‘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.

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Posted on February 25, 2012, in Miami RedHawks, Ohio State Buckeyes, Reilly Smith and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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