formed Women’s hockey camp. It was held for the first time ever this summer and we had 83 girls attend our camp which is part of the prestigious Miami Hockey Schools. (You can check out all info about the team by clicking here.)

We had such a huge interest in that camp that the director of the camp has decided to extend it to two weeks next year. So we are really going to count on this camp to bring girls onto campus and find talented players to come to Miami. We actually got our first commitment from someone who attended our camp over the summer so that is extremely encouraging for us.

RW: Tell us about the team. How many players do you have on the team? Where did the ladies come from? Be honest – were there any Synchronized Skating Team cast-offs?

SH: This year we have 16 girls on our roster. Our numbers aren’t where we would like them to be but we are a second year program and really trying to build from the ground up. It is taking time to get the girls we want here and that want to be here but I would expect our numbers to continue to grow over the next few years as we brought in 6 freshmen this coming year. Our girls actually come from all over the country. We only have 2 girls out of 16 from the state of Ohio. We brought in freshmen this year from Chicago, Phoenix and Connecticut, as well as the Cleveland area. All of these girls come from amateur hockey programs – we don’t have any figure skaters on our roster. Some come from prep school programs, public high school programs, as well as U-19 programs from across the country.

RW: What are the skill levels on the team? Have all of these women played competitive hockey? Are their skill levels similar, or is there a large spread from the top line on down?

SH: Skill level has increased tenfold from last year. We have girls who have D-I experience – having transferred in girls who played competitive Women’s hockey and some who played against boys growing up. Along with our skill level going up the gap from top to bottom has closed dramatically, which in turns makes us a much better program.

RW: We’ve seen a couple tweets from you and the team (@CoachMUwmhockey and @MiamiWHockey) about The Sisterhood. How is that catching on? Are the ladies embracing their version of The Brotherhood?

SH: All of the girls involved in our program are buying in and that is the biggest thing. I know we’re not necessarily trying to copy the men’s program but I for one respect coach Blasi and all he has done, and I think using a program like that as a template is a smart thing to do. Not only that, but it gives our girls an identity and something people can relate to. We really try to create a family atmosphere with our program and these girls have gotten really close in such a short period of time.

RW: Have you ever been kicked out of a game? Any YouTube videos of you bowing to the referees a la Rico Blasi that we need to search for?

SH: HAHA! To answer your question, no I have yet to be kicked out of a game. Although I am sure there are some officials in the area who would like to kick me out of a game, but I don’t have any YouTube moments as of yet.

Don’t forget, Coach Hicks has his shot at YouTube fame on Friday night as the RedHawks face off against defending national champions Michigan State at 9:15 PM and again Saturday at 12:15 PM. Both games will be played in Steve Cady Arena and admission is free. Go ‘Hawks!!!

To read the second part of our interview with Coach Hicks, please click here.