Category Archives: Vincent LoVerde

>Miele, LoVerde Named CCHA Players of the Week

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Farmington Hills, Mich. – Seniors Andy Miele and Vincent LoVerde were named the CCHA’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.

Coming off a sweep of the Lake Superior State Lakers where the offense exploded for 12 goals and the defense surrendered only two, it’s not entirely surprising to see the RedHawks place two on the season’s final weekly award list.

For Miele, the nation’s leading scorer, it’s the third time he’s won the award this season. The senior assistant captain has recorded a point in 13 consecutive games and became the first RedHawk to surpass 60 points in a single season since 1996-97 when Randy Robitaille had 27-34-61 in his second, and final, season with Miami. Miele has a line of 19-42-61 for the year.

Senior Vincent LoVerde concluded his final regular campaign by capturing the CCHA’s Defensive Player of the Week award for the first time in his career. The rugged defenseman from Chicago has been a rock of consistency for Miami, and along with Will Weber and Joe Hartman, is a big reason why Miami once again led the CCHA in fewest goals against.

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>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.