Category Archives: Pat Cannone

2011-12 Season Preview: Miami RedHawks Forwards

Over the next few days, we’ll preview the 2011-12 Miami RedHawks for you. We start with the Forwards today. Enjoy!

Returning stars (with Twitter handle, NHL Rights)

  • Reilly Smith (@muckbro18, DAL) led the team in goals last year with 28, to go along with 26 assists. If it weren’t for 2 super-seniors, this guy is your MVP of the 2010-11 RedHawks.  Reilly was a unanimous pick to the preseason First-Team All CCHA (9/27) after an outstanding sophomore campaign in which he led the CCHA in +/- rating at +27.  He finished the year with several honors including First team all-CCHA, CCHA all-Tournament Team, College Hockey News Second-Team All-America and INCH Third-Team All-America. We are all hoping that Reilly’s scoring wasn’t inflated by Andy Miele’s presence last year and that he will carry over last year’s success into this year.
  • Senior Co-Captain Alden Hirschfeld’s (@aldenhirschfeld, undrafted) 12 goals-14 assists — 26 total points line last year didn’t show much of the story. The kid scores big goals.  Alden scored the game-winning goal in double overtime against Michigan in the Midwest Regional Final in 2010, and 1 each in NCAA tournament games against Denver (round of 16) and Bemidji State (Frozen Four) in 2009. Point totals have been 6, 14 and 26 in his first three years in Oxford. He netted two goals in Miami’s exhibition win over Windsor on Sunday.
  • Trent Vogelhuber (@tvogelhuber, CBJ) and Curtis McKenzie (@muckbro16, DAL) will be counted on to mentor the 6 incoming Freshmen forwards.

2011-12 Rookies (Twitter handle, NHL Rights)
These guys are easily Miami’s best recruiting class ever. Scoring. Size. Speed. Scoring. Two-way ability. Toughness. Filthy hands. Did I mention scoring ability?

  • Tyler Biggs (@Tyler_Biggs, TOR) Listed at 6’3″, 210 pounds, Tyler should make a great replacement for Justin Vaive and provide a much higher scoring punch. In the words of our friend, Miami Women’s Club Hockey Head Coach Scott Hicks: “He’s not as big as weber. He just provides a completely different dynamic than vaive. He is more of a playmaker with a scoring touch than just a goal scorer.”  High praise for this youngster.
  • Cody Murphy (n/a, undrafted) – Played for the Tri-City Storm last year, where he served as assistant captain, and recorded 25 points on 11 goals and 14 assists in 60 games.
  • Jimmy Mullin (n/a, TB) – registered 3 shots in the exhibition. In his one season in the USHL, Jimmy played for the Fargo Force, scoring 60 points on 23 goals and 37 assists in 52 games as he was named first team All-USHL.
  • Blake Coleman (@BColes25, NJD)- 13 shots on goal in the exhibition (6 in the first, 7 in the third). Blake will get on the scoring sheet, and should do so often.  Blake played 59 games for the Indiana Ice last season, and had an incredible 92 points on 34 goals and 58 assists in being named the USHL’s Player of the Year.
  • Austin Czarnik (n/a, undrafted) Considered a steal for the RedHawks, as he was originally committed to Michigan State, de-committed and came to Oxford. Let’s hope he stays a few years. His speed and determination will be gamechangers for Miami as we battle east coast squads and move into the NCHC over the coming years.
  • Alex Wideman (@awides10, undrafted) Under-sized, but according to some, has possibly the most upside of all the incoming forwards. His speed and savvy will be an asset as he could have the best overall career of any of this freshman class.
There are a lot of connections from these guys to active upperclassmen. Of course we know about Alex and Chris Wideman being brothers. But in addition, Alex, Blake Coleman, Max Cook and Bryon Paulazzo all played together at the same time for the Indiana Ice in 2009-10.

Key Losses

  • Pat Cannone. Third leading scorer at 14-23–37 in 2010-11, and someone who scored 30 or more points EACH of his 4 years in Oxford totaling 133 career points. Sure the next two guys are hard to swallow, but this one is equally as hard.
  • Some other guy named Carter Camper. 19-38–57 in 2010-11, 4o+ points per season (41, 42, 43, 57). Captain. ‘Nuff said.
  • Oh yeah… I think I forgot someone… Hobey Baker Award Winner Andy Miele… 24 Goals, 47 Assists. 71 total points last season and 170 career points as a ‘Hawk.  Gone.  Poof.

Total scoring lost: 5 seniors (Cannone, Camper, Miele, Justin Vaive 9-7–16, and defenseman Vincent LoVerde 2-7–9), 70-122–192. 48% of goals scored last year.  A total of 523 total points out of 4 guys over 4 seasons.  Makes you think back to the amazing times we’ve enjoyed in the Goggin since 2007.

Predictions
Well, let’s not get too excited, but I don’t think the RedHawks will lose much production on offense. These guys are more than capable of picking up the slack where the 4 departing seniors left things after last year.  The Media and Coaches seem to think the same, picking Miami #2 in the CCHA preseason polls and #1/2 in the National Polls, and you can’t do that unless you’re expected to reload.

The gun’s loaded and cocked. Let’s see how things shake down on Friday night!!! 3 days left until Regular Season HOCKEY!!!

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>Miami Battles Notre Dame in CCHA Semifinal #1

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Detroit, Mich. – For the fifth, and possibly final time this season, the Miami RedHawks faceoff against Notre Dame in the first CCHA semifinal at 4:35pm at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The RedHawks and Irish split the season series 1-1-2 with the teams winning and losing in Oxford before tying twice in South Bend last month.

Miami allowed third period leads to evaporate in both Friday night games enabling Notre Dame to escape with a win and a tie. Based on each team’s performance, Miami is clearly the better team, but they’ll need to shore up their late game play against a relentless, young Irish squad trying to knock off a veteran team to earn a spot in the CCHA Championship game Saturday night. When the teams met early in the season, and even last month, Miami was not playing its custom team defense as they are currently. Along with Miami’s significant experience advantage, Miami is deeper with better goaltending and is playing its best hockey of the season.

Here’s a look at each team.

Offense

Up front, both teams are dynamic with Notre Dame being led by freshmen T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee while Miami counters with Hobey Baker finalists Andy Miele and Carter Camper along with leading goal scorer Reilly Smith and senior co-captain Pat Cannone.

Miami is deeper and more experienced up front so as long as they control the two freshmen, they should have an advantage here.

Defense

Sean Lorenz leads Notre Dame’s excellent defensive corps and was named CCHA Defensive Defenseman of the Year for his efforts supplanting Miami’s Will Weber who won last year’s award. Unlike Miami, the Irish don’t get much offensive production from their blueline, but they can be stout in their own end.

Again, Miami’s battle-hardened group of juniors (Chris Wideman, Will Weber, Matt Tomassoni, Cameron Schilling) plus senior Vincent LoVerde and rugged sophomore Steven Spinell should have an advantage in terms of experience. All have played in Frozen Four games and they have recommitted themselves to team defense. If Miami continues to play the way they have over the past month, the RedHawks should have an advantage here.

Goaltending

Probably the weakest link of the Irish, Mike Johnson has been beaten up pretty good by Miami this year though the RedHawk tandem of Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp have each been beaten for five goals in a single game by Notre Dame this year.

However, the Miami goaltenders have been fabulous down the stretch. I’ll take junior Cody Reichard, and his big game experience, over Mike Johnson any day.

Intangibles

Miami has played in many big games over the past few seasons. They have the experience to know how to win in tough situations. These Notre Dame freshmen have not as evidenced by their struggles last weekend against a Lake Superior team that Miami absolutely destroyed. I like the way Miami is playing bringing an 11-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.

Hobey Miele Update

Oxford, Ohio – With two goals and two assists including a game-winner over the weekend, Hobey Baker Award candidate Andy Miele increased his nation’s best points and assists totals to 65 and 44 respectively. Miele’s line on the season is now 21-44-65 as he leads the national scoring race by 10 points over Niagara’s Paul Zanette and by 11 points over North Dakota’s Matt Frattin. Frattin once again picked up huge points against Michigan Tech, the nation’s 52nd ranked team by KRACH, with 4-1-5 on the weekend including an empty net goal.

Miele has now notched at least one point in 15 consecutive games, a career best. He has picked up his game and carried Miami into the postseason over the past two months. The RedHawks are 10-2-3 during Miele’s streak including an 11-game unbeaten streak heading into their semifinal matchup at Joe Louis Arena against Notre Dame.

For the season, Miele has been at his best when the score is close.

Of his 65 points, 25 (38%) have either given Miami the lead or tied the score during games this season. Clearly he is both shooting and distributing the puck appropriately right now and will be counted on over the final weeks of the season to carry Miami along with fellow seniors Carter Camper and Pat Cannone and sophomore Reilly Smith.

As a key cog in both Miami’s power play and penalty kill, Miele plays at both ends of the ice and is a major reason why both units rank in the top 10 in the nation. Miami’s power play ranks 5th nationally and their penalty kill ranks 2nd among all of Division I.

www.gotmiele.com

>RedHawks Pick Up Swag

>Farmington Hills, Mich. – If postseason awards are any indication of future results, Miami should be in great shape during the remainder of the 2011 college hockey season.

Miami placed six players on the CCHA All Conference teams with a league-leading three on the first team.

Seniors Andy Miele and Carter Camper were joined by sophomore Reilly Smith as the RedHawks offensive stars dominated the first team.

Miele, the nation’s top scorer and leading candidate for the Hobey Baker Award was a unanimous selection to the first team, the first CCHA player to do so since 2008. The senior assistant captain was named to the conference’s second team last year while Camper was honored with a first team selection for the second time in his career after earning honorable mention a season ago.

For Smith, the league’s leading goal scorer, it was his first selection to the CCHA All Conference team in just his second year in the league. Smith potted 8 goals and 20 points a season ago but has tripled his goal output (24) and more than doubled his point total (44) in a breakout season.

Junior defenseman Chris Wideman was named to the second team after earning a spot on the All-Rookie team two seasons ago. For the year, Wideman had 2-18-20 in 34 games as the offensive minded defenseman has eclipsed the 20 point barrier in each of his three seasons.

Senior Pat Cannone and junior Cody Reichard were named honorable mention to round out the RedHawk contingent.

The three RedHawks on the first team is a school record.

>Miami Victorious on Senior Night

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Band of Brothers – The 2011 Senior Class (Camper, LoVerde, Vaive, Cannone, Miele)

Photo: Rachel Lewis

Oxford, Ohio – One night after allowing a 3-1 lead to slip away in a 3-3 tie with #15 Western Michigan, the Miami RedHawks defeated WMU 3-1 on Senior Night at Steve Cady Arena.

Senior assistant captain Andy Miele, junior Matt Tomassoni and sophomore Curtis McKenzie had the goals for the RedHawks (17-9-6, 14-7-5-2 CCHA) and junior netminder Connor Knapp made 16 saves to earn his sixth win of the year.

The five-member senior class consisting of co-captains Carter Camper and Pat Cannone, Justin Vaive, Vincent Loverde and Miele have helped lift Miami’s program to heights unseen in their time on campus. This class has been part of the first two Frozen Fours in school history, has won 102 games — and counting, and could lead this year’s squad to the first Mason Cup championship in a few weeks in Detroit, and just perhaps, an elusive national title.

For the weekend, Miami dominated the Broncos. If not for a stretch of about 1:40 on Friday, they would have easily swept Western Michigan. On Saturday, Western at one point went 23:15 between shots on goal as Miami opened a 3-0 lead. The RedHawks outshot the Broncos 35-17 including 17-5 in the third period. It was clear these seniors were not going to lose another third period lead to the upstart Broncos.

But rather than sweeping, Miami earned four league points on the weekend as they tied, but dropped the shootout Friday night. Though they entered the weekend in first place in the CCHA, they left tied with Michigan for second, just one point behind Notre Dame. Both Michigan and Notre Dame picked up weekend sweeps of conference opponents and both have two games in hand over Miami. They will spend that “capital” next weekend as the RedHawks are off.

Though they left in second place, Miami gained points in a much more important way.

Entering the weekend tied for 16th place in the Pairwise Rankings that largely determine the NCAA Tournament field, Miami helped themselves with a win and a tie against Western Michigan. After last night’s games went final, Miami had moved all the way to a tie for 9th position jumping CCHA leader Notre Dame and weekend foe Western Michigan in the process. They are currently tied with Michigan (Miami leads series 2-0) and New Hampshire (series tied 1-1) and are actually ahead of 7th place Nebraska-Omaha in terms of their RPI.

While I haven’t been able to go through all of the math, here is roughly what I believe happened to enable Miami to so significantly move up in the Pairwise.

  • Miami tied and defeated Western Michigan turning that comparison in the RedHawks favor as they win the season series 2-1-1
  • Michigan swept Ohio State dropping the Buckeyes out of the Teams Under Consideration (TUC) category. Since the Buckeyes swept Miami earlier this year, that 0-2 mark was damaging the RedHawks’ record vs. TUC’s. Not that this is different than any other time, but we want Ohio State to continue to lose.
  • Since winning the Florida College Classic championship over Miami, St. Cloud State has been on fire entering the TUC race. Miami has a 1-1-1 record against SCSU and that win replaces the two Buckeye losses
  • Miami’s strength of schedule is rated 13th toughest in the nation. Of the teams ranked ahead of them in the Pairwise, only North Dakota, Denver, UMD and UNO (WCHA, anyone?) have higher rated schedules with some of the ECAC and Hockey East schedules being embarrassingly bad (e.g., Yale, Merrimack, Union, etc.)

With this weekend being a bye week for Miami, it will be interesting to see how their 9th place ranking in the Pairwise fares. I’ll try to provide context for the teams we should be “rooting for” as Miami prepares to finish the regular season February 25-26 at Lake Superior State. Earlier this season Miami defeated and tied the Lakers in Oxford by 6-2 and 2-2 scores.

Lastly, I’d like to thank the seniors for their devotion and performance on and off the ice. Having watched them largely in person over the past three years, it’s been bittersweet to have only attended two games this year due to relocating out west. Between dropping the national title game in ’09 to losing Brendan Burke and losing a tough one in last year’s national semifinals, this group has battled adversity. It would be quite the send-off if they could somehow muster a way back to the Frozen Four for the third consecutive year, and maybe, just maybe go out with a bang in St. Paul.

But, first things first.

Let’s sweep the Lakers in two weeks.

>#12 Miami v. #15 Western Michigan

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Oxford, Ohio – Fresh off their sweep of then #9 Michigan, the Miami RedHawks welcome the Western Michigan Broncos to Steve Cady Arena for the final home regular season series of the season. And, it’s another important one for the RedHawks.

Under first-year head coach and former Miami assistant Jeff Blashill, the Broncos (15-6-9, 9-5-8-4 CCHA) are having their best season since they were 18-18-1 in ’06-’07 and are in the midst of a 13-game unbeaten streak. Currently sitting in fourth place in the CCHA, Western Michigan is just 6 points behind first place Miami (16-9-5, 13-7-4-2) with two games in-hand. However, the Broncos finish with an absolutely brutal 6-game stretch beginning tonight where they will face the top three teams in successive weeks. After facing Miami this weekend, Western Michigan will face Michigan next weekend, then Notre Dame, with just one of their remaining six games scheduled to be played at home in Kalamazoo.

Offensively, the Broncos aren’t much to write home about. They average just 2.81 goals per game in conference play and 2.76 overall. Two of their top three scorers are both freshmen in Chase Balisy (10-16-26) and former Miami commit, Shane Berschbach (7-17-24). Berschbach also leads the Broncos in power play points with 11. However, Berschbach did not make the trip to Oxford and will not play this weekend after suffering an injury to his right knee. Blashill has said he expects Berschbach could miss several weeks of action.

Where the Broncos do measure up is on defense and in goal. Riding a 13-game unbeaten streak into Steve Cady Arena, where the Broncos have never won (0-4), Western Michigan allows just 2.31 goals per game in conference play and 2.2 overall. Senior goaltender Jerry Kuhn has taken the reins from Nick Piselini and sports an 8-1-5 overall record with a sparkling 1.94 goals against average. A former college goaltender for Ferris State, it’s no big surprise to see Coach Blashill’s work with Kuhn paying immediate dividends.

For Miami, seniors Carter Camper, Pat Cannone, Andy Miele, Justin Vaive and Vincent LoVerde will be playing their final regular season games at Steve Cady Arena. Miele, Camper and Cannone comprise three of the top four scorers for Miami, and you can bet they all understand what’s on the line. Though it would be nice to claim back-to-back regular season titles for the first time in school history, these two games offer an opportunity for the RedHawks to climb in the Pairwise rankings where they are currently tied for 16th — a precarious position at best for selection into the NCAA Tournament. Currently Western Michigan is ranked ahead of Miami (13th) so two wins would help Miami’s tournament chances.

Miami and Western Michigan split an earlier series in Kalamazoo with the Broncos winning 5-2 on Friday and the RedHawks earning a split by taking a decisive 5-1 win on Saturday. In the first game, Western jumped to a 2-0 lead but Miami would tie the game entering the third period. The Broncos would score three goals in the final frame that would foreshadow Miami’s third period collapses that followed.

But, the RedHawks have battled all year to put themselves into position to make that a reality and I’m sure these seniors would like one more shot at a national title. Though they need help to make the dance, it doesn’t matter if they don’t continue winning. Last weekend’s sweep of Michigan doesn’t mean anything if they don’t keep it going. And, right now the team is showing signs of peaking. They are paying more attention to team defense, Cody Reichard has provided solid goaltending during the second half of the season and the offense has been led by the senior captains and super sophomore Reilly Smith.

With an emotional series behind them and a bye week next week, I see no reason Miami doesn’t take care of business and set the upstart Broncos aside.

Miami sweeps 4-1 and 4-0.

Notes

  • Both games will be televised in Ohio on ONN and online via Miami All-Access at muredhawks.com
  • Tonight’s faceoff is 7:35pm and tomorrow at 7:05pm

>Miami Sweeps Michigan in Critical CCHA Series

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Reilly Smith scored two goals to lead Miami to a 3-0 victory over Michigan

Oxford, Ohio – Sophomore Reilly Smith netted his 20th and 21st goals of the season and senior Andy Miele contributed three assists leading Miami to their 16th victory of the season sweeping Michigan 3-0. By virtue of Miami’s 4-2 win on Friday, and with Notre Dame idle, the RedHawks move into first place in the CCHA with four regular season games to go.

Wearing special commemorative jerseys to honor the one year anniversary of Brendan Burke’s passing, and with the entire Burke family present, the RedHawks used the emotion of the evening to jump out to a 2-0 lead after one period. Smith tallied twice, first on a nifty wraparound after picking up a loose puck behind the net. Miele fed Cameron Schilling at the point who fired a one-timer wide of the net. Smith found the puck and moved on his backhand to beat Michigan netminder Shawn Hunwick who was out of position after challenging Schilling’s shot.

Smith would tally again at 15:16 of the opening period when Miele found Trent Vogelhuber open at the Michigan blueline. Vogelhuber would move in alone on Hunwick but his backhand attempt was stopped. However, Smith tracked down the rebound and fired a sharp wrister to the top corner over a prone Hunwick who was knocked down in stopping Vogelhuber’s chance.

Senior Pat Cannone would add the RedHawks final goal of the evening on the powerplay when Miele fired a cross-ice pass to Cannone who one-timed it past Hunwick. Cannone’s 13th goal of the season came at 13:42 of the second period and just after two Wolverines took penalties on the same play giving Miami a 5×3 advantage.

Junior netminder Cody Reichard was solid for the second consecutive night picking up his third shutout of the season and the 10th of his career. Reichard is now 4-1 in his past five games against Michigan with the one loss coming in the CCHA Tournament last March in Detroit and needs only two more shutouts to tie David Burleigh’s career record of 12.

While not facing too many significant chances, Reichard did stop Matt Rust on a semi-breakaway and also stymied Michigan on seven powerplay attempts. For the night, Reichard made 23 saves and senior defenseman Vincent LoVerde blocked seven shots as the RedHawks picked up their fifth team shutout of the season.

Next weekend, the RedHawks remain at home for a key two-game series with Western Michigan. Former Miami assistant coach Jeff Blashill has the Broncos riding a 13-game unbeaten streak behind the stellar play of freshmen Chase Balisy and former Miami commit Shane Berschbach. WMU is currently tied for 11th in the Pairwise rankings, just six points behind Miami in fourth place in the CCHA standings so these games are big for both teams.

Notes

  • Miele leads the nation with 54 points in just 30 games.
  • Miami features three of the top 10 scorers in the nation with Miele (54 points) and Carter Camper (47 points) first and second, and Reilly Smith (38 points) in 10th place to pace the RedHawks.
  • Miami and Western Michigan split a series earlier this year in Kalamazoo with the Broncos winning 5-3 on Friday and Miami returning the favor 5-1 on Saturday. The Friday game saw Miami tie the score at 2 after falling behind 2-0, but the Broncos pulled away with three in the third period. On Saturday, Miami dominated from start to finish.
  • Miami leads the series with WMU 52-50-9 but the RedHawks have dominated the series over the past several years and lead 30-20-3 in Oxford.
  • Western Michigan was 8-20-8 last year. New coach Jeff Blashill has the Broncos at 15-6-9 overall this year good enough for fourth in the CCHA.
  • Miami is now tied for 16th in the Pairwise rankings. Two wins against Western Michigan, a team ranked ahead of them, would go a long way to earning the RedHawks another NCAA tournament berth.