Author Archives: Redskin Warriors

Coleman Named USHL Player of the Year

Blake Coleman, set to make his RedHawk debut this Fall, has been named the USHL Player of the Year, as well as Forward of the Year. Having spent the last season and a half with the Indiana Ice, he led the league with a total of 92 points, 38 of those being goals, in 59 regular season games. The release, which can be read in full here also says that Coleman’s plus-52 rating on record since the USHL became a Tier 1 league in 2002.

The Texan Coleman is ranked #198 on the list of North American skaters heading into this year’s NHL draft in June, which most likely translates into a late-round pick, if at all. The incoming crop of freshman looks to be impressive thus far and Coleman’s monster season with the Ice has only helped solidify his case as one of the most promising to wear a RedHawks sweater in recent years.

RedHawks In the Playoffs

There are several former RedHawks in the playoffs at the various stages of professional hockey. Here now is an updated look at their performance thus far.

NHL

– The San Jose Sharks defeated the LA Kings in overtime on Monday night to win the best of 7 series 4-2. Miami fans had a keen interest in this game, as both Alec Martinez (LA) and Dan Boyle (SJ) were looking to advance to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 6 games of the series, Martinez had 0-1-1 (an assist in Game 6) and drew 2 penalty minutes. Boyle, also in 6 games, registered 0-3-3 and 4 penalty minutes. The Sharks are awaiting the conclusion of the Vancouver/Chicago series to find out who they’ll play next.

AHL

– Jarod Palmer and his Houston Aeros are in the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs after sweeping the Peoria Rivermen in round one. Palmer played all four games and notched one goal and one assist. Game one of the second round series against Milwaukee is on Friday night.

– Things didn’t go well for former Miami netminder Jeff Zatkoff, as the Manchester Monarchs couldn’t make it past the first round, losing to the Binghampton Senators in seven games. Zatkoff finished the 2011 playoffs with a 1-3 record and a 3.80 GAA. Pat Cannone was not with the Senators for the first round series.

– Justin Mercier and the Lake Erie Monsters fell to the Manitoba Moose in 7 games of the opening round of the quest for the Calder Cup. Mercier played well, adding two clutch goals in 64 seconds in game 4 of the series and finishing with 3 goals, 2 assists, for a total of 5 points. The Monsters couldn’t cash in on a 3-1 series lead.

CHL

– In the CHL, the Allen Americans and former RedHawks Nino Musitelli and _ are moving right along en route to a championship celebration. In 8 games, Musitelli has 2-4-6; the Berry Conference Finals are set to begin Friday night. Allen will take on the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, with the winner earning a trip to play for the President’s Cup against either Rapid City or Colorado. Musitelli has played VERY well in two seasons with Allen. One has to wonder if a step up is in line next season.

Miele Wins Hobey!

St. Paul, Minn. – Earlier tonight, Miami’s Andy Miele became the 31st winner of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award honoring the nation’s best college hockey player. In doing so, Miele capped the greatest individual season in Miami hockey history by winning the CCHA and NCAA scoring races, the CCHA Player of the Year and tournament MVP awards, was named first team All-America and finally, the Hobey Baker.

Congratulations Andy!

Miele Signs With Phoenix

It wasn’t quite “The Decision”, version 2, ala LeBron James, but former RedHawk and current Hobey Baker finalist Andy Miele has made his choice and signed with…the Phoenix Coyotes. Several teams had reportedly been working to sign the Grosse Point Woods, MI native, but sources say Miele’s final five teams included Anaheim, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Jersey.

His 71 points and 47 assists this season were tops in Division I hockey and Miele became the first Miami player to crack the 60-point mark since Randy Robitaille accomplished the feat during the 1996-97 season. He was also named the RBC Player of the Year and received First-Team All-CCHA Honors.

Miele Added to Hobey Hat-Trick



Oxford, Ohio – The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation today named Miami senior assistant captain Andy Miele one of three finalists for college hockey’s most prestigious individual award. Miele, from Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., led the nation in scoring with 24 goals and 47 assists for 71 points. In doing so, he led the RedHawks to their first ever Mason Cup, awarded to the winner of the CCHA conference tournament and a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. He also became just the second Miami player to earn a seat at the Hobey Baker banquet table joining former Miami captain and current Edmonton Oiler, Ryan Jones, who was named a finalist at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season. Joining Miele as a finalist for this year’s award are Boston College’s junior forward Cam Atkinson, who recently signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the nation’s leading goal scorer, North Dakota senior forward, Matt Frattin. MURedHawks.com has an extensive write-up on Miele’s credentials, but here’s a quick summary.

  • First team All-CCHA
  • CCHA Tournament MVP
  • CCHA Player of the Year
  • Nation’s leading scorer (24-47-71)
  • Most points, 71, in a single season since 2002-03 (among all players nationally)
  • Most points, 56, in a single season of CCHA play since 1991-92
  • In addition to his on-ice achievements, Miele has been involved in the community, interacting with under-privileged kids through the One Way Farm Children’s Home in Fairfield, Ohio as well as participating in a skate with the disabled, Habitat for Humanity and the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. He is an American studies major with a coaching minor.

Here’s the link to the Hobey Baker Award Foundation release and to MURedHawks.com for their coverage. The winner will be announced at 7pm EST on Friday, April 8. The ceremony will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Congratulations Andy on a tremendous season and career. Good luck!

Showdown In St. Paul

St. Paul, Minn. – The field for the 2011 Frozen Four is set and it is conference vs. conference as two CCHA teams will take on two teams from the WCHA for college hockey supremacy.

CCHA regular season champion Michigan will take on the #1 ranked team in the nation, North Dakota in one semifinal while CCHA regular season runners-up, Notre Dame will face the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs in the other national semifinal.

And, for the first time since 2004, Hockey East does not have a representative in the Frozen Four. Such a shame…

With UMD, North Dakota, Notre Dame and Michigan, this Frozen Four is packed with marquee names. While it still stings that Miami squandered its chance for a third consecutive trip, this Frozen Four should be exciting with four big time programs looking to claim the mantle of the nation’s best. And, the CCHA v. WCHA subplot is also interesting.

Still, it’s hard seeing both Michigan and Notre Dame advance, two teams that Miami was clearly better than, but that’s the beauty of the NCAA tournament — it’s one and done and you have to bring your best or you’re out.

Miami Ousted From NCAA’s

Manchester, N.H. – With a tremendous defensive effort, the fourth seeded New Hampshire Wildcats defeated the #1 seeded Miami RedHawks 3-1 at Verizon Wireless Arena.

The careers of stand-out seniors Carter Camper, Andy Miele, Justin Vaive, Pat Cannone and Vincent LoVerde came to an end as the Wildcats used two third period goals to break a 1-1 tie and send the RedHawks home earlier than expected.

With the win, New Hampshire will face the winner of the Notre Dame/Merrimack game for a chance to advance to the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn. in two weeks.

Freshman Bryon Paulazzo, who has been on fire in the postseason, had the lone Miami goal which came in the first minute of the first period.

Miami Set to Face New Hampshire

It’s official! The 2011 Mason Cup Champion Miami RedHawks have claimed a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament and will face #4 seed New Hampshire in the Northeast Regional in Manchester, N.H.

#2 seed Merrimack College and #3 seed Notre Dame round out the regional bracket which takes place Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27.

Miami (23-9-6) and New Hampshire (21-10-6) have faced each other four times over the past two years with Miami holding a slim 2-1-1 advantage against the Wildcats. And, in 2007, Miami earned its first ever NCAA tournament victory knocking off the #1 seeded ‘Cats 2-1. That game was also played in New England.

This season, Miami and New Hampshire split their series in early October by identical 6-3 scores with Miami winning Friday and UNH earning the split on Saturday. The second game saw the Wildcats break open a close game by scoring five second period goals against Connor Knapp who was not sharp early in the year.

UNH features a high scoring line of seniors Paul Thompson (28-24-52), Mike Sislo (13-33-46) and Phil DeSimone (10-30-40) who each have at least 40 points with Thompson leading the Wildcats with 28 goals — 10 of which are powerplay markers which will be key for Miami. UNH averages 3.43 goals per game, which is just a little less than Miami’s 3.8.

Defensively, the Wildcats are led by junior Blake Kessel (5-21-26), the younger brother of Maple Leafs’ winger Phil Kessel and junior goaltender Matt Digirolamo who has played nearly every minute in net this year for UNH. Digirolamo sports an impressive .921 save percentage but a relatively high 2.49 goals against average. I’d compare him to Notre Dame’s Mike Johnson. A very beatable netminder. As a team, the Wildcats allow 2.51 goals per game while Miami is a bit more stout at just 2.2.

This will be a terrific first round match. Two high scoring teams who know each other well. Miami is riding a 13-game unbeaten streak and has won 7 in a row. The Wildcats stumbled a bit down the stretch going just 4-5-2 dropping their Hockey East semifinal matchup against Merrimack in Boston on Friday. Frankly, it’s because of UNH’s struggles that they slipped to a #4 seed which necessitated moving Boston College out of Manchester and moving Miami in to face the Wildcats in the first round.

This is a very winnable bracket for Miami but UNH will prove to be a difficult opponent. They are very talented up front and will be playing a virtual home game. If the RedHawks can find a way through the Wildcats, they would face the winner of the Merrimack/Notre Dame game, two inexperienced teams in tournament play. And, as for the Irish, a team Miami just defeated 6-2 on Friday afternoon.

If Miami were fortunate enough to advance to the Frozen Four, they would face the winner of the East Regional, either Yale, Union, Minnesota-Duluth or Air Force and would not have to face, presumably, either Boston College or North Dakota until the national championship game. But, that’s a long way away.

First up…New Hampshire at 4pm EST on Saturday, March 26.

Miami Wins First Mason Cup!

Detroit, Mich. – Andy Miele netted the game-winning goal and Reilly Smith tallied twice as the Miami RedHawks defeated the Western Michigan Broncos 5-2 to claim the first CCHA Tournament Championship in school history.

With the victory, Miami will claim the fourth and final #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The pairings will be announced live tomorrow morning at 11:30am EST on ESPN 2.

Miami Battles Western Michigan For Mason Cup

Detroit, Mich. – For the fifth, and possibly final time this season, the Miami RedHawks (22-9-6) faceoff against Western Michigan (19-11-10) in the CCHA championship game at 7:35pm at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Wow, that opening line seems strangely familiar as do a lot of what I have to say below. It’s another case of an extremely experienced and talented RedHawk team taking on a much less experienced, albeit talented, group from Western Michigan.

The RedHawks won the season series 2-1-1 splitting a pair in Kalamazoo and tying and winning in Oxford just a few weeks ago. The RedHawks could have easily swept both series as they lost third periods in two of the four games that led to a loss and a tie including losing a third period lead in Oxford. Miami is 8-1-1 against the Broncos in the last ten meetings but this is a much different team under former Miami assistant Jeff Blashill who has the Broncos playing great defensive hockey. And, in last night’s semifinal victory over Michigan, they exhibited a scoring touch like we haven’t seen much of this season.

Much like against Notre Dame, Miami has a significant advantage in experience.

Western Michigan hasn’t been to the CCHA Championship game in 1986. That’s before nearly, if not all, of their players were born. On the other hand, Miami has played in dozens of big games over the past four years and this senior class is trying to become the first to lead Miami to a Mason Cup. Something they can earn with a win tonight. It’s also likely that with a win, Miami would claim a #1 seed in the next weekend’s NCAA tournament which would be amazing considering Miami was 19th in the PairWise back in January. The RedHawks are peaking at the right time this season as they’ve made a tremendous late run.

Overall, I think Miami has more weapons, is more experienced and is playing its best hockey of the season at the right time. Miami brings a 12-game unbeaten streak (9-0-3) into tonight’s game.

Here’s a look at each team.

Offense

Up front, Western is led by freshmen Chase Balisy and former Miami commit Shane Berschbach and senior Max Campbell. However, if you take Balisy and Campbell (their top 2 scorers) together, their point totals to do not equal Hobey Baker finalist Andy Miele’s season totals alone. With Reilly Smith, Carter Camper, Pat Cannone and Alden Hirschfeld elevating their games, Western does not boast the offensive depth that Miami does.

Miami has a distinct advantage offensively.

Defense

Named to the CCHA’s All-Rookie team, freshman Dan DeKeyser has done a tremendous job stabilizing and solidifying the Broncos blue line. As a 21-year old freshman, what he lacks in collegiate experience can be made up for by his overall maturity. And, at 6’2″, he has the size to counter Miami’s larger forwards and can still work to contain the smaller ones like Miele and Camper.

Though he did not play yesterday against Notre Dame, Matt Tomassoni and the Miami defensive corps are playing their best hockey of the season. Against Notre Dame, Miami blocked 16 shots and allowed just two fluke goals (including a 5×3) in their semifinal win. Miami’s penalty kill was outstanding allowing just the one 5×3 against in six opportunities.

With Miami’s experience and size, I like our blue line vs. theirs.

Goaltending

Senior Jerry Kuhn has been outstanding for Western Michigan and he looked fabulous against Michigan last night making 29 saves in the Broncos victory. Against Miami, Kuhn is 0-1-1 this season as he surrendered three goals in both games in Oxford last month.

For Miami, it doesn’t really matter who is in net right now, both Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp are playing their best hockey of the year. The real question for tonight is who will play? Knapp has played better against Western this year earning two victories and has allowed just two goals in two games including a shutout so he may get the nod from head coach Enrico Blasi.

Intangibles

Like I said before the Notre Dame game, Miami has played in many big games over the past few seasons. They have the experience to know how to win in tough situations. Last night’s victory over Michigan is arguably Western’s biggest win in more than a decade. It will be interesting to see if they can channel that again tonight or did they spend everything they had in the semifinal win over the Wolverines.

Again, I like the way Miami is playing bringing a 12-game unbeaten streak into play today. I like Miami’s experience and the will of this senior class to attempt to earn Miami’s first ever Mason Cup.

I think Miami wins 4-2.