Category Archives: Notre Dame

>Miami to face Notre Dame in CCHA Semifinals

>Detroit, Mich. – Fresh off last night’s 4-1 win to sweep the Alaska Nanooks out of the CCHA playoffs, Miami had to wait until tonight to determine their next opponent. With a 4-2 over Lake Superior State, Notre Dame will face the RedHawks for the fifth time this season in one semifinal match at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The teams split the season series 1-1-2 with Miami winning and losing at home and tying twice in South Bend.

Michigan will face Western Michigan who defeated Ferris State in overtime earlier this evening.

Presumably Miami and Notre Dame will play the early game on Friday but the CCHA should announce the game times shortly.

>#11 Miami at Lake Superior State

>

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Tonight the #11 Miami RedHawks (17-9-6, 14-7-5-2 CCHA) begin their final series of the regular season as they visit the Lake Superior State Lakers (10-13-9, 8-10-8-5 CCHA) at Taffy Abel Arena. Five Miami seniors will be playing in their final regular season tilts, and with a solid weekend, can place themselves in position to make a run in the CCHA tournament, and possibly, the NCAA tournament.

The Lakers enter the series vying for a first round bye in the CCHA tournament currently sitting just four points behind Western Michigan for fourth and three points behind Ferris State who took two points from Ohio State last night with a shootout victory.

Conversely, Miami has already locked up third place though a tie for second place is still possible pending the outcome of the Michigan/Northern Michigan series in Marquette. Realistically, Miami is locked into third (they cannot drop to fourth) and will earn another first round bye in the CCHA tournament which begins next weekend.

However, the RedHawks are tied for 11th in the PairWise rankings so these games are meaningful for Miami. Coming off a late bye week, they need to extend their seven game unbeaten streak to solidify their national standing. In fact, since an ugly 7-4 loss to Michigan State on January 21, Miami is 4-0-3 climbing from 16th in the PairWise to 11th. And, should the next few nights of national play favor Miami, they could easily find themselves in contention for a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament by the completion of the weekend.

Notes:

· Though trailing the all-time series by a hefty 54-35-11 margin, Miami is 7-0-1 against the Lakers since the 2007-08 season

· Miami has won their last three games in Sault Ste. Marie

· In national play, here are a few teams I believe Miami should be rooting for:

o Ferris State (over Ohio State)

o Northern Michigan (over Michigan)

o Western Michigan (over Notre Dame)

o Quinnipiac (over Union)

o St. Lawrence (over Dartmouth)

o SCSU (over Wisconsin)

o Denver (over UNO)

o Princeton (over RPI)

>Miami Victorious on Senior Night

>


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.

>Friday Night Lights – March 5

>Buckeyes win Game 1 over Notre Dame

Columbus, Ohio (March 6) – Led by senior forward Mathieu Picard’s two goals, eighth seeded Ohio State defeated nine seed Notre Dame 3-1 in front of 734 strong at the OSU Ice Arena. As is the case annually, the Buckeyes are forced to play a home playoff series at the old barn adjacent to St. John Arena rather than their usual plush home digs at the Schott due to the Ohio High School Wrestling Championships having Value City Arena to themselves. Frankly, I believe the Buckeyes should play all of their games at the old building because unlike Value City, there is actually a college hockey atmosphere there and a real home ice advantage for Ohio State. The two teams play again at 7pm this evening and the game is purportedly sold out meaning 1,500 strong will cram into the facility to see if the Buckeyes can sweep Notre Dame and move onto the second round.

With all of the upper seeded teams winning last night, it sets up the real chance that Ohio State and Miami could meet in Oxford in the second round of the playoffs for the right to advance to the CCHA Championship in Detroit in two weeks. Of course, this assumes that no lower seeded teams win the next two games to shake up the bracket.

Michigan, Alaska and UNO Post Game 1 Victories
In addition to the Buckeyes game one win, all the higher seeded teams notched victories in the first night of CCHA playoff action.

In Ann Arbor, Mich. seventh seeded Michigan behind seldom-used backup netminder Shawn Hunwick, defeated tenth seeded Lake Superior State 5-2. Hunwick was again subbing for injured junior Bryan Hogan and made 21 saves to get the win. Matt Rust, for whom the Blue Jackets traded Mathieu Roy, scored an unassisted goal just 37 seconds into the third period which turned out to be the game-winner. The Wolverines go for the sweep tonight at Yost Ice Arena at 7:35pm.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, the fifth seeded Nanooks blanked twelve seed Western Michigan 4-0 behind 16 saves from Scott Greenham. Should the Broncos be unable to find a way to win tonight, it will be the last game behind the bench for outgoing head coach Jim Culhane. The Nanooks will attempt to sweep the Broncos at 11:05pm EST tonight from Fairbanks.

Lastly, in Omaha, Neb., sixth seeded Nebraska-Omaha used four second period goals to chase Bowling Green starter Andrew Hammond from the net en route to a 6-1 whipping of the Falcons. Senior Jeremie Dupont made 25 saves for the Mavericks as Dean Blais’ troops continue to play well down the stretch. UNO goes for the sweep tonight at 8:05pm EST from Qwest Center.

#2 Miami Moves back to #1 in Pairwise Rankings
Denver, Colo. – With #15 Colorado College’s 2-1 victory over #1 Denver, Miami flipped a comparison with the Pioneers moving the RedHawks back into the top position in the Pairwise rankings that largely determine the NCAA tournament field. This means Miami would be the #1 overall seed in the tournament if the season ended today. Colorado College and Denver will play again tonight in Colorado Springs. Should the Tigers sweep the Pioneers, it will likely propel Miami back to the top of the national polls as well. Sometimes it pays to have a week off.

>RedHawks Head to South Bend

>Our No. 10 ranked Miami RedHawks will continue CCHA play this weekend, as they make the trek to South Bend to take on a very good, very tough Notre Dame squad, ranked 8th in the country. If you’ll recall, the Fighting Irish came into Oxford last season and knocked off Miami, at the time, the No. 1 team in the nation. Miami would take the second game of the weekend series, before eventually knocking Notre Dame out of the CCHA tournament.

This week, you’ll be able to view both games, online, for free! Here is the link and you’ll need to click on the gold colored “live events” tab to access the video.

Note: you’ll need to have Microsoft Silverlight installed on your computer to run the video player. If you don’t have it, there is a link to install it when you click on the feed for tonight’s game.

From the Game Notes:

“CHECKING” NOTRE DAME
Miami holds the all-time lead in the series between the two schools with a record of 30-15-8 and Notre Dame is one of only two schools in the CCHA that the RedHawks have a winning record against on the road. The Red and White lead the all-time series at UND with a record of 12-8-6. Notre Dame opened the season with a loss to then-No.6 Denver in Denver, Col., and since that 5-2 loss at the hands of the Pioneers, the Fighting Irish have not surrendered a goal. In the second weekend of the season, Notre Dame blanked Sacred Heart 3-0, Friday, Oct. 17, and 7-0, Saturday, Oct. 18 both games were at Notre Dame.

The last time the RedHawks and the Fighting Irish played each other the game was a thriller as Miami won 2-1 in overtime in the semifinals of the 2008 CCHA Tournament. Ryan Jones tied the game with four-seconds remaining and the RedHawks won in overtime on a goal by Alec Martinez.

FEELING AT HOME IN BURLINGTON
Tommy Wingels scored his first goals of the season on the road trip to Burlington, Vt. Wingels posted two goals, one in each game. Wingels scored his first when he intercepted a neutral ice pass and beat the goalie right side for the RedHawks first shorthanded goal since Justin Mercier netted a goal on the penalty kill Jan. 26, 2008 in Alaska against the Nanooks.

THIS IS GETTING OFFENSIVE
Miami has been an offensive power house through the first four-games of the season and it is not just one player it is a team effort as 13 different players have at least one-point and nine different players have goals on the young season. The team is led in goals by Carter Camper and Gary Steffes, who both have three. Camper has been a one man wrecking crew on the power play as all of his seven-points this season have come on the power-play. Camper is also tied for the top spot in the nation in power-play goals as the sophomore from Rocky River, Ohio already has three goals on the power play.

Three members of the RedHawks are also in the Top 20 nationally in points per-game. Camper, Pat Canonne and Captain Brian Kaufman are all averaging 1.75 points per-game and the three members of the Red and White each have seven-points on the campaign.

FIRST TIMERS
Three RedHawks have registered their first career points in the first two weekends of the season. Chris Wideman racked up four points in back-to-back games against Ohio State and earned CCHA Rookie of the Week honors for his performance. Will Weber got on the score sheet in Vermont as he picked up the first assist on the goal by Pat Cannone in the third period of the Oct. 17 game against the Catamounts. Neither Wideman nor Weber had to wait as long as Brandon Smith did for this first career point. Smith was credited with the second assist on Alexandre Lacombe’s goal in the Oct. 18 game against Vermont. Smith was in only his fourth career game for the RedHawks but the Pepper Pike, Ohio native is now in his third season in Oxford.

USCHO prognosticator Paula C. Weston, once again predicts another RedHawk split this weekend.

The first time these two teams met last season, Miami was ranked No. 1 — the death knell for any team playing the dragon-slaying Fighting Irish. The teams split in Oxford with ND taking the first game, and Miami went on to eliminate Notre Dame from the CCHA tournament … while the Irish went all the way to the national title game. Should be a great series. ND 2-1, Miami 2-1

Inside College Hockey also has a nice feature on the ND defense and it’s efforts to build on consecutive shutouts. Check it out by clicking here.

Go RedHawks!