Category Archives: Miami Memories

16th-ranked Wildcats visit Oxford for 2 game set

Northern Michigan logo

Miami welcomes the Northern Michigan Wildcats this weekend

Coming off of a 4 game roadtrip against two other ranked Michigan teams, the RedHawks return to Oxford for a two-game set with the Northern Michigan Wildcats this weekend. Miami got out of Michigan with hard earned splits the last 2 weekends, and come in to the weekend second in the logjammed CCHA standings. 5 teams are 2-2-0 in the CCHA standings, and Northern Michigan is in a tie for 9th (1-2-1, 5 points and 1 shootout loss) in the early going of the CCHA schedule.

Northern Michigan will be led by Senior forward Matt Thurber, who leads the league in scoring with a goal and 10 assists.  Miami’s sophomore forward Austin Czarnik and freshman forward Riley Barber are both at 10 points on the season, just 1 point behind the CCHA leader. This week’s CCHA Now production features the National Rookie of the Month (in case you’ve been living under a rock, that’s Barber), who is also the nation’s leader in points by a rookie.

Walt Kyle leads the Wildcats from behind the bench, and is in his 11th year in Marquette, where he stands 198-170-46. NMU comes to Oxford having blown a 4-1 3rd period lead on Friday night against Michigan (where they lost the shootout), but did pick up a 4-3 win on Saturday night – both games being played in Marquette. The Wildcats have had a truly impressive start to the season, having won twice against Wisconsin (in a non-conference neutral-site series in Green Bay), and splitting a series at Nebraska-Omaha. They were, however, swept at home by Notre Dame before last week’s tilts with the Wolverines.

Miami is just 20-34-3 all-time against Northern Michigan, including going 1-3-0 last year. Kyle has a chance to reach 200 wins at the helm of NMU this weekend, but the RedHawks will certainly have something to say about that. Coach Blasi may return to the goalie rotation this weekend after starting Jay Williams for both games in Big Rapids. Ryan McKay has yet to see action since being injured with a leg or groin injury in the Friday night game at Michigan, and Williams has played all 235 minutes since McKay went down. McKay was still dressed on the bench last weekend as the backup, however, but did not see any game action.

Look for another weekend of play similar to what Ferris State showed us last weekend. NMU likes to pack in a bunch of players in the defensive zone to block as many shots as possible. Their defensive style constantly frustrates the ‘Hawks, as evidenced by Miami’s 1-3 record against them last year. Miami’s talented group of freshmen will have to be smart and stay out of the penalty box – something they have done quite a bit this season. 17 of Miami’s 51 penalties (33%) have come from the freshmen group that has seen ice time. Miami has also been called for 2 misconducts and one more 5 minute major on the season. While Blasi’s Miami teams have always been physical and have always taken a lot of penalties, some that we have seen this season have been a tad on the cheap side, and have often come at just the wrong time.

This weekend, keep an eye on our twitter feed, as we’ll have a Miami-themed trivia contest during Saturday night’s game. The first response to our question, only asked on our twitter feed, will receive a Miami game puck, signed by Coach Blasi.

I’ll take another split this weekend and we’ll stay in touch with the other teams in the league, and will hope that we’re pleasantly surprised if we sweep the Wildcats out of Oxford. Both games will be available for viewing on the Miami All-Access feed (good luck logging in), and on AM 1490 in the Oxford/Hamilton/Cincinnati area.

Other weekend notes:

Alex Wideman returned to practice this week. After a couple weeks off due to being sick with mono, we could see Alex return to the ice this weekend.

On this date 34 years ago:
November 10, 1978: Miami hockey notches its first-ever victory against an NCAA opponent. Miami beat the University of Illinois-Chicago 7-4 at the old Goggin Ice Arena.

In Miami’s “In the Crease” feature, the 11 freshmen will be featured. Meet Matthew Caito this week on the Miami Athletics home page.

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Miami to host 2014 NCAA Midwest Regional in Cincinnati

It has been a relatively big day for the RedHawks on the eve of their away series at Ferris State. First, the big news: Cincinnati has been selected to be home to the Midwest Regional of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, and your Miami RedHawks will be the hosts. In addition to this spectacular news, two RedHawks were named as players of the month for October by the CCHA.

Miami will be the host of 3 games in the NCAA tournament in 2014 – the last time since 1996 that the Cincinnati Gardens have hosted a portion of the NCAA Hockey Tournament. According to MURedHawks.com, the arena “has also seen multiple NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament regionals and the 1997 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four take place under its roof.” Miami will, however, have to overcome the perception of what many believe was the worst Frozen Four ever to be held.

Some may recall that the 1996 Frozen Four that Miami hosted and eventually saw Michigan carry away the National Championship trophy. An average of over 11,000 fans attend the three games. Over that weekend, the arena crew may have lost a few employees as well – when putting in the goals after a break in the action (in the first of 3 games), a cooling line was hit and the ice was not staying frozen for the remainder of the games. The second semifinal was delayed a couple hours and the teams played in what could have been described as a swamp.

At the time, the Riverfront Coliseum as it was called, was not a hockey facility. Only occasionally did they host hockey games in the 15,300 seat arena. Nowadays, the arena is the home of the Cincinnati Cyclones (current team of 2009 Miami graduate Kevin Roeder), and has hosted the ECHL Playoff Championship known as the Kelley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2010.

The other host cities are as follows:

  • West: St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center (host of the 2011 Frozen Four)
  • East: Bridgeport, CT – Webster Bank Arena
  • Northeast: Worcester, MA – DCU Center
  • The 2014 Frozen Four is going to be held at the Wells Fargo Center – home of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.

As far as Miami is concerned, this is a big GIGANTIC win for a team that has accumulated too many frequent flyer miles in recent years. After trips to places like Bridgeport (lost to UMass-Lowell in 2012), Manchester, NH (loss to UNH as the #4 overall seed in 2011) and St. Paul (wins against Denver and Minnesota-Duluth in 2009), Miami will certainly enjoy the short trek to Cincinnati if they were to make the tournament. The shortest of the ‘Hawks 4 most recent NCAA tournament trips was to Ft. Wayne, IN, where Notre Dame hosted, and Miami earned it’s second ever and second consecutive trip to the Frozen Four which was held in Detroit. Miami currently has the 3rd longest streak in terms of NCAA Tournaments made at 7 (Michigan: 22, North Dakota: 10), and will be guaranteed a spot in the Cincinnati Regional if they were to make the 2014 tournament.

We will of course look forward to the 2013-14 season and tournament, but there’s a lot of work to do in 2012-13 first. We’ll preview this weekend’s big series at Ferris State in the coming hours.

BB hired as the next AD at BC

The most hated school in the land Boston College Eagles announced today that Brad Bates will be their next Athletic Director after 10 years in the same position at Miami. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Miami doesn’t exactly like Boston College because of recent hockey defeats at the hands of the Eagles.

As the Miami Athletic department scrambles to find a new Athletic Director and faculty member (he taught undergrad and graduate courses in sports administration), let’s take a look back at a few highlights in Brad Bates’ 10 years in Oxford.

  • November 2002 – hired on as Miami’s Athletic Director
  • Football:
    • Back-to-back football bowl game appearances in nearly 30 years (2003-04)
    • MAC Championships in Football in 2003 and 2010
    • Hiring and firing of Shane Montgomery after a couple years we’d like to forget
    • Hiring of Mike Heywood and later the hiring of the current regime at Yager Stadium including Don Treadwell
  • Ice Hockey:
    • Our beloved hockey team won a Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular season championship and Miami’s first Mason Cup as CCHA tournament champions.
    • Appeared in two consecutive NCAA Frozen Fours, including the national championship game in 2009.
  • On the hardwood, Bates was highly criticized for allowing Charlie Coles to stay in Oxford until his retirement last year, and has recently hired John Cooper as Coles’ replacement.
  • 14 of Miami’s 18 teams won at least one conference championship: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s cross-country, football, field hockey, ice hockey, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming, women’s swimming, synchronized skating, women’s tennis and volleyball
  • Bates also helped raise student-athlete graduation rates. His overall Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent in 2011 was near the top in the nation.
  • October 9, 2012 – hired as Boston College’s Athletic Director

With Miami’s search will also come some uncertainty from Oxford. Of course, there’s the issue of replacing Bates with new blood, but several other questions are also raised.

  • Will Miami’s commitment to the hockey program continue? Will funding be pulled because Miami Hockey is roughly a break-even sport?
  • How will this impact our commitment to the NCHC?
  • Will the new man on campus put a renewed focus on basketball and football where it is sorely needed?
  • With a new AD, the possibility exists that existing coaches will be less than pleased with the new leadership. Is this the push Coach Blasi needs to jump to another hockey program, or perhaps the NHL?

And one final note…

Does anyone else think that Brad is awfully excited to get out of Oxford? Before his press conference today, Brad had already created his new twitter handle (@BCBradBates), he met the hockey team before their practice today, and then spoke to their 1-4 football team after their practice. I’m not saying good riddance, but good riddance.

Let the search begin. We suspect Steve Cady may be a leading candidate, and some have suggested that Jason Lener may be near the top of the list as well.  Lener is a former RedHawk Deputy Athletic Director and current Illinois Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director. In any event, we hope that the next guy for the job is a hockey fan!

2011-2012: The Season In Review

The last 12 months in the Miami Hockey universe have been quite a tumultuous time. Let’s take a look back as we prepare for the 2012-13 season.

Offseason 2011:

  • On July 9th, news broke of a new College Hockey structure including the formation of the Big Ten Hockey Conference and the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Brad Bates, along with the other 6 initial institutions, “[were pleased] to announce that six top NCAA Division I ice hockey programs will become founding members of a newly formed hockey conference, which will begin competition for the 2013-14 season. The six institutions are Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha and University of North Dakota.” (source: MURedHawks.com)
  • July 13th rolled around, and these 6 fine programs made it official and in September added St. Cloud State and Western Michigan to fill out it’s roster. 2012-13 will mark the final season for the CCHA as we look forward to the upcoming launch of the NCHC for the 2013-14 season.
  • Alden Hirschfeld and Will Weber were named the Captains for the season. Reilly Smith would later be added as a Captain after his stellar first half.
  • Miami was ranked as the #1 team in the INCH Power Rankings and the College Hockey News Preseason Rankings. In the official rankings, Miami took the top spot for the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Preseason Poll. The ‘Hawks were ranked a close #2 in the USCHO.com Poll and were also voted #2 in both the CCHA Coaches and CCHA Media voting.

October 2011:

  • Miami opened the season with a win over exhibition opponent Windsor, and then split the regular season opening series with a loss and then a win over Bemidji State.
  • The following weekend, Miami split at Colgate, with Reilly Smith establishing himself as a Hobey Baker candidate very early on in the season. Smith took home the first CCHA Offensive Player of the week award with 4 goals and an assist on the weekend trip, including a hattrick in the Friday night game, a 4-3 Miami victory.
  • Miami then travelled to Big Rapids and were swept by Ferris State, and swept again at home by Lake Superior State, running the losing streak to 5 consecutive games, which had us all drinking the drain-o by the end of October.
  • On a brighter note, Andy Miele, the 2011 Hobey Baker Award Winner, was called up to the Phoenix Coyotes during the month. He didn’t make too much of an impact, however, and was brought back down to the AHL shortly thereafter.

November 2011:

  • November had a chance to make things even more miserable in Oxford, as Miami started the month with the long trek to Alaska, and then hosted #4/5 Michigan in Oxford. However, a big sweep in Alaska seemed to right the ship for the ‘Hawks, and they went on to take a Friday night victory over Michigan as well.
  • You may remember the shootout from Saturday night against Michigan, but if you didn’t remember Bryon Paulazzo’s highlight reel goal, you can re-live the shootout-winning spin-o-rama here. I love seeing the baby goalie cry.
  • After the big series against Michigan, Miami continued their unbeaten streak with a win and tie (SOL) against BGSU, and won their first ever Denver Cup by beating Providence and Denver over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
  • The RedHawks swept the November CCHA Player of the Month awards, as Austin Czarnik emerged as Miami’s next big star. He won the Gongshow Rookie of the Month Award, while Cody Reichard took home the Gongshow Goaltender of the Month and Reilly Smith was named RBC Player of the Month.

December 2011:

  • After a stretch where Miami went 7-0-1 and streaked to the top of the CCHA Standings, December was quite a let down for the Hawks. Miami was swept by Northern Michigan in Marquette and managed a split against the suckeyes Ohio State to close out 2012.
  • Jarod Palmer made his first appearance in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild, and made quite an impression with the injury-riddled club. Look for Jarod to play a lot more in upcoming years (when the NHL isn’t locked out). He recorded 1 assist in 6 games for the Wild in his December call-up.
  • Austin Czarnik also made a big splash in December, as he was named to the US Junior National team and played at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Edmonton and Calgary for Team USA.

January 2012:

  • Miami opened up the new year with a complete performance and sweep in East Lansing against Michigan State, injecting hope into the team that started the season as the #1 ranked team in many polls. Miami then travelled to Lake Superior State and earned a road split.
  • Upon returning home, Miami swept Western Michigan – a team that was ranked #8 in the country at the time.
  • Reilly Smith Earned the CCHA Player of the Month for the second time on the year.

February 2012:

  • After a split at home vs Northern Michigan to close out January, Miami travelled to Ann Arbor and got trampled by the Wolverines. It was an ugly weekend for the RedHawks, going down 4-1 and 3-0. But it was just the wake up call they needed. To be a better team, they were going to have to focus and regroup for a stretch run.
  • And regroup they did. Miami rolled off 8 straight victories to earn the 4 seed and a first round bye in the CCHA tournament. Over the last 3 weeks of February, they steamrolled Alabama-Huntsville, Notre Dame and Ohio State by a combined score 22-4.
  • Connor Knapp earned the CCHA Goaltender of the Month award for February, going 5-1-0 in the month, blocking 161 of 168 shots. He allowed just 7 goals and had 2 shutouts. In his last 5 games – all wins – Knapper did not give up an even strength goal, allowed just 3 goals total and tied the Miami record for shutouts at 12 (a record which he did break the very next series in March).

March 2012 and Post season:

  • After finishing the regular season with a flurry, Miami got a bye in the first round of the CCHA Tournament, and was slated to face Michigan State in the second round in Oxford. Miami continued its hot streak and swept the Spartans out of the CCHA tournament.
  • At the CCHA tournament at The Joe in Detroit, Western Michigan came ready for business, and took down the RedHawks in the Semifinal 6-2. Miami beat the last place BGSU Falcons in the 3rd place game and headed into the NCAA tournament with high hopes.
  • Before the NCAA tournament brackets were announced, Reilly Smith had landed one of the 10 Hobey Baker Finalist spots, and Miami’s dynamic duo in net earned CCHA year-end awards. Cody Reichard won the Ilitch Humanitarian Award for his work on Swoop’s Stoop in the Butler County area. Connor Knapp took home the CCHA’s Goaltender of the Year award for his stellar on-ice play (an award Reichard won in 2010). In addition to his Hobey Baker Finalist nomination, Reilly Smith also won the CCHA’s Perani Cup by collecting the most “Perani Cup Three Stars” points.
  • Rounding out the year-end awards, Smith earned First-Team All-CCHA honors, Austin Czarnik was named to the  CCHA All-Rookie Team, and senior captain Alden Hirschfeld was acknowledged for being Miami’s CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year nominee.
  • After a few weeks time, Reilly Smith was also named to the First team All-America squad. Reilly led the way all season with 30 goals, 18 assists for a total of 48 points.
  • Miami earned a #2 seed in the Bridgeport, CT regional, and would face off against the UMass Lowell River Hawks, who was making their first ever NCAA tournament appearance. For all of the talk of unfavorable NCAA draws in recent years, Miami finally had their dream bracket, and it appeared as though a walk to the Frozen 4 for the 3rd time would be in store. However, in the words of Coach Lee Corso, “not so fast, my friend.”
  • The RedHawks were down 3-0 to the River Hawks entering the third period, and things were looking very bleak. In the first 10 minutes of the third period, Miami scored three times and evened the score, stealing all the momentum from UMass Lowell. Hope was restored, and fans even started to look forward to another favorable matchup (on paper, anyway) against Union, who had avanced earlier in the day. However, that momentum swing was neutralized by UM-L and the Hawks couldn’t get the game winner. UM-L won in overtime 4-3, and the RedHawks season was cut short.

Offseason 2012:

  • Former RedHawk Alec Martinez got the better of another Miami star Andy Greene in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, as Martinez and the LA Kings hoisted the Cup.
  • Professional signings:
    • In a move RedHawks fans saw from the get go of the 2011-12 season, Reilly Smith signed with the club that drafted him shortly after the season was over. Dallas scooped up Smith and put him to work immediately on just 5 days after Miami had been bounced from the NCAA tournament. Smith was the 4th RedHawk to make his NHL debut on the season (Miele, Palmer and Carter Camper – Boston Bruins). Reilly forgoes his senior year of eligibility with this signing.
    • Cameron Schilling was plucked for professional duty after the season as well, signing an entry level contract with the Washington Capitals and their AHL affiliate the Hershey Bears.
    • Chris Wideman signed a 2-year entry-level deal with the Ottawa Senators as well, and joined the Binghampton Senators to finish out their season
    • Patrick Tiesling and Matt Tomassoni each signed pro contracts with the ECHLs Chicago Express.
    • Alden Hirschfeld signed an amateur try out deal with the Portland Pirates of the AHL, reuniting with Andy Miele and the Coyotes.
    • Trent Vogelhuber also signed an ATO with the Springfield Falcons – AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
    • Cody Reichard signed with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL, an affiliate of the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers.
    • Connor Knapp signed a deal with the Buffalo Sabres which will start in 2012-13 if the NHL ends its lockout.
    • Will Weber signed on with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • With these 9 Senior signings, only graduating senior Ben Saksa was left without a pro contract. Ben was able to see game action against Alabama-Huntsville as he played the last 3:27 on that Saturday night. He recorded his first and only career save in the game on a two-on-one break. We salute Ben for his hard work for 4 years in Oxford!
  • Early Departures:
    • In addition to losing one of the largest and most prolific classes in Miami’s history, Freshman Tyler Biggs departed for the pro ranks as well, as he had floundered a bit in Oxford in his short time with the ‘Hawks. This was both surprising and shocking at the same time, and we recapped the Biggs departure back in August.
    • Recruits Ryan Hartman and Pat Sieloff announced that they would be bypassing any NCAA eligibility by signing pro deals with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). Both signings were expected to appear in Oxford this season, so Coach Blasi was forced to make some late recruiting efforts.

There you have it…the 2011-2012 season in 2000 words or less. We’ve endured conference realignment, a 5 game losing streak, an 8 game winning streak, a 3-goal defecit and furious comeback in the NCAA tournament, only to be heartbroken again, and we’re all itching for more.

We start the new season in just 6 more days, RedHawks fans!  Stay tuned for more this week, including previews of the 2012-13 season!

Go ‘Hawks!

Guest Article: My Favorite Miami Hockey Moment

On the heels of the Miami Memories series from www.muredhawks.com, and the RedHawks upcoming series against the hated Michigan Wolverines, Guest Warrior @happygirl2525 brings us another of her guest articles. Let’s go back a few years with her…


Can you imagine Miami University without hockey? One of my favorite Miami memories is a hockey moment. And it almost never happened. It’s a shocking thought, but something that was discussed 20+ years ago.

The program was abysmal. In its first eight seasons in the CCHA, Miami had a losing record every season, going a collective 83-210-19 (I had to get out my calculator to double check my math on that loss column – just awful). The team was more known for its late-night parties and prowess at the Uptown watering holes than any success on the ice.

My first year at Miami, the 1990 – 91 season, George Gwozdecky’s second season as the Redskins head coach, the team went 5 – 29 – 3. You could show up 15 minutes past the opening faceoff of a Miami hockey game and get a seat in the third or fourth row behind the bench. The only lines waiting to get in to Goggin were students trying to register their broomball teams in the Co-Rec leagues.

We had two organized cheers, the obligatory Rock and Roll History Party 2 “We’re Gonna Beat the Hell Out of You,” and the “And they still suck,” cheer as the visiting team returned to full strength. I have horrible memories of being out-cheered in our own building by fans from Michigan and Michigan State.

Those were some dark days in Miami hockey history. But the tide was turning. Gwozdecky, the former assistant coach at Michigan State, was creating a new environment for Miami hockey that would revitalize the hockey program and captivate a university.

In October 1992, the Redskins started their season with road games the first two weekends, first taking on Alaska and then going up to East Lansing at month’s end to take on the Michigan State Spartans. The Redskins split the series with Alaska, which wasn’t too surprising. Alaska was trying to gain admission into the CCHA and had been about a .500 team.

The following weekend, the Redskins found themselves battling Coach Gwozdecky’s former school, NCAA hockey powerhouse, Michigan State. Something remarkable happened in East Lansing, Miami won both games, sweeping the Spartans. It was the first time we swept MSU. As a road series though, the excitement really didn’t have much of an affect on campus.

That November of 1992, the Redskins put together a nice little run, defeating the likes of Notre Dame, Kent State and Ohio State, but in our first two-game series versus the University of Michigan Wolverines, we tied the first game and lost the second. If you followed CCHA hockey during the 1990’s, you knew the road to the CCHA Championship went through Michigan, on its way up to the Joe.

For Miami to be taken seriously as a CCHA contender, it would need to win against the Michigan teams. Until then, we were just that “fake Miami,” the Wolverine fans kept calling us. Gwozdecky knew this. The players knew this. The students knew this. But for the first time, in a long time, people actually cared about that too.

During the holiday break, the Redskins played in a tournament out east, going up against those two Boston teams and then the University of Maine, whose roster included Paul Kariya and was one of the best teams in the nation. While we didn’t win the tournament, we held our own against the Maine Black Bears, giving the team a huge boost in confidence.

But still the fans were wondering if we would ever have that elusive win, at home, against those Michigan teams. That year, 1993, something magical happened and the Redskins faithful would be rewarded for their loyalty.

Returning back to campus, the Redskins would tie and then defeat the Lake Superior State Lakers in early January. The Redskins went on a winning streak, defeating their next five opponents, including Notre Dame, University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC), Michigan State, Western Michigan and Kent State. If you checked the standings, you would have seen that the Redksins were the third best team in the nation.

The ranking and the winning made the students start to notice our hockey team. On February 6, 1993, around 3 PM in the afternoon, a line started to build outside of Goggin. Students were waiting outside in the cold and sleet to see their Miami Redskins take on the second best team in the nation, the big, bad boys from Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan Wolverines. I took turns with several of my friends waiting in line to make sure we got in to see this game.

I mean, after all of the rotten, losing games I’ve watched, I deserved to see a good game. Michigan brought its fans down to Oxford by the bus load. I swear the middle of the stands was a sea of maize and blue, waiving their flags, chanting their little Michigan cheers, reminding us the “real” Miami was in Florida.

But we Miami students were not going to take it anymore. And as the Wolverine fans started one of their cheers, the Miami crowd started a cheer of its own, “Overrated.” Quickly, Michigan realized playing in Oxford, would no longer be so friendly.

Miami had a 3 – 2 lead going into the third but the Wolverines showed why they were ranked #2, when they tied it up in the third. Gwozdecky’s Redskins showed poise and never let the Wolverines take the lead and the game was tied at the end of regulation. It was such a hard fought battle and truly neither team “deserved” to lose.

Waiting for the Overtime period to begin, I was preparing for a loss. I told myself we at least got one point from those blue and maize cake eaters. And we shut their darn fans up – which was a huge win in my book. Regardless of the outcome, this was a huge battle won for my Redskins. I just didn’t realize how huge it was about to become.

Redskin fans didn’t have to wait long for this contest to be decided. Jason Mallon, who was definitely more of a mucker and grinder, put the puck into the Michigan net. The horn blew. The red light flashed. For a brief second, time stopped. Then the arena exploded. The team poured out on to the ice. I hugged people I’d never even seen before. Our lives were changed by a kid from Thunder Bay, Ontario, (where?) and Miami Hockey would never be the same.

Miami went on to win its first CCHA Regular Season Championship and qualify for its first NCAA Tournament. One of the most influential members of that Redskins team, Rico Blasi, would eventually come back to coach Miami.

It’s been 19 years since that season. To put that in perspective, current Miami center Austin Czarnik was not even two months old when this happened.

I’ve seen a lot of great Miami hockey moments since that day in February 1993. But for me, that will always be my favorite Miami hockey moment, watching Jason Mallon bury that puck against Michigan in OT, that look of exhilaration on his face, the Wolverine goalie slamming his stick in total frustration, the look of disdain on Red Berenson’s face, the tears pouring down my face, not to mention the drinks we had Uptown after the game.

Each time I walk into the new Goggin Ice Center, I think about that, how far this program has come in such a short time. It makes me proud to be a Miamian and a proud supporter of The Brotherhood.

>Blasi One Win Away from 200…

>Today’s Miami Memory profiles the career of head coach Enrico Blasi. You can check it out by clicking here.

It’s important to note that the next RedHawk victory will be Rico’s 200th career win at Miami.

The Miami Icers begin the second half of the 2008-2009 season with the Ohio Hockey Classic, this weekend, in Columbus, on the campus of The Ohio State University. The RedHawks won the tournament last season.

Other Ohio Hockey Classic Notes:

– The RedHawks have only lost one game in the Ohio Hockey Classic since the first OHC. In the first OHC Miami was held winless.

– The RedHawks hold a record of 3-1 in first round games of the Ohio Hockey Classic and have won their last three consecutive OHC openers.

– Miami opens the tournament on Friday afternoon at 5:05pm against Clarkson. Ohio State will take on Army in the late game of The Classic, at 8:05pm.

>Today’s Miami Memory…

>Today’s Miami Memory profiles the program’s first ever number one ranking after a weekend sweep of Ferris State in 2006.

You can check it out by clicking here.

>Miami Memories: Ryan Jones

>Today’s Miami Memory features former RedHawk and current Nashville Predator, Ryan Jones.

Check it out at this link.