Category Archives: Miami Alumni

RedHawks and Redskins Hockey Alumni

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!

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‘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.

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.

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!

Weekend Sweep over UAH complete, here are your #SixPacks!

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In the event that you don’t follow us on twitter … wait … that would be unfortunate. In the event that you don’t use twitter, here are your Saturday and Sunday #SixPacks. If you’re not following us (for shame!!!), head over to http://www.twitter.com/redskinwarriors to follow along!

Saturday

Nice solid win for the #RedHawks last night to rebound from a rough weekend in Ann Arbor. Here comes your Saturday #SixPack. #MiamiU

  1. Hawks are 14-5-1 when scoring first, 11-1 when leading after 2 periods. 7-1 vs UAH all time. 5-2 in non-conf play. #MiamiU
  2. Miami outshoots UAH 32-12, allowed 2 shots in the 3rd per. 5th time this season Hawks allow 3 or less shots in per. #insidetheboxscore
  3. Paulazzo took a 5 min major and game misconduct for a high hit. That’s Miami’s 11th major of the season with 8 game misconducts & 3 game DQs
  4. 13 of #MiamiU ‘s 16 wins have come against Teams Under Consideration (TUC’s) in the PairWise. Now up to 16th & squarely on the NCAA bubble.
  5. Dane Walters scores in OT to lead WMU over Ohio State. If you’re counting (we are), that’s 0-7-4 with 4 SOL’s in 2012 for OSU. #collapse
  6. Ferris State continues to roll, shuts out ND 3-0. FSU: 44, WMU: 42, Mich/MSU: 38, ND/Miami/OSU: 36, LSSU: 35, NMU: 33 #CCHA #Standings

Hope you enjoyed the #SixPack. “Skate with the Hawks” tonight, and #MiamiU will be wearing Swoop’s Stoop jerseys. #CodyReichard #GoRedHawks

Sunday

After the second period, we posted this to follow up on Saturday’s #SixPack:

  • Did you see the #SixPack today? Add another period where #MiamiU holds their opponent to 3 shots or less. 19-3 advantage that period.

After a bit of nervousness, the @MiamiIceHockey #RedHawks pull it together and finish the sweep against #UAH. Sunday #SixPack time!

  1. #MiamiU allowed 1st goal last night, now just 3-8-2 when that happens. However, 2 goals in 14 seconds in the 2nd fixed that #fastandfurious
  2. Ben Saksa @bensaksa played in his second game as a RedHawk last night, and recorded his first save on a 2-on-1 break. #kicksaveandabeauty
  3. On a night honoring Senior Goalie Cody Reichard, it was Cody’s idea to let Saksa finish up. #trueleader #brotherhood (included link to Game Recap at MURedHawks.com)
  4. #MiamiU hasn’t lost to UAH since their 1st mtg in 1998, now 8-1-0 and 6-0 in Oxford. 48 shots last night were the most this yr. #firingrange
  5. FSU & NMU were able to #sweeptheleg this weekend. Standings at http://www.ccha.com. Ohio State won (gasp!!!) for the first time in 2012.
  6. Ferris has a 5 point lead in the #CCHA, magic number is just 8 to clinch, play vs BG and home/home vs WMU.#whydontwejustcrownthemalready

There’s your Sunday #SixPack. See you next weekend as the RedHawks take on Notre Dame in Oxford. #mustwin #brotherhood #MiamiU #LoveandHonor

Weekend Preview – Alabama-Huntsville

It wasn’t long ago – until just two months ago, in fact – that The University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers thought they were playing in their final season at the Division I ice hockey level. At times, it seemed like they are as pitiful as my adult rec league team, having been shut out for the weekend by Ohio State in Huntsville, followed by another shutout loss at the hands of Providence. UAH got on the board after those 3 consecutive shutouts, but the Chargers were again shut out for a weekend by Merrimack and UMass-Lowell, and finally were shut out for their weekend series against Bemidji State.

The men’s Division I Ice Hockey program is on life support, as UAH is the only remaining independent team Division I men’s ice hockey, and the team’s 2011-12 results may be an indication of that uncertainty for the program. If you are in love with have a man crush on NCAA hockey like the Redskin Warriors, go HERE to support the Save UAH Hockey cause, as the future of the program still swings somewhat in the balance.

As of recently, the newly installed President at the university has re-pledged his support to the hockey program, and it seems to have lit a small spark under the student athletes from hockey’s southernmost college program.

Huntsville’s record may be a weak 2-26-1, but don’t be fooled. On January 6th, they took down then 10th-ranked Denver. Two weeks ago, UAH stood strong against Current #2 Minnesota-Duluth, losing twice, but both were 1-goal games. Last Friday, the Chargers almost upset Maine. The Chargers were up 3-0 after two periods, but Maine flexed their muscle and came back for a 4-3 overtime victory. After being up 3-0, UAH allowed 9 unanswered goals, however, and lost Saturday night 5-0 as well.  That was the 10th time overall the Chargers have been shut out, and Miami will be the team’s last 2 regular season games before playing the USNTDP in 2 weeks.

In addition to the hockey series in Oxford, Cody Reichard will be featured for his off-ice accomplishments as well. His charitable organization, Swoop’s Stoop will be featured this Saturday in a number of ways. First of all, to raise additional funds for the charity, the RedHawks will also wear a special jersey on Saturday night to honor Reichard and the children he supports.  The jerseys will later be auctioned off to Miami fans and supporters, with all proceeds to benefit the charity. Before the start of the game, a pregame ceremony will feature Cody, and you can bet that he’ll be in net on Saturday night for the Hawks.

Miami will don special Swoop's Stoop jerseys for Saturday's game, which will be auctioned off to raise money for senior goalie Cody Reichard's foundation.

For his efforts, Cody was nominated as a Hockey Humanitarian Award Finalist last week.  The Humanitarian award will be presented at the Frozen Four on the same night as the Hobey Baker award, Friday April 6th in Tampa, FL.  According to MURedHawks.com, Reichard is “one of just five finalists for the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented to college hockey’s finest citizen.”

For more information on Swoop’s Stoop, check out the above links as well as the following:

In addition, if you haven’t seen Cody’s helmet featuring Swoop’s Stoop, here’s a sneak peak of what he’ll wear this weekend, as well as the online photo album. (click on the picture for a larger view)

 

If skating around with 20 year old young men who smell like hockey after skating their rear-ends off for 2.5 hours is your thing, join the RedHawks for their annual Skate with the Hawks night on Saturday as well.

Good luck to the Lady RedHawks this weekend as well! Miami’s Women’s Club Ice Hockey team heads to Grand Rapids, Michigan for their conference tournament. They kick off play against Ohio State Friday night. We’ll keep you posted on how the RedHawks fare this weekend.

Weekend Notes:

  • UAH Comes in having scored just 35 goals on the season and allowing 119. This could be the weekend the ‘Hawks need to re-open the scoring gates after being limited to just 1 goal last weekend. To contrast, Reilly Smith has 20 goals himself.
  • The Chargers are led by Freshman Kyle Lysaght with 7 goals and 6 assists, and Sophomore Mac Roy, who has 6 goals and 6 assists.
  • Miami was shut out for just the 2nd time this season last Saturday at Michigan. If it makes you feel any better, those 2 shutouts came against Ferris State and Michigan, the #1 and #3 teams in the CCHA, and the #2 and #4 teams in the PairWise.
  • Miami stands at #18 in the PairWise, and need all the wins they can get in order to make the NCAA tournament for the 7th straight season.
  • This weekend’s series is the first time since December 2-3 that their opponent isn’t a ranked team. Northern Michigan was not ranked that weekend, although they are now ranked #19 by USCHO.
Fearless Predictions:

Miami will come out strong and bury the weaker foe both nights. 5-1 on Friday. Cody’s night wouldn’t be complete without taking the all-time shutout mark at Miami. Cody gets the shutout 4-0 on Saturday.Both games this weekend will air on ONN in the state of Ohio. Friday’s puck drops at 7:35 and on Saturday, things get started around 7:05 after the Swoop’s Stoop/Cody Reichard recognition ceremony.

Weekend Wrap-up

Thank goodness for good friends this weekend. Taking in a game at Yost Ice Arena was something every NCAA Hockey Fan should experience.  The loudest arena in the country, hosting an important series at the end of the season where every point matters. I won’t say that Miami made it easy for the Michigan faithful, but they didn’t seem to make it hard to cheer, and jeer, this weekend.

Friday Night:  Highlights — Box Score

All I can say about Friday is: momentum. After the first goal came less than 2 minutes into the game, the ice was tilted in Michigan’s favor for the rest of the period and Miami couldn’t recover. As mentioned in the Saturday #SixPack, Miami has allowed 10 goals within 3 minutes of scoring this season, having allowed one 4 times within 1 minute of the most recent Miami tally.  The 4th Michigan goal on Friday night was a dagger that killed the momentum Miami had gained. After the first period that saw 3 Michigan goals, 2 of the power play variety, Miami had outshot Michigan 11-1 in the second period, and had just scored to bring the game to 3-1.  The reply goal in this case was the straw that broke the camel’s back and Miami never recovered and went down 4-1.

Saturday Night: Highlights — Box Score

I’ve uploaded several pictures for your perusal. Head over to our Facebook page for the full album. Don’t miss the end of the album to enjoy the “many faces of Rico Blasi” portion. Coach Blasi was bummed out absolutely incensed with the officials in the third period of Saturdays game after a weekend of inconsistency and unbelievable calls.  The following pretty much sums it up. Thanks to these fashionable crazily dressed Wolverine fans for the picture opportunity:

The biggest issue that I’ve always had with CCHA Referees like Brian Aaron, Mark Wilkins, Barry Pochmara and last weekend’s pairing of Keith Sergott and Brian Hill is the inconsistency.  The best thing I can say about the refereeing is that they are consistently inconsistent.  The forever lively Michigan Student section said it best during both games: “The refs have lost control! … The refs have lost control! … The refs have lost control!”

In addition to a number of offsides calls that were just too close to blow a whistle, the weekend’s referees missed several blatant slashes and blows to the head from each side of the ice.  Keith Sergott and Brian Hill had actually been pulled after 1 game of a series earlier this season, after some say he mis-managed the first game of the Western Michigan against Notre Dame series on January 13-14. With such a budding, yet heated rivalry between Miami and Michigan, it’s a mystery why Sergott and Hill were even in charge of this series less than a month after such an incident.

There are two things you’ll notice after the 2:00 minute mark of the highlight video posted above. First of all, take a look at the goal/no-goal that Rico was rather furious about.  From just about every vantage point I’ve seen – on the replays in the arena (I’m amazed the arena staff kept replaying it on the video boards) and afterwards on the DVR – the puck doesn’t appear to cross the line.

From page HR-68 of the NCAA Ice Hockey Rulebook (emphasis added):

A goal is scored when the puck, … passes between the goal posts, entering from the front and below the top of the net, and completely crosses the goal line

I can’t find any reason referees Brian Hill and Keith Sergott should have overturned the call. It hurts to say that. The goal would have pulled Miami to 2-1 in a heated 3rd period that featured 76 penalty minutes total.  Despite the blatant inconsistency, I believe that they got this one right, and that video replay was inconclusive in showing whether the ENTIRE puck made it the ENTIRE way past the goal line.  Coach Blasi did say to the media afterwards: “When 6000 people go ‘uhhhhhh’ it’s a pretty good chance that the home team knows that it’s a goal. The explanation was that from [Brian Hill’s] view, it wasn’t a goal. So, we’ve got to accept that and move on.”

On the other hand, if you had watched the game on CBS College Sports this weekend, the overhead replay was not available on the play, and it was NOT due to the broadcast not having rights to this camera. As to why, we can only speculate at this time. I was sitting directly behind the penalty box area several rows up, and never did we see the requisite overhead view on the monitor with our limited view.  In an arena with something like THIS hanging from the rafters, you’d think they would have a working overhead replay camera that is 1. required by the CCHA, and 2. actually functions.  In this case Michigan will have to pay a fine, and get away with highway robbery on what could have made a tough weekend for Miami one that was more easily swallowed.

The second item to look for is immediately following Chris Brown’s undressing of the usually steady Will Weber to score the 3rd Michigan goal of the night. Brown pulls a Tebow on the ice as he skates in front of where the Miami parents were sitting for the game. If you saw this action with 1 minute left in the game (please watch your volume here – slightly NSFW), you now can see why Weber had good reason to drop the gloves.

With just 1 minute left in the weekend’s play, Michigan freshman Alex Guptill slashed Connor Knapp well after the puck was buried and play had been whistled dead. This was not the first time this had happened on the weekend, and Weber made it known that it would not be tolerated with a solid crosscheck to Guptill to clear the crease area. Guptill didn’t like it, appeared to hit Weber in the helmet with his stick, and followed that foul up with a blatant spear to Weber’s midsection.  The aforementioned Brown skated in and laid a Tyson-esque right hook to Webers head, followed by a facemasking penalty that would carry a 5-minute major and game misconduct in any other situation.  Weber stood his ground, and after the dust settled, both had been sent off for fighting majors and game disqualifications.

In my eyes, Weber, who had been through an awful weekend of play, not to mention endless jeers from the relentless Michigan students, had every right to protect his goaltender. (In return, as you see in the video, Connor Knapp comes to ensure that Brown got what was coming to him at the hands of Weber after a game full of chippy-ness from both sides.) Weber and Brown face 1-game suspensions due to the Game Disqualification penalties they received to go along with their fighting majors.  While a Miami blueline without Will Weber is certainly going to take some adjustments and younger players to step up, Miami takes on Alabama-Huntsville in non-conference play next weekend. Michigan will face the Spartans of Michigan State, and missing their leading scorer will certainly be a tough pill to swallow in perhaps the CCHA’s only more heated rivalry besides the Miami/Michigan one.

Other Notes (forewarning – these aren’t fun):

  • Miami was 0-12 on the power play on the weekend and allowed 2 power play goals in Michigan’s 3-goal first period to start the weekend series.  Miami drops to 49th nationally on the Power Play, and jump to 3rd in total Penalty minutes in the country with 518 total (17.3 PIMs per game is 6th most).
  • There were 35 penalty minutes handed out on Friday, and an impressive 98 PIMs Saturday, including 76 in the third period.
  • Michigan Head Coach Red Berenson won his 745th game as a head coach. He is now alone in 5th all-time in NCAA coaching victories.
  • Michigan D-man Lee Moffie scored an assist on Friday night and had two goals on Saturday night, including the game winner, which was also shorthanded.  Throw in 3 blocked shots on the weekend and Moffie is your CCHA Defenseman of the Week.
  • Michigan Goalie Scott Hunwick stopped 53 of 54 shots on the weekend (and added in a 2-minute tripping minor penalty) and took home the CCHA Goaltender of the week as well.
  • Miami is now 5-46-1 at Yost Ice Arena all-time.

Poll Update:

More importantly, Miami’s two losses catapulted Michigan to the #2 spot in the PairWise Rankings, and dropped Miami to 18th. With 2 non-conference games, 4 CCHA games, and the CCHA Tournament looming, Miami seems to be on the outside looking in at the NCAA tournament at this point.

UPDATE: After Monday’s Beanpot semifinal games where Boston University beat Harvard 3-1 and Boston College beat Northeastern 7-1, Michigan drops to a tie for 3rd

We’ll have your preview later in the week as the RedHawks return to action Friday night at 7:05 and Saturday at 7:35 against the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Both games will be televised on ONN across Ohio.

Weekend Preview: Northern Michigan

After a nice HUGE weekend sweep of Western Michigan, where 3 RedHawks made the CCHA Player of the Week roll, Miami welcomes the Northern Michigan Wildcats to Oxford. The ‘Cats swept Miami on December 2-3, 2011 with a 2-1 victory on Friday night and a dominating 5-1 victory the following night.

The standings look a little different for this week’s matchup than they did just 1 week ago, but let’s take a look back where things stood on December 2. On that date, Northern Michigan stood 2-5-1 plus an additional 2 shootout wins. NMU was reeling, having come off of a pair of 4-1 losses at Ohio State, as well as a split at home against Michigan State. The Wildcats were getting pushed around, and Walt Kyle’s team was heading towards the bottom of the league.

Rico Blasi’s squad was also having an interesting go of it. After the 2-6 start of the season, Miami had turned things around, having won 2  games with a score of 2-1 in Alaska, then took 5 of 6 possible points against #4 Michigan, 4 of 6 against BGSU (both in Oxford), and then went to Denver to win the Denver Cup over Providence (6-2) and #9 Denver (4-2). The ‘Hawks had just finished November 6-0-2 and had swept the CCHA Monthly Awards for November.  The first weekend in December was certainly one to forget for the Miami faithful, and after the holiday break, Miami sat in NMU’s position – 9th in the CCHA.

Flash forward almost 2 months, and you have the #17 ranked RedHawks on a tear.  Miami comes off of a sweep of then #8 Western Michigan, a team previously on fire, and is 5-1 in 2012.  Miami sits in a tie for 2nd, just 2 points behind Ohio State in the ever-crowded CCHA standings.  #19 ranked Northern Michigan comes to Oxford stuttering, having gone 2-1-2-0 in the new year, with both ties being shootout losses. Having won last weekend at Michigan Tech in a non-conference matchup, the Wildcats have some catching up to do in the conference standings. Currently 9th, the Cats are sitting with 25 CCHA points, putting them just 6 points out of a tie for 5th and a first-round CCHA Playoff bye.  Having played 2 less games than many of the top teams will help the Cats gain ground, but they will be need to be willing to throw all 9 lives out on the ice this weekend to gain those precious CCHA points.

With 16 underclassmen on the roster, NMU’s season has been successful thus far. Senior Captain Tyler Gron leads the way as expected with 11 goals and 16 assists on the year. He is the reigning RBC Player of the Month for the CCHA. The ‘Cats only current draft pick is Senior Justin Florek (Boston).  He leads the team with 13 goals on the season and 21 points overall, and also has 8 career points in 11 games against Miami. Stopping this duo will certainly be a focus point for Rico’s boys this week in practice.

NMU Head Coach Walt Kyle is is 187-161-43 all time in his current post.  Kyle has been doing his best Rico Blasi impersonation this season, rotating games between Senior Reid Ellingson and Sophomore Jared Coreau in between the pipes.  Both have played 14 games, with Ellingson going 4-5-3 and Coreau sporting a 7-3-2 record.  If ever there was a goaltending conundrum, this would be the game.

You’ve seen our take on the Miami goaltending situation, and Walt Kyle has a similar difficult choice ahead of him this weekend.  Ellingson has started most Friday nights for Kyle, and Coreau most Saturday nights including last Saturday’s 5-2 non-conference victory at Michigan Tech.  Ellingson last played on January 13th against Michigan State, where he allowed 4 goals before being pulled in favor of Coreau under 8 minutes into the second period.  Don’t be surprised if Kyle goes with a hot hand in Jared Coreau, December’s Gongshow CCHA Goaltender of the Month, to try and take a few points out of Oxford.

Fearless Predictions:
Will Miami come off of the WMU weekend and slip up and lose focus with another big weekend ahead? Will Northern Michigan be able to show they belong in the CCHA playoffs discussion?
I don’t think so. I look for Connor Knapp to start both games again, and Miami has a weekend similar to the last time the Cats came to Oxford. Last year, Miami swept NMU back to Marquette by a combined 13-1 score.

Miami 4-1 and 5-1 and pulls to an even 12-12-2 against NMU all-time in Oxford.

Notes

– Here is Pete Conrad’s take on the weekend’s series at the Dayton Daily News

RedHawks stop #8 Western Michigan

Reilly Smith had all three RedHawks goals on the night, and the Miami defense stood tall in handing #8 Western Michigan it’s 8th loss of the season.  Senior goaltender Connor Knapp took the ice again after a much criticized benching against Lake Superior State last weekend.  Proving to be the wise choice tonight, Knapp stopped all but 1 of the 27 Bronco shots, bringing his personal unbeaten streak to 5 games.

With yet another stellar performance in net, you’d think Knapp would take home the Perani Cup #1 Star of the Game. However, that honor goes to Captain Reilly Smith. Starting the scoring before the first media timeout, Smith scored the opening goal from Freshmen Austin Czarnik and Jimmy Mullin.  Smith would go on to score the game winner in the second on a shorthanded chance, and a final goal in the third for his 3rd career hat trick.  Reilly has 17 goals on the season, along with 7 assists and leads the team with 24 total points. It isn’t the scoring outbreak that we saw in 2010-11 from Andy Miele, but he is on his well on his way to reaching his 28 goals from last season.

On the night, Czarnik had assists on all 3 goals, and Mullin had assists on the bookend goals. It was quite a night for the RedHawks top line who were a combined +8 on the night with all three goals and all 5 assists handed out. Reilly’s second period, shorthanded goal was also the game winner. That’s his 6th of the season, tying him for the national lead once again.

Outside of the top line, the defense also looked fantastic as the ‘Hawks returned to Oxford for the first time since December 10th. Chris Wideman was a stellar +2 on the night, and the rest of the defense will go down tonight as being the unsung heroes.  In the Miami zone, 19 Western Michigan shots were blocked, and there were countless hits from Miami defenders who were by far the more physical team behind the Miami net all night long.

The RedHawks faithful was treated to a fantastic showing on every inch of the ice, and were very vocal in cheering on the Red and White.  Smith’s third goal was some much needed insurance as well. Miami hadn’t played in Oxford since December 10th and hadn’t won in Oxford in over 2 months. The last Miami win in Oxford was a 4-0 win over BGSU on November 18th. In that span, they had lost an overtime heartbreaker to Ohio State 3-2, and lost in a shootout to BGSU after losing 4 one-goal leads on November 19th.

Be sure to watch the rematch tomorrow night as Miami takes on these same Western Michigan Broncos at. Tomorrow night’s game will be broadcast across the great state of Ohio on the Ohio News Network (ONN) and puck drop is set for 7:05 PM.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@RedskinWarriors) and take a look at our Saturday #SixPack in the morning for some eye-opening statistics from the Friday Night College Hockey landscape.

My 3 stars of the night… Hard to argue with the three official choices made by the Miami Athletic staff, but I’ll change it up a bit:

 Connor Knapp: 26 Saves, 1 Goal Allowed, 5th consecutive win

Junior forward Reilly Smith needs five points to become the 47th player in school history with 100 career points. Reilly Smith: 3 G, +3 Rating, 8 SOG

 Austin Czarnik: 3 Assists, +3 Rating, 2 SOG (he was too busy passing to the red hot Smith)

 

Notes

– Two of Western Michigans’ three leading scorers, Shane Berschbach and Dane Walters did not play. At one point, Berschbach was a Miami commit before his scholarship offer was revoked due to off-ice issues prior to enrolling at Miami. We understand Walters is injured but do not know why Berschbach did not suit up for the Broncos. Something to watch for in the series finale.

Palmer Likely to Debut Tonight for Wild

Former Miami RedHawk Jarod Palmer is likely to make his NHL debut tonight when the Minnesota Wild host the New York Islanders in St. Paul.

Palmer, who was signed following the completion of the 2010 season as an undrafted free agent has spent parts of the last two seasons playing for the Wild’s AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros, where he has registered 13-25-38 and an impressive +20 in 91 career games.

This is tremendous news because obviously Palmer holds a special place in the hearts of RedHawk fans as he was so instrumental in leading Miami to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Frozen Four in 2009 and 2010.

In his Miami career, Palmer never missed a game recording 137 points (47-90=137) in 169 outings for the Red and White and was an integral part of Miami’s incredibly successful penalty killing unit that dominated opponents. I fondly remember he and Andy Miele working the first PK unit together and literally maintaining possession in the offensive zone, sometimes throughout the kill.

Congratulations Jarod!