Category Archives: Colorado College

Preview: Colorado College at Miami

WHO: Colorado College Tigers (6-23-1) at Miami University RedHawks (13-14-3).

WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.

WHEN: Friday–7:35 p.m.; Saturday–7:05 p.m.

TV: Saturday – Fox Sports Alternate (DirecTV Ch. 608).

COLORADO COLLEGE RADIO: Both nights–KRDO-AM (1240) and KRDO-FM (105.5), Colorado Springs, Colo.

MIAMI RADIO: Both nights–WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio; WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.

NOTES: The earlier series between these teams was a dumpster fire for Miami, which lost in the third period both nights and caused some internal turmoil.

Colorado College started the season 0-13 before beating Air Force and then topping the RedHawks twice, but the Tigers have dropped their last five by an average of 2.8 goals.

CC has had trouble scoring goals and preventing them, which explains its 6-23-1 record.

The Tigers have scored just 64 goals, or 2.06 per game, with just 44 of them coming at even strength.

Only one Colorado College player has eclipsed the 20-point mark, and that’s Hunter Fejes, who has 13 goals and nine assists.

Fejes tormented Miami in Colorado Springs, netting both goals in the come-from-behind 2-1 win in the opener and tallying the game winner with 1:13 left in the finale.

Luc Gerdes is second on the team in scoring (7-11-18), and Trey Bradley is second on the team in goals (9) and third in points (16).

Jacob Nehama has been the primary goalie for CC in recent weeks, playing in six straight games and 15 of the team’s last 17. He is 6-15-0 with a 3.58 goals-against average and a decent .902 save percentage, indicating he has faced a ton of shots.

Colorado College has indeed had a major shooting deficit, averaging 26.6 shots on goal while allowing 35.1 per game.

The Tigers are last in the NCHC but could still move up a spot, as they are four points behind seventh-place Western Michigan.

But Colorado College is just 2-12-1 on the road this season.

Miami is tied with Nebraska-Omaha and Minnesota-Duluth for fourth with 25 points as those three teams vie for the final top-four spot that ensures home-ice advantage for the best-of-3 series to open the NCHC Tournament.

UNO is at St. Cloud State, and UMD hosts North Dakota, so the RedHawks obviously have a great chance to move into solo control of that fourth spot this weekend.

Miami's Sean Kuraly (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Miami’s Sean Kuraly (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

These are the final home games of the regular season for Miami and the last games of 2015-16 at Cady Arena unless it can secure that fourth seed.

Senior forward Sean Kuraly is plus-10 in his last 14 games, notching four goals and 10 assists in that span.

Junior forward Anthony Louis has scored three goals in his last three games, and freshman forward Kiefer Sherwood has four markers in six contests.

Analysis: Sweep of CC now paramount

Pulling off a sweep at Western Michigan was going to a tall order, even with the Broncos struggling this season.

Miami fell, 4-1 in the series finale in Kalamazoo on Saturday, but fortunately for the RedHawks, they only fell one spot in PairWise and did not drop in the conference standings, as both teams they are tied with were defeated as well.

Miami remains in a three-way tie with Nebraska-Omaha and Minnesota-Duluth for the all-important fourth and final home ice spot for the first round of the NCHC Tournament.

The problem is: The RedHawks would lose the tiebreaker vs. both teams if they remain even. We’ll explain more thoroughly if it appears this scenario may come to fruition, but for now, trust us, Miami takes sixth if they can’t surge past one of both of these teams.

As we explained yesterday, the RedHawks control their own destiny to a large degree, as they host last-place Colorado College next week and head to UMD to wrap up the season.

(And it could end up Miami and UMD play back-to-back weekends: Imagine the carnage if those teams met four or five times in nine days)

Sweeping hapless Colorado College at home next weekend is now paramount if the RedHawks want home ice, and if that happens it will greatly increase the team’s chance of making the NCAA Tournament.

As for the game itself, Miami outshot WMU, 31-28 including 8-2 the final period. The RedHawks didn’t play that badly but allowing a goal in the final second of a period is devastating.

The Broncos capitalized on the momentum of that second goal by adding a third early in the second period and Miami was essentially done.

The RedHawks’ goal came on a pretty passing play, with Kevin Morris putting it in for his fifth goal in nine games.

Other thoughts…

– So that’s five shorthanded goals against this season for Miami, and zero for. The RedHawks are one of only five teams in Division I without a shorty and the lone team in the NCHC.

– Realizing that down by two goals midway through the third period a team is going to pinch, but the RedHawks’ defense was flat-out miserable on WMU’s fourth goal. Both defensemen were caught up the ice and Anthony Louis weakly flailed at the outlet stretch pass that ultimately resulted in the final goal.

– Senior night is next weekend. How will the team handle the Ryan McKay situation? Tune in next week.

Analysis: Miami late losses mounting

In the you’ve-gotta-be-kidding-me department, Miami gave up two more late goals to turn a 1-0 lead into a loss to the second-worst team in college hockey – Colorado College.

The RedHawks lost, 2-1 to the Tigers at World Arena on Friday, giving away points for the fourth straight game and burying itself in an even deeper hole both at the NCAA level and in its conference.

Before we enter the sour grapes portion of this article – or are accused of it – the figurative hat needs to be tipped to CC. That team played better than MU, which may not be saying much lately, and deserved the win.

But seriously? Miami had to know what a hole it had dug itself in conference play, having earned eight of a possible 24 points in NCHC play. And this senior-laden team couldn’t possibly have forgotten 2013-14, when it sat home while the regional site it was guaranteed if it merely qualified for the NCAA Tournament was just 35 miles down the road, right?

How do you get outshot, 33-21 by a team that averaged fewer than 26 shots per game? Better question might be: How do you generate just 21 SOG vs. a Tigers team that had surrendered an average of more than 34?

And by the way, how do you score once against a freshman goalie that had given up at least three goals in each outing and entered play with a goals-against average well above 4.00?

How does CC score twice in the last 10 minutes after netting just 1.57 goals PER GAME in its first 14 tilts? And Colorado College had allowed 4.00 goals against per game entering Friday but the RedHawks were able to manage just one tally.

The Tigers were 59th out of 60 teams in NCAA in the all-important PairWise rankings entering Friday. Miami was 18th. Now it’s 27th.

The RedHawks deserve the substantial drop. A win on Saturday still guarantees a bad road trip and a disappointing first half of this season.

There is still time to turn it around, but it will be a difficult task.

Other thoughts:

Miami forward Kiefer Sherwood (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Miami forward Kiefer Sherwood (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

– The lack of scoring by non-freshmen continues to be an issue. It was freshman forward Kiefer Sherwood finding the net for Miami in this game, giving RedHawks rookies 16 of their 31 goals. Defensemen have seven more tallies, meaning non-freshmen forwards have accounted for 25.8 percent of MU’s goals.

Think about that: a quarter of this team’s goals have come by non-freshmen forwards. In 2014-15, freshmen forwards scored once in the entire 40-game campaign (Conor Lemirande).

Hey, if there’s any positive coming from that stat, it’s that this team is looking good beyond this season. But how long Jack Roslovic will stay is a huge question mark and it’s way too early to look beyond this season anyway.

– I’ve never heard Pat Micheletti do color, but he was spot on in his analysis with the upstart American Sports Network broadcast on Friday, which was carried by the Altitude Network. He said Miami had trouble getting that put-away goal. He said the freshman scoring for the RedHawks was great, but they need production from veterans to have success.

He also clued in fans that Andrew Schmit suffered an upper-body injury, which is why he was out for this contest.

Even more importantly, he tipped off Miami fans that senior forward Sean Kuraly had some of his captain duties had waned, as Blasi told him to emphasize just playing in an effort to rejuvenate his offensive game.

Micheletti is the brother of Olympics and national telecast announcer Joe Micheletti.

– Axiom of the season: A win Saturday is crucial.

– Insert two quick positives: Kiefer Sherwood gets better every game and is a joy to watch, and goalie Ryan McKay deserved a better fate than a 2-1 loss.

GRADES

FORWARDS: F. Generating 15 shots against this squad is embarrassing. Freshman Jack Roslovic was still able to make defenders look stupid but didn’t generate any major scoring chances, and same with classmate Josh Melnick. Sherwood was definitely the best forward on the team, and he seemed to be near or in possession of the puck every time he was on the ice. The Kuraly turnover really hurt, and the overall ineptness of this corps cost the RedHawks the game.

DEFENSEMEN: C-. Colorado College had at least three wide-open chances in the slot and a couple other good chances as the result of beating flat-footed blueliners. Again, this is a team that was 1-13 before Friday. Senior Matthew Caito crushed one of the Tigers early on but overall this group was not up to its standard.

Miami goalie Ryan McKay (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Miami goalie Ryan McKay (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

GOALTENDING: A. Ahh, something positive to write about other than Sherwood. McKay absolutely deserved a better fate. He was very solid through two periods, making a stop on a 3-on-1, a 4-on-2 and another great look before the final 20 minutes. Patrick Roy couldn’t have stopped the tying goal and the final one was an open look that he had little chance on.

LINEUP CHANGES: As mention above, Micheletti said Schmit was out with an injury, and Mooney took over for him. With freshman Zach LaValle still injured, that leaves just Colin Sullivan as a healthy scratch. Unless he is somehow hurt as well, is there really no way this solid defender can get in the lineup with the team playing this poorly?

Miami winless streak continues vs. CC

A pair of late goals extended Miami’s winless streak to five games and its road losing streak to six.

Colorado College, which had won one game all season, rallied to edge the RedHawks, 2-1 at World Arena on Friday.

Miami, which started 3-1-1, has won just two of its last 10 games and none away from Oxford.

Miami forward Kiefer Sherwood (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Miami forward Kiefer Sherwood (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

The game was scoreless after the first period, but RedHawks freshman forward Kiefer Sherwood ripped a shot past goalie Jacob Nehama from the high slot off a pass from junior forward Justin Greenberg with 9:11 left in the middle stanza to give Miami the lead.

It was the second marker in as many contests for Sherwood, whose goal was his third of the campaign.

That lead stood up until the Tigers’ Hunter Fejes stole the puck from RedHawks senior center Sean Kuraly and went in for a goal on a 2-on-0 with 9:55 to play in regulation.

Fejes netted the go-ahead and eventual game-winner as well with 2:46 to play, jumping in late to make it a 3-on-2 rush and beating Miami senior goalie Ryan McKay on the glove side to make it 2-1.

The RedHawks (5-8-2) were pinned in their own zone for much of the final two-plus minutes and were unable to pull McKay until 30 seconds remained and even then never generated a solid scoring chance.

Colorado College (2-13) had lost its first 13 games this season and had not won an NCHC game in 11 contests, dating back to last season.

The Tigers entered this game having scored just six goals in six league games and allowed 26, or an average of 4.33.

Miami remains in sixth place in the league with eight points but has played nine NCHC tilts, the most of any team in the league.

The series concludes at 9:05 p.m. on Saturday in the RedHawks’ final game of 2015.

Welcome to the NCHC, Part 2

NCHC

Today, we finish up our team capsules with the remaining 4 teams in the NCHC. We introduced you to Western Michigan, St. Cloud State and North Dakota in Part 1 of our team capsules. Let’s just jump right in and meet the remaining 4 teams.

Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks

UNO is another familiar foe of the RedHawks, having played in the CCHA with Miami from the 1999-2000 through 2009-10 seasons. In 2010, they joined the WCHA for a few seasons, and will make the jump to The National this season as a charter member.

The Mavericks lost 10 letterwinners last season, one of which came to Miami: Forward Andrew Schmit, who played in 20 games for the Mavs last season. They have plans for building a new multi-purpose, 7,500-seat arena on campus, rather than playing in the CenturyLink Center, but the school insists on not using taxpayer money (a great move), and is working on raising the estimated $65-80 million needed for the new building.

Overall record: 268-291-73 (16 seasons)
NCAA Appearances: 2 (2 first round losses)
Arena: CenturyLink Center Omaha (Capacity: 15,959)
Current Head Coach: Dean Blais (74-68-16, 4 seasons)
Record vs. Miami: Miami leads 17-7-3

Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs

Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs men's ice hockey athletic logo

The 2011 NCAA Champions boast 5 Hobey Baker winners, 11 Regular Season Championships and 3 Conference Tournament Championships, having played in the WCHA since 1965-66.

The Dogs moved into the new AMSOIL arena in 2010, and later won the NCAA Championship in 2011 in a dramatic, overtime thriller against Michigan. I had a pretty good view of that one:

Overall record:
NCAA Appearances: 8 (4 Frozen Fours, 1 National Championship)
Arena: AMSOIL Arena (Capacity: 6,600)
Current Head Coach: Scott Sandelin (231-229-93, 14 seasons, 1 National Championship)
Record vs. Miami: Miami has the only win in this series, their 2-1 victory in the 2009 Regional Final.

Denver Pioneers

Denver Pioneers men's ice hockey athletic logoAfter a tumultuous offseason, Denver will be entering the 2013-14 season in a rather unfamiliar place. Former Miami Head Coach George Gwozdecky was ousted after compiling a stellar record and 2 National Championships. It was a classic “what have you done for me lately?” type of situation, and apparently 5 tournament appearances in the last 6 seasons wasn’t enough “lately” for the Denver higher-ups.

Jim Montgomery will take over as the head coach in Denver, a team that had been in the WCHA since the 1958-59 season, and only trails Michigan (9) in total NCAA Ice Hockey Championships.

Overall record: 1323-878-132
NCAA Appearances: 23 (14 Frozen Fours, 7 National Championships)
Arena: Magness Arena (Capacity: 6,026)
Current Head Coach: Jim Montgomery (0-0-0, 1st season as a head coach)

Colorado College Tigers

Colorado College is by far the smallest school in terms of enrollment in the NCHC. They have just 2,034 students compared to 11,800 for the next closest (both UMD and Denver) and over 16,500 for Miami. However, they have been playing Division I Ice Hockey since 1939-40 and have a bit of history in Colorado Springs.

Playing in Colorado Springs World Arena has been quite a home ice advantage for the Tigers. They have a 230-99-18 record at home, which is just a shade under a .700 win percentage. Playing there, on their Olympic-sized ice sheet will never be an easy win.

Overall record: 1136-1128-119
NCAA Appearances: 20 (Most recent in 2008, 10 Frozen Fours, 2 National Championships)
Arena: Colorado Springs World Arena (Capacity: 7,380)
Current Head Coach: Scott Owens (317-204-68, 14 seasons)
Record vs. Miami: Colorado College has won the only 2 meetings between the schools

So there you have it, Now that you’ve met the teams of the NCHC, we’ll continue our preseason coverage this week with additional previews and predictions for the upcoming 2013-14 season.