Category Archives: Notre Dame

Miami vs. Minnesota State – Another take

F4Logo
The road to the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh
begins this weekend for 16 NCAA teams.

This Saturday, Miami’s NCAA tournament run takes a trip through Toledo, Ohio, as the RedHawks take on the Minnesota State Mavericks. There are some interesting storylines that my co-blogger redhawk95 laid out for you: Miami can’t win the big games and a “one and done” is forthcoming. Well fear not, RedHawks. I think Rico Blasi and the youngest Miami team in decades have more going for them this weekend than previously expressed.

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RedHawks announce commemorative jersey for Hockey City Classic

Tonight, Miami unveiled their uniform for the 2013 Hockey City Classic, and it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen from the RedHawks. Or maybe it’s a combination of a lot of what you’ve seen in the past from them? Either way, I can’t say they are the prettiest jerseys I’ve ever seen, but they do look pretty darn special.

Here’s Miami’s release on the new jersey design, with Steven Spinell showing off the new unis. Spinell is a Chicago-born and raised kid, who will certainly relish this weekend’s game against Notre Dame in Soldier Field.

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Hawks finish first half, get 5 points in Columbus

Lantern

The RedHawks lit the lantern and earned
5 points
against OSU this weekend.

This past weekend’s game had me singing “takin’ care of business” after the RedHawks took 5 points from Ohio State in their own barn in 2 hard-fought contests. We expected some gritty hockey with lots of big hits and a whole lot of energy, and what we received for the weekend was well worth the admission price. Both games were very intense, with Friday night’s game going all the way to a shootout, and Saturday’s coming down to some staunch defense in the third period for an exciting 3-1 victory. Here are some game notes and our weekend recap.

Friday Night

  • Miami had only 5 shots in the entire first period. Ohio State had 10 for the first, but didn’t register their first shot until 6:45 into the game. After the slow start and subsequent slow second period, the Hawks had us thinking that we were headed for a “Rico Swoon.” We’re also happy it didn’t end up that way.
  • It wasn’t until the third period until any scoring happened, with OSU’s Devin Krogh scoring 3:52 in to put Ohio State up 1-0. Jay Williams made a big save, but kicked out a rebound to the right side, and on an awkward angle, Krogh snuck the puck through his legs for the first tally of the season
  • At 11:25 of the third, Krogh then took what would turn out to be a very costly penalty. At 12:43 of the period, Riley Barber made a slick pass into the slot area and Curtis McKenzie drilled a 1-timer that found twine, and the game was tied. The power play goal was McKenzie’s 3rd goal of the season, and it earned him the #1 star of the game. It was nice to see Curtis was flying around the ice throwing body blows all night. He ended the night with a team-high 5 shots and also recorded 2 blocked shots.
  • The defense and goaltending were the stories of the night on both sides.
    • Miami was limited to 5 first period shots and just 7 in the third.
    • Ohio State had more shots in overtime (4) than they did in the third (3), and had just 23 total on the night.
  • Somehow, Ohio State goalie Brady Hjelle was named the #2 star of the game ahead of Jay Williams, who won his 8th game in Oxford and stopped all 3 shootout attempts. For the season, Miami has now faced off with 4 different opponents in shootouts and has not allowed even one attempt to find the back of the net (3 wins for Williams and 1 win for Ryan McKay).
  • In a somewhat troubling statistic, Miami’s record in the faceoff circle was a paltry 22-41. Austin Czarnik had a rough night all around, and won just 2 of the 19 faceoffs he fought for. Ohio State’s Tanner Fritz was 19-3 on the night, and this was likely a big contributing factor to the sloppy looking play for the first half of the game.
  • Czarnik made up for his rough night on faceoffs with yet another sweet move in the shootout. He beat Hjelle with a forehander that had it all: speed, deception and creativity… AND he roofed it over the goalie’s shoulder. We’ve got the video of the goal (and the game winning save from Williams) below.
  • Blasi put a somewhat strange lineup on the ice for the night. Bryon Paulazzo, Jimmy Mullin and Taylor Richart got the night off, possibly because of finals week. There were no indications of injuries, and only Paulazzo did not play on Saturday.

Here’s Czarnik’s shootout winner:

And here’s the save and celebration from Jay Williams:

Saturday night

  • Ryan McKay was the story on Saturday and almost came away with his 3rd shutout in just his 5th career start. Unfortunately, after spotting OSU a 2-0 lead, he did allow a goal 6:20 into the third, but he stood tall and stopped the flurry of shots Ohio State threw at him the rest of the way, stopping 22 of 23 on the night.
  • McKay allowed just 1 goal on the night, the third ever of his young 5-game career, and it was the first even strength goal he has allowed.
  • Alex Gacek scored his 3rd goal of the season in the first period, and from there Miami settled into their shell and just stifled Ohio State the rest of the way.
  • Blake Coleman returned to the scoring sheet, as he assisted on Gacek’s 1st period goal and scored the eventual game winner in the second.
  • Miami was 5 for 5 on the penalty kill, and did not allow any shots on the power play until the 5th and final kill, which started with 12:39 left in the third period.
  • Once again, no mention of a Miami goalie in the 3 stars of the game, where Coleman, Hjelle (!?!?!?!?!) and Riley Barber took those honors. There is no explanation other than being a home game for Ohio State that Hjelle got the 2nd star of the game nod each night. It’s clear once again that Ohio State can’t seem to get over themselves when they were outclassed on the ice on Saturday night.

For his efforts this weekend, Riley Barber once again earned the CCHA Rookie of the week award. Barber is the 2-time reigning CCHA Rookie of the Month, and this is his 3rd rookie of the week honor. On Friday night, he had an assist on McKenzie’s goal. He had the OSU goalie beat on his shootout attempt, but his shot hit the knob of the goalie’s stick and didn’t trickle in. He also tallied a goal (the empty net clincher that sent Ohio State fans to the exits) and an assist on Saturday night in Miami’s 3-1 win. Barber now has 8 points and 14 assists on the season, and leads the CCHA in scoring. He has left Oxford and is now in New York in hopes of playing for Team USA with teammate Sean Kuraly in the World Junior Championships.

Speaking of the WJC, tryouts will start in Finland tomorrow the 19th, and you can keep an eye on Team USA during the tournament on the NHL Network. The 2013 World Junior Championships will be held in Ufa, Russia Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 5, 2013. (We’ll post any roster updates and the upcoming schedule when we know more.) The only other CCHA players headed overseas are Michigan freshman Jacob Trouba and Notre Dame freshman Mario Lucia.

After this weekend, Miami is in a tie with Notre Dame for the top spot in the CCHA. Looks can be deceiving, however, as the Irish have 3 games in hand on Miami. In fact, the RedHawks have played the most games in the CCHA, and 3rd place Western Michigan has 2 games in hand on them and sit just 4 points behind. Meanwhile, Michigan, selected #1 by the media and #2 by the coaches of the CCHA in the preseason polls, sits in a tie for 7th with Alaska and behind teams like Ohio State, Lake Superior State and Ferris State. It should be an interesting second half, that’s for sure. Miami will need to keep taking 5 and 6 points a weekend and also play well in their non-conference games to be well positioned in the PairWise rankings, which will lead to a berth in the NCAA tournament.

And finally, let’s take a quick look at the polls. Miami now sits in the #5 spot in both polls, staying exactly where they were last week. Seeing as though it’s the half way point of the season, now is a good time to take a good look at the PairWise, and Miami is currently 9th there. Not a bad place to be, especially considering the recent opponents. Teams like Dartmouth, Yale and Quinnipiac should drop a smidge, and Miami should be able to move up with upcoming opponents like Wisconsin (in Madison January 18-19), Western Michigan (in Kalamazoo February 8-9) and Notre Dame (home and in Chicago on February 15th and 17th).

The Hawks will be off for 2 weeks, adn return to action December 28th in the Three Rivers Classic. Miami plays the same Ohio State squad on Friday night, and Saturday’s games will be determined by Friday’s results. It will be Robert Morris or Penn State on Saturday night.

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

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

Saturday

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

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

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

Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

2011-12 Season Preview: Notre Dame

It seems like a “here we go again” type of season for Notre Dame in 2011-12, but with a few big events thrown in at the same time.  The Fighting Irish look primed for a repeat of last year’s 2nd place CCHA regular season finish and NCAA Frozen Four trip with 5 Seniors coming back and 9 of their top 12 scorers also back.  Let’s take a deeper look at the Irish.

First of all, this is what BIG TIME scheduling is all about. The Irish started with an exhibition, but just returned from a trip to visit the defending National Champions Minnesota-Duluth, where they lost the opener and came back from 2 goals down to win the second game of the series. Up next, they open CCHA play against Ohio State, but later host RPI, Boston College (11/18), Northeastern (12/2-3), Boston University (12/31), and also make a 1-game trip to play Minnesota (1/7/12). This is all BEFORE any CCHA matchups, in which they play Western Michigan (2 Home/Home series), host Michigan for 2, take the 3,500 mile journey to Alaska (who wants to drive it with me??) AND will have a late-season trip to Oxford to look forward to as well. Maybe Ohio State will learn something from this kind of scheduling? (yeah right)

In addition to this schedule, possibly one of the marquee events of the entire NCAA Hockey Season will be the opening of the Compton Family Ice Center.  Saturday’s game against Ohio State will be the last hockey contest the Irish will play in the Joyce Center since moving in back in 1969.  The Students are on Fall Break at Notre Dame this weekend, so tickets are available if you’re really itching to sit in an old, crusty cavern of a hockey “arena” and experience the last game that will be played there.

On the other side of this weekend is the opening of the Goggin on steroids “Comp”.  “CIA”? “The compton”? Gonna need a nickname for the new palace in South Bend.  ND opens the Compton Family Ice Arena with a game against RPI on the 21st – a one game series, likely due to the ND vs USC football game on Saturday night in South Bend.  (I’m working the angles to get tickets for the opener, but our paychecks are limited here at Redskin Warriors.)

Taking a look at the on-ice product, the Irish return 9 of the top 12 scorers from last year (although those 3 departures are in the top 6 overall).  Head Coach Jeff Jackson is in his 7th year in South Bend, and holds a 141-79-27 record for the Irish (324-132-52 overal with 2 National Championships for Lake Superior State), and Jackson will rely on 20-game winner Mike Johnson in net.  Although Johnson came through with 20 wins last year, Johnson posted less than stellar 2.62 goals against average and a .904 save percentage on the season – numbers he will have to improve on this year if the Irish want to make it back to the Frozen Four.

Returning on the ice for the Irish are 2010-11 CCHA Rookie of the Year T.J. Tynan – a preseason All-CCHA unanimous pick along with Miami’s Reilly Smith. Tynan is joined by fellow 2010-11 1st team all CCHA selection Anders Lee (Alternate Captain) in ND’s stellar Sophomore Class. Seniors Sean Lorenz (Captain – D) and Billy Mayday (Alternate Captain – F) also return to lead this team into what would be the second consecutive and 3rd overall Frozen Four for the Irish under Jeff Jackson.

Predicted Finish
Anything less than 3rd place is a hugely disappointing season for the Irish.  Look for the Irish to show up in Tampa for the Frozen Four if their goaltending keeps improving as well.
Floor: 3rd
Ceiling: 1st

Rankings: Miami #1/2, Notre Dame #2/1 in preseason polls

The 2 national (official) polls have released their first rankings of the 2011-2012 season. If the polls on September 26th meant anything, Miami RedHawks players, coaches and fans should be VERY happy.

The first unofficial poll was released by College Hockey News last week with Miami at #1, and today’s In the first USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll for the 2011-2012 season, Miami checks in at #2, despite having more first place votes (12) than the Irish (11). 4 CCHA teams made the Top 20, and 6 more are in the “Others Receiving Votes” category to start the season. Interestingly, 7 of the 8 NCHC teams are in the top 20 including #’s 2, 3 and 4, and the 8th team (St. Cloud State) checks in at #24. Have a look at the full poll HERE and the USCHO writeup HERE.

In the first USA Hockey Magazine / USA Today D-I Men’s Poll, Miami and Notre Dame flip spots, with Miami taking 15 of the 31 first place votes. In this 15-team poll, the CCHA has the same 4 teams ranked, with only 3 more “receiving votes.” Again, all 8 NCHC teams made the list, with St. Cloud State getting just 1 point. Full Poll can be found HERE.

Here’s Miami’s official release on the rankings.

6 days until HOCKEY!!!

Going the Distance?

Head Coach Enrico Blasi, Captains Alden Hirschfeld and Will Weber, and probably just about everyone else associated with the Miami Hockey program will tell you that rankings before the season starts, on opening night, and even in the second half of the season don’t mean anything. Coach Blasi certainly has said in the past that the only ranking that matters will be where and when Miami ends up on April X. This year, that date happens to be April 7th, and that location is Tampa, Florida.

With that said… A Number 1 ranking is still something to celebrate, and celebrate we will.

Thanks to College Hockey News, we have that reason to celebrate.  CHN has put Miami at the head of the class for the 2011-2012 season. Check out the headlines here.

Again, we appreciate the great preseason accolades. But how serious should we take the rankings?  Let’s wait until April and see what shakes out in the next six and a half months. Especially with fellow defectors CCHA-ers Notre Dame, Michigan and Western Michigan joining Miami in CHN’s entirely too early preseason top 10 rankings.

11 days until the exhibition. The countdown is on!!

>Miami Dominates in the D

>Detroit, Mich. – Well, my predictions were actually pretty good…for once.

CCHA Player of the Year Andy Miele had 2 goals and 2 assists and Hobey Baker finalist Carter Camper had 2 goals and 1 assist as the Miami RedHawks defeated Notre Dame 6-2.

If not for two fluke goals, Cody Reichard may have registered another shutout. As it was, Reichard was solid as Miami extended its unbeaten streak to a school best 12 games.

Both Camper and Miele were at their best as both scored highlight reel goals including one from Miele while he was prone on the ice after being crosschecked from behind.

The Crying Irish stuck to their routine of running Reichard as I counted at least four times the Miami netminder was knocked to the ice including once where his helmet was taken off his head. Unlike February’s 5-5 tie, however, Reichard would not be rattled and he maintained his stellar play of the past several weeks. On the other hand, Mike Johnson proved unworthy as Miami torched him for six goals before he was pulled midway through the third period.

Alden Hirschfeld and Bryon Paulazzo chipped in with goals and Reilly Smith added three assists to round out the bulk of the Miami scoring. It was the freshman Paulazzo’s second career goal.

The RedHawks await the winner of tonight’s WMU/Michigan game which starts at 8pm EST and can be seen on FS Detroit + in tomorrow’s championship game.

Notes

  • With another four point game, Andy Miele now has 23-46-69 on the year. Can you say Hobey Baker?
  • Carter Camper has a career best 19-36-54 good enough for third in the nation.
  • Alden Hirschfeld notched his career best 24th point of the year
  • With three assists, super sophomore Reilly Smith now has 26-25-51. Miami now has three players with more than 50 points on the season.

>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.

>CCHA Championship Weekend

>Farmington Hills, Mich. – The CCHA has announced the times for the two semifinal matchups on Friday, March 18 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Miami will play the early game on to set up better TV viewing and attendance for Michigan’s game later that evening.

Miami and Notre Dame will begin play at 4:35pm with Michigan and Western Michigan to face off at the made-for-TV time of 8:05pm.

Normally, you want to “protect” the number one seed by having them play the earlier game, but to enable as many local WMU and U-M fans to attend as possible, the league has moved the game to prime time. This simply means the Wolverines will have a little less time to recover for Saturday’s championship or consolation game as appropriate while Miami and Notre Dame will benefit from a marginal amount of additional rest.