Category Archives: Will Weber

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.

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Preseason All-CCHA teams announced

The CCHA has released its 2011-2012 preseason All-CCHA teams.

Reilly Smith heads up the 1st-team with 10 first place votes – only he and Notre Dame’s T.J. Tynan received 10 first team votes, earning them both unanimous decisions. Cody Reichard makes the first team as the league’s top goaltender. Defenders Chris Wideman and Will Weber made the 2nd-team as well.

>Three RedHawks Named Finalists for CCHA Awards

>Farmington Hills, Mich. – Andy Miele, Reilly Smith and Will Weber were three Miami RedHawks named finalists for the CCHA’s most prestigious awards that will be handed out next Thursday night in Detroit, Mich.

Miele, a senior assistant captain from Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. was named one of three finalists for the RBC CCHA Player of the Year Award. As the nation’s leading scorer, Miele is the leading candidate to win the award and is the front runner to win Miami’s first ever Hobey Baker Award, given to the nation’s best collegiate hockey player.

As a two-time recipient of the RBC CCHA Player of the Month Award and the reigning HCA National Player of the Month, Miele could be in line to pick up Miami’s second straight CCHA Player of the Year award. Junior netminder Cody Reichard won the award last year.

Junior defenseman, and reigning CCHA Defensive Defenseman of the Year, Will Weber has battled through a tough season that saw him need surgery and 100 stitches and 15 staples to repair a serious laceration as a result of an errant skate blade. Despite that, Weber missed just six games, contributed ten points and blocked 28 shots this year. If nothing else, Weber has proven his toughness and his determination by returning so quickly from such a scary injury.

Super sophomore Reilly Smith was named a finalist for the CCHA Defensive Forward of the Year. To be perfectly honest, this feels like a nod to Smith’s superb year without actually having a proper award category for him. Since he was not named a finalist for Player of the Year, I guess the league’s coaches and administration saw the need to ensure Smith was recognized for his 24 goals and 44 points.

Smith was twice named the CCHA Offensive Player of the Week and is joined as a finalist for the award by Michigan senior forward Carl Hagelin who is also a finalist for Player of the Year. Something tells me the powers also wanted to reward Hagelin’s solid, if not inconsistent and uninformed, season by throwing him a bone. With three Miami players named first team all conference, I wonder if Hagelin would like to amend his earlier comments?

That Miele guy and his friends sure seem like a pretty good offensive team to me.

>Miami 8th in USCHO Poll

>Oxford, Ohio – On the strength of their sweep of Lake Superior State, the Miami RedHawks have moved to 8th in this week’s USCHO.com poll. And, with their 9-game unbeaten streak intact, the RedHawks have moved up to a tie for 9th in the PairWise rankings that largely determine the field of 16 for the NCAA Tournament.

With a first round bye in the CCHA conference tournament, the RedHawks await the winner of a best-of-three series this weekend. If all the upper seeds hold, Miami would host Walt Kyle’s Northern Michigan Wildcats in another best-of-three series for the right to go to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. to battle for the Mason Cup.

Earlier this season, Miami swept Northern Michigan in Oxford by scores of 4-0 and 9-1. That series was marred by the injury to junior defenseman Will Weber who was inadvertently cut in the neck by the skate of Wildcat captain Phil Fox when the two came together in the corner. Weber, of course, returned only a few weeks later and is the reigning CCHA Defensive Defenseman of the Year and is a stalwart of the Miami defense which allowed the fewest goals of any CCHA squad.

>Sophomore defenseman Weber Arrested, Released

>He may be in the midst of a simple misunderstanding, but Will Weber is now undoubtedly in a certain degree of “hot water” shall we say, as he was arrested by the Oxford Police Department on Sunday.

Details are sketchy as to why the purse was actually taken from the Oxford bar that Weber was at. The police report claims that the sophomore defenseman left the bar, with the bag in hand, and attempted to hide it from police officers as he left.

Here’s where things become confusing…

Weber claimed the purse was that of a girl he was walking with, but the report claims that the girl was carrying her own purse and that it did not belong to her. The true owner of the purse was eventually found and she claimed to not know Weber, or the girl he was with. Upon leaving, Weber, highly intoxicated at the time of the incident, claims that the girl had asked him to grab her purse, but claims he took the bag in question completely by accident. The officers on scene spoke with the woman that was with Weber and the report alleges that she never asked him to grab the purse. The woman also said that she believed the theft to be simply a mistake.

He was charged with theft, and underage drinking and subsequently released.

Even though the circumstances are strange, I have to think that this was just a stupid mistake on his part. Of the many facets of Miami hockey, crime is not one of them. The coaching staff brings in quality players, both on ice and off, year after year. Sure, there may be a bad seed here and there, but Weber is not cut from this cloth. We’ve all done silly things while under the influence and I’m sure he’ll have a nice chat with Coach Blasi, if it hasn’t happened already.

On an unrelated related note, Weber, a 2007 second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, will be in development camp with the team beginning next week.

>3 RedHawks to Attend Jackets Development Camp

>The Columbus Blue Jackets have released the roster for the team’s 2009 development camp and three players with Miami ties have been invited.

Trent Vogelhuber is the lone forward to make the roster, while Will Weber and Kevin Roeder will represent the RedHawk defense. You’ll recall that Vogelhuber (Rd. 7, 211 overall) and Weber (Rd. 2, 53 overall) were both selected by Columbus in the 2007 draft and have attended the rookie camp before. Roeder is a free agent invitee.

The camp will be held at Nationwide Arena’s Dispatch Ice Haus and will run from June 29-July 3. Admission is free, with the times of each days’ workout listed below:

June 29: 2:45 to 4:15 p.m.
June 30: 10:30 a.m. to noon
July 1: 10:30 a.m. to noon
July 2: 10:30 a.m. to noon

View the rest of the Jackets D-Camp roster by clicking here.

>A Promising Future for Weber, Mercier, Zatkoff

>Over at Hockey’s Future, they have released the 2008 Columbus Blue Jackets’ “System Audit,” as it’s called. RedHawk freshman defenseman Will Weber headlines the group of young Blue Jacket…”future” defenseman (and Goodness, don’t they need it right now.)

In the amateur ranks, the Jackets have a number of defensive prospects who may develop into NHL-caliber talents with more seasoning in either the NCAA, junior North American leagues or across the ocean. Headlining this group is 2007 second-round pick Will Weber, a lanky two-way rearguard still growing into his oversized 6’4 frame. While still several years removed from an NHL audition, Weber may well have the most talent below the NHL level among the organization’s defensive prospects. He’ll get a chance to further refine his game just a few hours down the road from Nationwide at developing collegiate powerhouse Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of Weber…offensively and defensively. In my opinion, he hasn’t shown much in this early season, but he definitely has the size and the ability to adapt to the college level and play “his game.” As a Blue Jackets fan, I’m very excited to watch him develop.

Also, Justin Mercier receives a mention among the Colorado Avalanche prospects:

Mercier, a sixth-round pick in the 2005 draft, plays a game that may adapt easily to the pros. He always competes hard on the forecheck and backcheck and is effective with the puck down low. He broke out last season with Miami University with 25 goals in 42 games and has four points in six games to date this season.

And finally, Jeff Zatkoff gets some love from the LA Kings:

Two other goaltenders that will be battling Bernier for the starting duties in Los Angeles every step of the way are Jeff Zatkoff and Jonathan Quick. Zatkoff, who is in his first professional season, does not have the athleticism of Bernier or Quick, but is a fundamentally sound goaltender. He might be the perfect fit as the back-up to Bernier in five years if he does not beat out Bernier as the starter or can be used in a trade to fill gaps in other areas. Which ever of the three that finds himself as the starter in net for Los Angeles will have earned it with the level of competition that there is in the system. The others may find solace in the arms of another organization.

>Hockey’s Future Features RedHawk Skaters

>Over on Hockey’s Future, they’re in the process of compiling each organization’s Top Twenty Prospects. Former RedHawks Jeff Zatkoff and Alec Martinez were ranked 12th and 15th, respectively in the LA Kings Top Twenty, while Freshman defenseman Will Weber was rated the 14th best prospect in the Columbus Blue Jackets franchise. Here are a few snippets from each:

Los Angeles Kings

12. Jeff Zatkoff, Goaltender

Jonathan Bernier is not the only goaltender in the Kings system with legitimate NHL starting potential. Zatkoff left college hockey early, signing an entry-level contract during the offseason. With Bernier and Jonathan Quick already in the system, it will be tough for Zatkoff to find significant playing time. But the Kings were high enough on Zatkoff to bring him into the already packed minor league system to begin his training under the watchful eyes of the Kings coaching staff. He does not have the future franchise goaltender tag that Bernier has, but can be a solid and steady No. 1 goaltender in the right situation. He will spend a couple of seasons in the minor leagues before he can be expected to see meaningful minutes in the NHL, whether with Los Angeles or with another organization. If both Bernier and Zatkoff develop to their full potential, the Kings will have a valuable trading chip in Zatkoff that they can use to fill any hole in their roster in future years. Or, if Bernier falters, Zatkoff is a good insurance policy to have..

You can read JZ’s profile analysis by clicking here.

15. Alec Martinez, Defenseman

With no graduations from these rankings, it stands to reason that most prospects would drop a couple of spots as new faces from the 2008 Entry Draft are added. But Martinez is one of the few prospects who actually moves up after an outstanding season with Miami University. He demonstrated enough skill and maturity last season to seriously be considered a viable candidate to join Los Angeles as early as this season. Martinez is a two-way defenseman with respectable enough skating ability to keep pace with the forwards at the NHL level. He does not have as high of a ceiling as the first three defensemen on this list, but like Harrold, can be serviceable enough at the NHL level. If he does not join Los Angeles to start the season, he will likely take the spot in Manchester vacated by Harrold’s promotion to the Kings.

This link showcases Alec’s prospect profile.

Columbus Blue Jackets

14. Will Weber, Defenseman

Weber has all the physical tools to become a very good NHL defenseman, but he is extremely raw. He has strong skating, has a good build for an NHL defenseman at 6’4, 205, and he has a good shot.

The big Michigan product had an up and down season last year with the Steel and did not stand out overall as one of the better defensemen on his team. He had a total of 18 points in 46 games. He is committed to play at Miami University and will need a few years there to mold himself into a premier quality, polished defenseman.

View Will’s profile, click here.

These really are very good reads. I strongly encourage you to check them out. I’ll have these permanently linked in the upper right corner of the page, for future reference.

>Start the Memorizing…

>The 2008-2009 roster has been posted over at the official athletic website. A few notes:

– Justin Vaive will now wear #22, his dad Rick’s number from his days in the NHL

– Andy Miele will wear number 17 from now on.

– Two Miami players will wear their numbers for the first time in the program’s history. Trent Vogelhuber (13) and Connor Knapp (31) are wearing those jersey numbers for the first time.

Here are the new sweater numbers for the incoming freshman and the last Miami player to wear the number:

4- Will Weber (Brad Robbins, 2004-2008)
5- Cameron Schilling (Charley Fetzer, 2004-2008)
6- Chris Wideman (Jon Saunders, 2003-2005)
13- Trent Vogelhuber (First)
23- Alden Hirschfeld (Andy Greene, 2002-2006)
27- Matt Tomassoni (Justin Vaive, 2007-2008)
30- Cody Reichard (Nick Petraglia, 2001-2004)
31- Connor Knapp (First)

Personally, I don’t think number 17, in honor of Brian Savage, should ever be worn again after Miele leaves, especially since it has been…pseudo-retired. As for number 26, I don’t know about it being officially “retired,” but I think that it should be a year or two before it’s worn again. (Similar to what the Reds have done with numbers 11 and 14).

>RedHawks Go to Camp

>As NHL development camps continue to open and close in the next week, the rosters are being released and yes, a few RedHawks, or in some cases, former RedHakws, are included. Even if camps have already been completed, I’ll keep updating the list of names as I come across more of the rosters. Enjoy!

Chicago Blackhawks
(F) Nathan Davis-, 6’1, 193, Rocky River, Ohio (2005 Draft, 113th Overall)

Colorado Avalanche
(F) Justin Mercier- 5’11, 190, Erie, Pennsylvania (2005 Draft, 168th Overall)

Columbus Blue Jackets
(D) Will Weber- 6’4, 205, Gaylord, Michigan (2007 Draft, 53rd Overall)

Los Angeles Kings
(D) Alec Martinez- 6’0, 188, Rochester Hills, Michigan (2007 Draft, 95th Overall)
(G) Jeff Zatkoff- 6’1, 180, Chesterfield, Michigan (2006 Draft, 74th Overall)

Minnesota Wild
(F) Brian Kaufman- 6’4, 205, Shoreview, Minnesota (Invitee)

Ottawa Senators
(D) Mitch Ganzak- 5’11, 205, Redford, Michigan (Invitee)

St. Louis Blues
(G) Charlie Effinger- 6’1, 190, Belleville, Illinois (Invitee)