Author Archives: Paul Lachmann
NCHC Snapshot: Western Michigan
Western Michigan University is the final stop in our NCHC Snapshot series.
The Broncos finished seventh in the conference in 2015-16. WMU dropped three of four with Miami while finishing 5-18-1 – a .202 winning percentage in NCHC play and 8-25-3 (.229).
NCAA TITLES: None.
COACH: Andy Murray (6th season 81-84-27 – .421 winning percentage).
2015-16 RECORD: 8-25-3 (5-18-1 in NCHC, 7th place in the league).
POSTSEASON RESULT: Swept by SCSU in first round of NCHC tournament.
RINK (capacity): Lawson Ice Arena, Kalamazoo, Michigan (3,667).
LAST SEASON VS. MIAMI: Nov. 6-7, Miami 2-1 and 2-1 in Oxford. Feb. 19-20, Miami 4-1, WMU 4-1 WMU in Kalamazoo.
ALL-TIME SERIES: RedHawks leads, 65-58-11.
SCHEDULE VS. MIAMI: In Kalamazoo Nov. 4-5. In Oxford Jan. 27-28.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: So. F Griffin Molino, Sr. F Sheldon Dries, Sr. G Colin Conrad, Sr. D Chris Dienes.
KEY NEW FACES: F Wade Allison/ Myrtle, Manitoba/ Tri-City Storm, USHL; F Lawton Courtnall/Los Angeles/Sioux Falls, USHL (son of NHL F Russ Courtnall).
NOTES: WMU has finished seventh, seventh and fifth in the eight-team NCHC in three seasons.
The Broncos only managed 80 goals last season, while allowing their opponents to light the lamp 142 times, including being outscored 59-28 in the middle period of games.
Molino is the team’s top returning scorer with 25 points, including 11 goals, and Griffin was the leader on the team in assists (14).
The defense corps is led by senior Chris Dienes, who played in all 36 games a season ago, while tallying one of the team’s two shorthanded goals. Dienes racked up 14 points on three goals and 11 assists from the blue line for the Broncos.
Goalie Colin Conrad had season cut short due to injury after only seven starts while playing nine games (2-5, 4.15 GAA). Conrad, an Ohio State transfer, did make career-high 36 saves in 2-1 loss at Miami on Nov. 6.
The Broncos have added eight freshman, and WMU only has 12 upperclassmen. Western Michigan still only loses one of its top five point getters, missing forward Nolan LaPorte, who was tied for third in power-play goals with three.
WMU is trending in the wrong direction, finishing seventh in back-to-back years in the NCHC. The Broncos are off to a rough start, falling in their pre-season game at home to Toronto. WMU will also need to play much better on the road this year, as nearly anything would be an improvement from its 1-17-2 record as the visitors.
NCHC Snapshot: St. Cloud State
St. Cloud State finished second in the conference in 2015-16.
The Huskies took three of four from Miami last season, falling in Oxford 3-2 back in February. The Huskies played well throughout conference play in 2015-16 campaign, finishing 17-6-1 for a .750 winning percentage.
NCAA TITLES: 0.
COACH: Bob Motzko (12th season 235-164-42 .694 winning percentage).
2015-16 RECORD: 31-9-1 (.729); 17-6-1 in NCHC (.750, 2nd place in the league).
POSTSEASON RESULT: Lost 5-4 to Ferris State in the regional semifinals.
RINK (capacity): Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, St. Cloud, Minn. (5,159).
LAST SEASON VS. MIAMI: 3-1 (Oct. 30-31 at St. Cloud: SCSU won 3-0 and 3-1; Feb. 5-6 in Oxford SCSU won 5-1, lost 3-2 in Oxford).
ALL-TIME SERIES: Miami leads, 14-10-2.
SCHEDULE VS. MIAMI: In Oxford Jan. 6-7, in St. Cloud Feb. 10-11.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: D/F (C) Ben Storm (COL 153rd pick overall in 2013), F Patrick Russell, G Charlie Lindgren.
KEY NEW FACES: D Dennis Cholowski (Selected 20th overall by DET in 2016). F Jack Poehling, F Nick Poehling, F Ryan Poehling, F Jack Wahlin.
NOTES: St. Cloud State has finished first, sixth, and second in the eight-team NCHC in the past three seasons.
The Huskies scored 175 goals last season, while only allowing 90 goals to pass through the SCSU defense. Five of the top six point leaders for St. Cloud have graduated, including 2015-16 top goal scorer Joey Benik (23-25-48).
Patrick Russell is the team’s top returning scorer with 41 points, including 21 assists, and Russell was third on the team in goals (20), averaging exactly one point per game.
The SCSU defense corps will be led by 6-feet-7 senior captain Ben Storm. St. Cloud will also return sophomore Jimmy Schuldt and senior Niklas Nevalainen who tallied 21 assists each, tops among returning blue liners.
Senior goalie Charlie Lindgren will be back between the pipes for the Huskies. Lindgren was solid in the crease in 40 games last year, totaling a 30-9-1 record with a .925 save percentage, shutting out five opponents along the way.
St. Cloud State led the NCHC in scoring within the conference averaging 4.33 goals per game. The Huskies took advantage of opponents’ penalties, scoring 21 times on 81 power plays, for a conference- best 25.9 percent on the man advantage.
The Huskies have plenty of optimism coming off a second place finish in the NCHC. SCSU are predicted to finish fourth in the early pre-season polls in the stacked conference. St. Cloud State will be a team to keep an eye on throughout the season, as it begins the year seventh in the NCAA.
NCHC Snapshot: North Dakota
North Dakota topped the conference standings and claimed its eighth national championship, its first in 16 years.
UND finished with an impressive 19-4-1 in the NCHC, including a pair of wins in two meetings vs. Miami, and ended the season 34-6-4 overall.
A good portion of that NCAA title team will return for 2016-17, as the now-named Fighting Hawks will again one of the teams to beat in the NCHC.
NCAA TITLES: 8 (1959, 1963, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1997, 2000, and 2016).
COACH: Brad Berry (34-6-4, .818, 2nd season).
2015-16 RECORD: 34-6-4 (19-4-1 in NCHC, 1st place in the league).
POSTSEASON RESULT: Defeated Quinnipiac, 5-1 in the NCAA championship.
RINK (capacity): Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, North Dakota (11,643).
LAST SEASON VS. MIAMI: 2-0 (Nov. 13-14. ND 6-2 and 4-3 in OT in Grand Forks).
ALL-TIME SERIES: North Dakota, 9-4-1 (.692).
SCHEDULE VS. MIAMI: At North Dakota Jan. 13-14. In Oxford Mar. 3-4.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: So. F Brock Boeser (35th overall pick by VAN), Jr. G Cam Johnson, F Rhett Gardner.
KEY NEW FACE: F Tyson Jost (1st round pick, 10th overall in 2016 by COL).
NOTES: UND has been consistent the past three seasons, finishing second, first, and first in the NCHC.
North Dakota was led by NCHC rookie of the year – forward Brock Boeser – who paved the way in goals, racking up 27 in 42 games. The Fighting Hawks lose a clutch scorer in Drake Caggiula, who has graduated, as he mustered seven game-winning goals a season ago.
Forward Austin Pogansk returns in Kelly green and white, having ranked in the top five on the team in points, lighting the lamp 10 times.
The Fighting Hawks bring back two-time captain, senior Gage Ausmus, who didn’t find the back of net, however, Gage did provide 11 assist for UND. Junior defenseman Tucker Poolman was second among all blueliners with 24 points, scoring five goals paired with 19 assists.
North Dakota looks the same in net, sending Cam Johnson between the pipes. In 34 games played, Johnson dominated with a 24-4-2 record with a 1.66 GAA with five shutouts.
Tyson Jost adds depth to an already stacked UND lineup. The Alberta native was captain of Canada’s under 18-team. The 18 year old has top-6 level potential at the next level.
UND lose scorers Drake Caggiula (25-26-51) and F Nick Schmaltz (11-35-46), as well as defenseman Troy Stecher and Paul LaDue. Still, the Fighting Hawks have 10 NHL draft picks on the 2016-17 roster.
North Dakota will enjoy be returning 18 players from last season’s championship roster, including all four goalies. UND will be a tough opponent on any team’s schedule, as the Fighting Hawks are looking to return to the Frozen Four, which shifts to the United Center in Chicago.
NCHC Snapshot: Nebraska-Omaha
Nebraska-Omaha struggled down the stretch and ended up finishing 8-15-1 (.354 winning percentage) in the NCHC, taking sixth in the conference in 2015-16.
The Mavericks tied Miami in Oxford Nov. 20, but the RedHawks would claim the extra point in the NCHC standings on a Louie Belpedio rebound goal in the series finale the next night.
UNO finished the year 18-17-1 (.514), taking sixth overall and was eliminated from the NCHC Tournament in the first round, as the Mavericks were swept by Denver.
NCAA TITLES: None.
COACH: Dean Blais (8th season, 129-116-25, .524 winning percentage).
2015-16 RECORD: 18-17-1 (8-15-1, sixth in NCHC, .514 winning percentage).
POSTSEASON RESULT: Swept by Denver in the first round of the NCHC Tournament.
RINK (capacity): Baxter Arena, Omaha, Nebraska (7,898).
LAST SEASON VS. MIAMI: 1-2-1 (In Oxford Nov. 20-21, 3-3 tie, 3-2 win/ In Omaha Jan. 22-23, 3-1, 7-3 losses to the RedHawks).
ALL-TIME SERIES: Miami leads, 18-11-4.
SCHEDULE VS. MIAMI: In Oxford Nov. 11-12; in Omaha Jan. 20-21.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: F Austin Ortega, F Justin Parizek, D Luc Snuggerud (141st overall pick by CHI in 2014).
KEY NEW FACES: F Colin Grannary (Delta, British Columbia/Merritt-BCHL), D Ryan Jones (Crown Point, Ind./Lincoln USHL), G Kris Oldham (TBL 153rd pick in 2015).
NOTES: Nebraska-Omaha has finished third, third and sixth in the eight-team NCHC in three seasons.
The Mavericks scored 103 goals last season, the top scorer, Jake Guentzel, who has graduated, notched 19 goals in 35 games, while dishing out 27 assist.
Austin Ortega is the team’s top returning scorer with 36 points, including a team-best 21 goals, and Ortega was first on the team in power-play goals (seven).
The Mavericks blue line stays well intact as the team returns all but one defenseman. Nebraska-Omaha’ top D-man, Luc Snuggerud, lead his defensive corps in points with 18, lighting the lamp four times.
Goalie Even Weninger returns between the pipes for the Mavericks, having gone 13-8-0 in a team-high 21 games a season ago. Weninger will have freshman netminder Kris Oldham looking to split time in the crease for the Mavs.
Nebraska-Omaha have added seven freshman to join the already young program. The Mavericks will only have three seniors for the 2016-17 campaign, while piling up 17 underclassman.
The Mavs jumped out to a great 6-0 start last year before dropping their final eight games, including being swept by Denver in the NCHC tournament. Nebraska-Omaha would like to play better in the third period of games, as they were outscored 39-26 in the final frame.
NCHC Snapshot: Denver
Denver finished second in the conference in 2015-16 and advanced to the Frozen Four before falling to NCHC foe North Dakota.
Last season, the Pioneers split with Miami in Oxford Dec. 4-5 but finished 17-5-2 in NCHC play and 25-10-6 overall – a .683 winning percentage.
NCAA TITLES: 7 (1958, 1960, 1961, 1968, 1969, 2004, 2005).
COACH: Jim Montgomery (69-40-14 in three seasons).
2015-16 RECORD: 25-10-6 (17-5-2 in NCHC, 3rd place in the league).
POSTSEASON RESULT: Lost to North Dakota, 4-2 in the Frozen Four on Apr. 7.
RINK (capacity): Magness Arena, Denver, Colo. (6,026).
LAST SEASON VS. MIAMI: 1-1 in Oxford (Jan. 29 – 3-1 Miami; Jan. 30 – 5-3 DU).
ALL-TIME SERIES: Tied, 10-10-0.
SCHEDULE VS. MIAMI: In Denver Nov. 18-19. In Oxford Feb. 17-18.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: D Will Butcher (C), G Tanner Jaillet, G Evan Cowley, F Dylan Gambrell.
KEY DEPARTURES: F Trevor Moore (early), F Grant Arnold (C, graduated), F Danton Heinen (early).
KEY NEW FACES: F Justin Cole, F Henrik Borgstrom (23rd overall pick by Florida in 2016).
NOTES: Denver has finished sixth, fourth and third in the eight-team NCHC in three seasons.
The Pioneers scored 134 goals last season, but the only skater on the 2015-16 team that registered 20 or more goals in 2015-16 graduated.
Gambrell is the team’s top returning scorer with 47 points, second-best on the team. That included 17 goals, and he was second on the team in assists (30).
The defense corps is led by Captain Will Butcher, who was tied for a team best plus-17. He also contributed on special teams, racking up 13 points on four goals and nine assists.
Goalie Tanner Jaillet started the bulk of games for Denver last season, and the junior went 17-5-5 with three shutouts.
Evan Cowley will likely be the Pioneers backup. Last year he went 8-5-1 with a 2.07 GAA, one shutout, and a .929 save percentage last season. Cowley was between the pipes Jan. 29 in the RedHawks’ 3-1 victory.
Seven freshman make the DU roster a year removed from their Frozen Four appearance, including Tyson McLellan, son of Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan.
Denver will be without last year’s points leader, now Boston Bruins prospect, F Danton Heinen. The Pioneers will still be dangerous as they bring in a slew of young talent including F Henrik Borgstrom.
Denver reached the Frozen Four for the first time since they last won the NCAA title in 2005. The Pioneers will be poised to get back to playing meaningful April hockey and considering DU will have the same coach and starting goaltender as last season, Denver has an excellent change to be in the NCHC’s top tier.
Miami’s Next In Line For the NHL
Twenty-seven former Miami players have logged at least one game in the NHL, and several more could be in line to join that list in 2016-17.
BoB takes a look at the RedHawks’ pipeline to the world’s top hockey league, and the players that could be the Next In Line.
C Pat Cannone, Minnesota Wild – Cannone was an iron man while at Miami (2007-11), as he recorded 133 points (45-88-133) and 83 PIM in 166 games while not missing a game his entire collegiate career. The captain of the AHL Chicago Wolves tallied a career high in points (55) and goals (20) last season. The 30 year old should anticipate a call-up to the Wild this season considering Minnesota will likely be in need a fourth line center. Cannone signed with Minnesota in the off-season and would play for AHL Iowa if he doesn’t make the big club.
D Vincent LoVerde, Los Angeles Kings – LoVerde lit the lamp 11 times last season as captain of the AHL Ontario Reign, while also dishing out 21 assists for a career best 32 points in just 56 games. LoVerde won the Calder Cup two years ago, while adding AHL All-Star to his list of achievements in last year’s campaign. The Kings have an experienced winner in the minors in LoVerde if they want to add him to their top six. Worst case: he’ll Reign in Ontario again as captain.
RW Riley Barber, Washington Capitals – The Hersey Bears rode the success of Barber’s first year with the team, finishing runner-up to champion Lake Erie in the Calder Cup. The 22-year-old was fourth in the AHL in goals (26) and was in the top 20 in points. The Pittsburgh native can rack up points by beating goaltenders in creative ways, whether it be full strength, on the power-play, or even shorthanded.
C Austin Czarnik, Boston Bruins – In Czarnik’s four seasons at Miami, he totaled 169 points, fifth most in school history, but he didn’t stop there. In his rookie season in the pros, Czarnik ranked seventh in the AHL in total points (61) with the Providence Bruins, one point behind former Miami star Andy Miele in seven fewer games. The American centerman was plus-17 in his 2015-16 season, but might have to wait to crack the top 12 forwards considering Boston signed free agents C’s David Backes and Riley Nash.
2016-17 season schedule primer
Miami opens its 39th varsity season on Oct. 8 at Providence, and for the first time since Enrico Blasi’s first campaign in 1999-2000, the RedHawks will play a pair of road games to open the season.
NON-CONFERENCE FOES: Miami will play Providence, Ohio State, Maine, Bowling Green, Cornell. The Friars went 1-0-1 at Cady Arena to open last season, and Miami swept the Buckeyes and Falcons in a home-and-home series. MU did not play Cornell or Maine in 2015-16.
LONG HOMESTAND: Miami plays five straight home games Oct. 15-29. The RedHawks host OSU in the first game and weekend series vs. Maine and BGSU.
EXTENDED LAYOFF: Miami has typically taken several weeks off around the holidays, but this season it on has two consecutive weekends off, followed by a road game at OSU on New Year’s Eve.
FOUR STRAIGHT ON THE ROAD TWICE: Miami plays four consecutive road series twice, including Jan. 13-21 when the RedHawks play back-to-back road weekends at North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha. The first time Miami has a weekend off between series, facing Denver on Nov. 18-19 and Cornell on Dec. 2-3.
BRUTAL FINAL EIGHT: Miami faces the top four teams in the conference from 2015-16 to wrap up its regular season schedule, capped off by a home series against defending national champion North Dakota. Following a weekend off, the RedHawks travel to St. Cloud State on Feb. 10-11, host Denver, face Minn.-Duluth on the road before taking on UND at Cady Arena.
TOURNAMENT SITES: The NCHC Frozen Faceoff will be at the Target Center in Minneapolis for the fourth straight season. Cincinnati hosts the NCAA regionals for the third time in four years, but Miami hasn’t made the tournament the first two times it was held at U.S. Bank Area. It’s the 70th Frozen Four but the first to be played in Illinois.
A link to Miami’s 2016-17 schedule can be found here.
Joining the BoB
My name is Paul Lachmann, and I am very excited to join the Blog Of Brotherhood for my first season. I attended Ohio/Illinois Center for Broadcasting to get hands on experience in the field. I intern with Metro Networks, which allowed me to cover MLB games. I also work at Sacred Heart Radio as the Technical Engineer/Sports Director.
I grew up in Cincinnati loving every sports team the city had to offer.
I would go to the Cincinnati Gardens and watch one of the American Hockey League’s best teams in the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks.
I’ve gradually watch more and more hockey, whether it was on TV or if I was lucky enough, my big brother, @rednblackhawks, would take me to Miami RedHawks, first at ‘The Goggin’ and eventually Cady Arena.
The atmosphere alone at those rink helped get me hooked to the sport I had rarely heard about growing up.
Now writing for the Blog of Brotherhood, I am very excited to spread that one-of-a-kind feeling that is Miami Hockey!