Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tuesday’s Newsbrief

It’s going to be a long couple weeks waiting for Miami’s second round CCHA playoff series against the Michigan State Spartans. Here are a few links and tidbits to help you cope through the bye week.

Smith, Knapp, Mullin Named CCHA Players of the Week

For what seems like the 40th time this  year, the Miami RedHawks had multiple members of the club named CCHA players of the week. And, for Reilly Smith and Connor Knapp, their names have been etched on the awards almost weekly during the second half of the season.

Smith had a weekend line of 3-3-6 including a four-point night on Saturday in Miami’s sweep of duhOSU in earning the CCHA Offensive Player of the Week honor. Smith now has 26 goals on the season which is best in the conference and second in the nation. He was +6 on the weekend and named the #1 star both nights. He has now won this award four times this season, most of any player.

Knapp stopped 50 of 51 shots on the weekend in notching both victories and landing the CCHA Goaltender of the Week award. He allowed just the one goal on the weekend, which was a 5×3 powerplay, and earned his fourth shutout of the season on Friday. The reigning INCH National Player of the Week is making a strong stretch run to be included in all major player of the year discussions. His 1.53 GAA is first in the country and his .939 save percentage is second while both lead the CCHA. (source: MURedHawks.com)

Jimmy Mullin earned the first weekly award of his career by being named the CCHA Rookie of the Week after a 1-4-5 line and +5 weekend. Mullin had two assists on Friday and followed that up with a 1-2-3 line on Saturday when he opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the season.

For the season, he has nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points, which ties for third on the team and ranks fifth among freshmen in the CCHA. (source: MURedHawks.com)

As a team, the RedHawks have claimed 17 CCHA weekly awards, four more than any other team. In addition to Smith and Knapp’s four awards each, Miami has won six Rookie of the Week honors, as Mullin is the fourth different RedHawk to win the award, and three CCHA Gladiator Defenseman of the Week accolades. (source: MURedHawks.com)

Moving on Up

The weekend sweep has given Miami a six-game winning streak to close the season. The last loss for the RedHawks came on February 4 when Michigan finished a weekend sweep in Ann Arbor. Miami finds themselves tied for eighth in the most recent PairWise, sixth in KRACH (6th most difficult schedule), eighth in the INCH Power Rankings, 11th in the USCHO poll, and finally getting some respect from USA TODAY as they are eighth in the USA TODAY/USA Hockey poll.

The RedHawks earned a well-deserved first round bye and the right to host a second round series against former CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos’ Michigan State Spartans March 9-11 at Steve Cady Arena.

Anastos Bullish on Miami

Speaking of Tom Anastos…the MSU head coach and former CCHA commissioner made several flattering comments when asked about the RedHawks in his Monday press conference. Take a listen. He’s definitely turning on the coach-speak, but his praise for Miami is well earned. He makes some interesting points about the size differential between the two squads. And, as you recall, he was most concerned about Miami’s physicality the last time the two teams met, a Miami sweep in East Lansing on January 6-7. Here’s what we had to say after that series the opened the RedHawks’ second half surge.

To his credit, Anastos said of the Friday game, “I thought that we got what we expected – a tough, physical game from an opponent that has some pretty good size across the board. They made things tough for us, but we generated some shots and did a good job getting in front of the net.” (source: Lansing State Journal) So, at least the Spartan head man acknowledged the size and strength of the RedHawks and certainly did not go on the record complaining about calls because he got plenty of them Saturday night. On the results of the weekend, Anastos said, “When someone comes into your rink and beats you in every phase of the game, that’s unacceptable.” (source:Lansing State Journal) It’s always great hearing an opposing coach talk about how his team was dominated — especially in their barn.

Lastly, here are your Saturday night highlights of Miami’s 5-1 win over duhOSU.
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Camper nets first career NHL goal

It wasn’t a pretty wrister that we saw time after time at Miami, but rather, former RedHawk captain Carter Camper went to the hard area of the ice and capitalized on a rebound while fighting off an Ottawa defenseman to net his first career goal in just his second NHL game, a 5-3 Boston winner. Camper was the Bruins’ best faceoff man in his first outing, a 4-2 win over the Blues, and got his first goal in last night’s win over the Senators despite going 0-for-4 on draws.

Congratulations, Carter!

Friday Highlights vs. duhOSU

In case you missed the game, here are the highlights from Friday’s 3-0 victory over duhOSU.

Miami finishes sweep of Ohio State 5-1

Connor Knapp made 22 saves and Austin Czarnik recorded the first two-goal game of his career as Miami completed the weekend sweep of duhOSU winning 5-1.

Jimmy Mullin (9th goal), Blake Coleman (11th) and, who else, Reilly Smith (26th) also notched goals for Miami who outshot the Buckeyes 33-23 on the night.

It was yet another stellar defensive performance by Miami, and by all accounts, similar to last weekend against Notre Dame when at no point did you really think duhOSU could challenge Miami. In fact, the RedHawks probably allowed no more than 5-8 minutes of offensive zone time against during the final two periods of play. I’ll be curious to hear the duhOSU head coach’s excuses after this weekend that saw Miami outscore the Buckeyes 8-1.

duhOSU did their best to maintain the chippy play they started on Friday in Oxford, and Miami definitely took the bait ending up down two men twice during the game. And, the Buckeyes capitalized on their early 5×3 chance when someone named Al McLean scored in the first period to knot the game at one after Jimmy Mullin opened the scoring just 43 seconds into the game.

Miami’s top line of freshmen Austin Czarnik and Mullin plus junior Reilly Smith was far too much for duhOSU.

After freshman Blake Coleman broke a 1-1 tie with his 11th goal of the season, Smith would add a third first period goal at 16:09, roughly 30 seconds after Coleman’s eventual game-winner on the powerplay.

And, in the second period, it was all Miami as Austin Czarnik (2-1-3) tallied twice, assisted both times by Smith who had a line of 1-3-4 on the evening while Mullin went 1-2-3 as the top line was a combined 4-6-10 on the night.

For senior netminder Connor Knapp, it was business as usual.

Knapp stopped 22 of 23 duhOSU shots, the only goal coming on a 5×3 powerplay as he is now 13-6 on the season with a 1.53 goals against average with .939 save percentage. Knapp and Reilly Smith (26-12-38) have each played themselves into CCHA player of the year contention, and perhaps, into the Hobey Baker discussion as Smith is now second nationally in goals and Knapp is in the top 5 in almost every major goaltending category, except maybe victories.

With the weekend sweep and Michigan State’s split with Notre Dame, Miami will finish in fourth place in the CCHA and host the Spartans in Oxford for the second round of the CCHA playoffs which will be a best-of-three series. The winner will advance to the CCHA semifinals in Detroit with an opportunity to play for the Mason Cup. The Michigan State series will be March 9-11 at Steve Cady Arena. Miami swept the Spartans in East Lansing January 6-7 so this should be an outstanding series to watch.

Currently, Miami is tied for 8th in the PairWise rankings. We’ll see if that changes as other games go final.

duhOSU coach Mark Osiecki continued his pattern of whining after losses with yet another classic.

“In the second period we had a puck hit the post and it bounced out. It could’ve been a 3-2 game but we haven’t been able to get those bounces to go our way all season when they matter.”

Sure, Mark. Those bounces were probably all you needed against a superior opponent.

Check back tomorrow for the Redskin Warrior #SixPack as we breakdown the key facts and figures for the RedHawks.

Ryan Siroky a RedHawk

According to his personal Twitter account (@rsiroky24), ’95 birthday and California native, Ryan Siroky (5’11”, 180), has verbally committed to play his college hockey at Miami. Siroky spent 2010-11 with the LA Junior Kings (LA Selects) where he posted 14-20-34 in 35 games and part of last year with the NTDP. Siroky has spent this year with the LA Selects Midget AAA 16U team and played three games with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL as they drafted him over the summer. Presumably, he’ll move up to the Gamblers next year as a “full fledged” 17-year old.

In August, Siroky led all U.S. Junior Select players at the 2011 U-17 Five Nations Tournament in Ann Arbor with three goals three assists as the Americans swept their four games to win the tournament going away.

Since he just turned 17 in February, Miami fans shouldn’t expect to see him on campus until at least the 2013-14 season and perhaps even the following year depending on his development and Miami’s needs.

Congratulations, Ryan! And, welcome to The Brotherhood!

Here’s a rundown on Ryan and the rest of the U-17 team from the United States of Hockey.

Siroky got better in every single game he played and ended up tying Oglevie for the team lead with six points (3-3). He plays hard every shift and had good finish when he was near the net. He was blocking shots, playing physical and never missing a beat offensively. He became more and more of a factor in each game. He’s a fun player to watch. Draft eligible in 2013

‘Hawks Send Seniors Out With Win, Knapp Earns Shutout

Apparently Senior Goaltender Connor Knapp felt a little left out when his counterpart Cody Reichard got his 12th shutout of his career a couple weeks ago. Junior Forward Reilly Smith scored twice, Freshman Blake Coleman added his 10th of the year, and Freshman Jimmy Mullin had 2 assists on the night to lead Miami to a crisp 3-0 throttling of Ohio State, their 5th win in a row.

With the win, Miami jumps up a spot in the CCHA Standings, and has guaranteed itself a first round bye in the CCHA tournament. Tonight, things finish up for the regular season, and with some help Miami could finish as high as 2nd, or as low as 5th. More on this to come.

Since Reichard’s 12th shutout on January 28th against Northern Michigan, Connor Knapp has only turned up the dial on his unbelievable season. The shutout is his 4th of the season, but all 4 have come in 2012. Knapp, Rechard and David Burleigh all sit with 12 shutouts in their careers at Miami. It’s pretty impressive to think that Cody and Connor have each tied this Miami record while splitting time in net, and Knapp should have his first chance to break the record tonight in Columbus.

While Connor Knapp continues to streak in net, Reilly Smith is proving that he is good at hockey as well. Smith had the first 2 goals of the night. That makes 25 goals on the season – best in the CCHA, and second in the country. He also leads the country in game winning goals with 8 and is now averaging more than a point per game.

On the night, Ohio State’s Cal Heeter really stood on his head for much of the game. After the opening goal with 3:16 left in the first, the crowd was sitting on their hands for a good portion of the evening. Heeter stopped 15 shots in the second period, coming up with some highlight-reel saves on Seniors Trent Vogelhuber and Patrick Tiesling, as both had breakaway chances.

After nearly 40 minutes of scoreless hockey, however, the seive returned, and Reilly had his second of the night on an wrister from the right faceoff dot to give Miami an insurance goal. Freshman forward Blake Coleman finshed off the night with a goal that hit off of Heeter’s stick, pad and shoulder, and popped up over his head and into the net.

Special teams stayed strong for the ‘Hawks as well, as they went 5 for 5 on the penalty kill. Ohio State managed to stay out of the penalty box except for 2 penalties, but there were several blatant no-calls from the night’s officiating crew. I’ll keep my comments to myself on the interference calls that Miami kept getting called for but were not called the other way.

After last night, Miami is now 17-5-1 when scoring first, and a staggering 16-1-0 when holding a lead going into the third period. They have now shut out their opponents 6 times. Despite the record-tying shutout, Connor Knapp is still focused on getting wins. After the game, he told muredhawks.com and the media “It’s a nice accomplishment for both of us (Reichard) but you’re not worried about shutouts. The biggest thing at this point in the season is the wins, so I’m just happy to get the win tonight.”

After the game, Miami’s 10 seniors were honored for their years of work in the Goggin. We’ll have more for you on each of the seniors as the season winds down, but I will say this: this may be a tougher group of seniors to lose than last year’s group of 5, even with a Hobey Baker Winner

Miami looks for the sweep tonight at 7:05 in Value City Arena in Columbus. You can catch the game for a fee on BTN.com if you won’t be joining 2 of the Redskin Warriors (Alex and Beef) tonight in person.

RedHawks finish Regular Season with Home/Home against Ohio State

It has been a wild week for the Miami Hockey “family” this week.  From the end of the Swoop’s Stoop jersey auctions, to Carter Camper getting the call up to the NHL’s Boston Bruins, everywhere you turned this week, the RedHawks were making headlines.  Connor Knapp took home the CCHA Goaltender of the Week award, as well as the INCH National Player of the Week award, solidifying his spot as Miami’s go-to goalie right now. And finally, add into the mix Tommy Wingels badgering the bigger and taller R.J. Umberger in on Wednesday (while playing on the Shark’s top line) in Columbus.

I’m guessing that Tommy didn’t have Miami’s upcoming series against Ohio State on his mind as he dropped gloves against the former Ohio State Captain and current Columbus Blue Jacket, but it was definitely a preview of what is sure to be a heated series this weekend in Oxford and Columbus. Of late, the series has been of the intense variety, with the Red and White holding the advantage in the overall series. Bolstered by the addition of the no-defunct Ohio Hockey Classic as well as a few CCHA playoff series, the RedHawks have faced Ohio State more than any other team in school history.  Earlier this season, each team won on the road in the first home and home series, and the all-time mark is now 64-60-12. Surprisingly, Ohio State holds the edge in Columbus with a 21-33-7 mark, despite the raucous crowds empty cavern of an arena they now play in.

Miami's 10 seniors will be honored following Friday's game, which has an early start time of 6:05 p.m.photo courtesy of muredhawks.com

Friday night’s contest will be at 6:05pm in the Goggin, with the puck drop moved up to accomodate the CBS Sports Network telecast.  It wil be senior night for the ‘Hawks, and the 10 Miami Seniors will be honored AFTER the game due to the early start. The RedHawks look to finish of the regular season on Saturday night in Value City Arena in Columbus on Ohio State’s Senior night.  Puck drop is set for 7:05pm and the game will be only be streamed online at BTN.com. The first 5,000 fans will receive rally towels on Saturday night, as well as thundersticks from Big Money U Ohio State, so get there early (yawn…).  You can take a quick glance at the weekend’s tale of the tape from College Hockey News by clicking here.

To say that 2012 has been dismal for Ohio State would be an understatement. After shooting out of the gate with a 14-4-1 record to start the year, including a 11 game unbeaten streak (ended by Miami), Ohio State has since gone 1-7-4. To make matters worse, all 4 of those ties were shootout losses, with 2 of them coming at the hands of last place BGSU. That’s a measly 7 points in CCHA conference play since we rang in 2012. The only thing that could make this half of the season worse for Ohio State is another ugly sweater contest. Here are a few of the glorious entries of recent memory:

Along with Ohio State’s free fall over the course of 2012, they’ve also slid down the PairWise rankings and CCHA standings. After hitting the top spot on the PairWise, where they stayed for a long period largely due to their strength of schedule, Ohio State now sits in 13th, just 1 spot behind Miami and Michigan State. In the CCHA standings, Ohio State has fallen from the top spot all the way to 7th, and even with only 3 points this weekend would still likely not get a first round bye in the CCHA playoffs. Ohio State can finish as high as 3rd or as low as 9th in the CCHA standings.

Miami, on the other hand, bottomed out at 9th early in the year, and will finish somewhere between 2nd and 7th. Many RedHawks fans will likely be watching the scoreboards this weekend, and rightfully so. Currently, Miami’s Magic Number to clinch a first round bye in the CCHA Playoffs stands at just 3 points. Just one win will put Miami far enough ahead of Lake Superior State and Ohio State who sit in 6th and 7th respectively, that those two teams will not be able to catch up on this final weekend of the CCHA regular season. Miami currently sits in 5th place, and keep in mind that 1st through 5th get byes in the current CCHA playoff format.

In addition to cheering for Northern Michigan as they host Lake Superior State in the lower half of the standings, Miami will also be looking up the standings, as they are currently tied with Michigan State in the PairWise at 11th. MSU will be playing in South Bend against a Notre Dame team that hasn’t won since February 3rd against Bowling Green, and have lost 5 straight. Western Michigan, currently 3rd in the CCHA is within striking distance, especially considering the Broncos have a home/home series with Ferris State this weekend (FSN Detroit, 7:05pm Friday).

For those keeping score at home, outside of beating Ohio State, cheer for Ferris State to win the CCHA and sweep Western Michigan, and follow that up with a 5 points from Notre Dame over MSU (CBS Sports, 8:35pm Friday; Comcast Sports, 7:35 Saturday). And finally, root on Northern Michigan over Lake State.

Hopefully you’re one of the 400+ that purchased tickets through miamibeef and the Columbus Chapter of the Alumni Association, nearly 100 who will be joining RedAlert or the Miami Blue Line Club’s bus trips, and will be joining Beef for the game in Columbus.

Enjoy the games and GO REDHAWKS!

Wingels drops gloves for 1st time in NHL

Former Miami captain Tommy Wingels dropped the gloves for the first time in his NHL career tonight and came away with the decision in the Sharks’ bad 6-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. What was extra satisfying about the fight is that he decisioned former Ohio State hack Buckeye, R.J. Umberger.

Miami > duhOSU. Always.

Knapp Named INCH National Player of the Week

For the second time in two months, Miami senior goaltender Connor Knapp was named the Inside College Hockey National Player of the Week.

At this rate, Knapp is stocking up on more hardware than most Home Depot stores begging the questions — will Knapp enter the CCHA Player/Goaltender of the Year discussions, and possibly, merit Hobey Baker consideration?

One thing is certain, with the way he is currently playing, Miami would do well to ride the big man as far as he can carry them.

Congratulations, again, Connor!

Bruins go Camping

Former Miami captain, Carter Camper, was recalled by Boston. He will join the Bruins in time for Wednesday’s game at St. Louis and should skate during today’s practice. Camper, who notched 183 points in 156 games for the RedHawks, will have a real chance to get into the lineup as the defending Stanley Cup champions are struggling to score goals and are just 3-6 in their last nine games having been shutout four times during that stretch.

Congratulations Carter and good luck!