Category Archives: University of Minnesota-Duluth

UMD scores early, often to beat Miami

OXFORD, Ohio – Miami has played in plenty of one-goal games in previous months, but there was little doubt about Saturday’s outcome after the first period.

Minnesota-Duluth scored four unanswered goals en route to beating the RedHawks, 5-2 in the series finale at Cady Arena as Miami ended the weekend with just two of a possible six critical points.

Miami has now won only one of its last 10 games (1-7-2), remaining in seventh place in the NCHC. But the team in now just one point ahead of last-place Colorado College.

With 6:08 left in the first period, Neal Pionk put the Bulldogs ahead on a shot from the high slot that pinballed off several bodies before ricocheting into the net.

Less than three minutes later, RedHawks senior goalie Ryan McKay made a highlight-reel save on a point-blank shot by Austin Farley, but the rebound came to Tony Cameranesi, who fired the puck over a sprawled-out McKay from the slot, making it 2-0.

UMD (8-7-4) extended its lead the three when Dominic Toninato whipped a shot into the side of the cage off a drop pass from Blake Young seven minutes into the middle stanza.

Just 2:04 after that goal, McKay attempted a stretch pass from the side boards, but it was intercepted by Parker MacKay, who fired it into the empty net, ending McKay’s night.

Miami (6-11-3) did attempt a comeback, started by sophomore defenseman Louie Belpedio ripped a low shot that beat Bulldogs goalie Kasimir Koskisuo to make it 4-1 with 3:24 left in the second period.

RedHawks freshman Ryan Siroky spun and fired one top shelf for his first career goal to cut the deficit to two with 9:39 left in regulation.

Ryan Siroky (24) and Louie Belpedio (58) both scored on Saturday (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Ryan Siroky (24) and Louie Belpedio (58) both scored on Saturday (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Although Miami senior goalie Jay Williams did not allow a goal in relief, an empty netter from the neutral zone sealed the win for the Bulldogs with 2:50 to play.

The RedHawks managed just six total shots in the final 40 minutes, with two of them finding net.

Miami plays a single non-conference game against Bowling Green next weekend, with the puck drop scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Cady Arena.

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Analysis: Still hope for home ice

OXFORD, Ohio – Last Sunday, hopes were that Miami’s win over RPI was a momentum builder, as it scored three times in the third period for a boost heading into the heart of league play.

But it was business as usual for the RedHawks, Version 2015-16 on Friday, as once again they failed to hold a late lead and ended up tying Minnesota-Duluth, 1-1 at Cady Arena.

This time it was an equalizer by Tony Camenaresi with 5:38 left on a laser from the right faceoff circle.

It was the sixth straight NCHC game that Miami has given away valuable league point/points in the third period.

That bears repeating: In its last six conference games, the RedHawks have squandered at least one league point in the third period, many of which were lost late in the final stanza.

Let’s assume for a second that Miami had six more points. The team has given away two and three points in some of these contests (Friday it was just one, as the RedHawks won the 3-on-3), but add six points to its total.

That would give it a total of 16, good enough for third place in the NCHC. Plus instead of 6-10-3 – the RedHawks’ current record – it would be closer to 8-8-3, which would put Miami on the PairWise bubble with its brutal strength of schedule.

Instead the RedHawks have 10 and are mired in seventh place.

And yet, with all of the bad things that have happened to Miami this season, the team is just five points out of that No. 3 seed.

The team that holds that spot? UMD. So a win on Saturday would pull the RedHawks within two of the Bulldogs.

The top two seeds are off the board, as North Dakota and St. Cloud State are both 12 points ahead of the field. But home ice? Even at 2-7-2 in league play, Miami has every chance to get back into the race and earn home-ice advantage in the NCHC Tournament.

And unless the team’s record improves dramatically and quickly, home ice will be critical as the RedHawks hope to make the NCAA Tournament.

But none of these good things will happen for Miami if it can’t figure out how to maintain third-period leads.

Other thoughts…

– The RedHawks’ power play continues to have zero to do with power. Miami is 0-for-16 in its last six games and has allowed two shorthanded goals in that span for a net of minus-2 goals on the man advantage. That’s a special kind of bad. Not coincidentally, MU has scored two goals or fewer in five of those six games.

– Actually, the power play was so bad that Minn.-Duluth gained momentum on Miami’s first chance. The RedHawks were dominating early in the second period, but after doing zip on that opportunity, the Bulldogs controlled the pace the rest of that stanza and were the better team the rest of the way. Play was pretty even in the first period.

– Some perspective: UMD has a good team with excellent goaltending and talented forwards. It’s head-scratching that the team is 7-7-4, especially with so many key players back from last season. This team is poised for a second-half run, making Saturday’s game even more important for both squads.

– The attendance for this game was 1,743. When does this J-term end again?

– Was that actual rock music we heard in the second period? No kidding: An assortment of mostly standard rock selections was played in that frame before the powers-that-be returned to the same miserable crap fans have become accustomed to hearing. Hey, at least there was no Village Idiots or Neil Diamond in this game that normally makes hockey traditionalists want to jam ice picks through their ear drums.

– Per the NCHC, it looks like Miami will don its red jerseys for home games the rest of the season. Not sure what the point of changing that up is.

GRADES

FORWARDS: D. This corps combined for one point (assist by senior Andrew Schmit) and managed a whopping 20 shots in 65 minutes. Freshman Jack Roslovic looked either disinterested or tired late, and with few offensive weapons this team needs him to be focused at all times. The Crash Cousins line, with Ryan Siroky, played well together, with sophomore Conor Lemirande also playing a role in Miami’s lone goal. The Zach LaValle-Kiefer Sherwood duo appears to be building chemistry, and the pair of freshmen will hopefully evolve together for the next three-plus years.

DEFENSEMEN: C-. Too many odd-man rushes, too many unnecessary icings. Not a typical shut-down effort from this group, although Coach Enrico Blasi did shake up the pairings as Louie Belpedio returned, which may have affected chemistry. Senior Matthew Caito took a 4-on-4 shot from the faceoff circle that whistled wide, and that’s how UMD scored its lone goal. That shot has to be on net, and he’d probably be the first to admit that, although he was his typical solid self otherwise. Grant Hutton has been a defensive staple in his freshman year but struggled in this game. He looks like a natural right D-man and was a little awkward on the left side. Chris Joyaux did score the team’s lone goal, which elevates this group out into the ‘D’ range.

Jay Williams stopped 36 shots for Miami on Friday (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Jay Williams stopped 36 shots for Miami on Friday (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

GOALTENDING: A. There’s the hockey cliché of stealing a win, but can a goalie steal a tie? Jay Williams stopped 36 shots, and it was practically a shooting gallery his way the final 25 of regulation. There wasn’t one signature save on the night, but he was strong the whole game and was excellent at controlling his rebounds. His best effort of the season by far. The one goal was an absolute rip ticketed for the corner of the net. Without Williams, this game goes in the loss column for Miami.

LINEUP CHANGES: Up front it was Devin Loe out and Conor Lemirande in on Friday, perhaps because of the ultra-physical nature of UMD. With Belpedio returning from the World Juniors, he was back on the blue line after playing in Finland this week. His presence relegated fellow defenseman Colin Sullivan to the scratch column despite his strong play last weekend. Williams was in net for the second straight game, and he certainly has earned at least a split of playing time with Ryan McKay, who will probably start on Saturday.

Miami ties UMD; earns 2 points

OXFORD, Ohio – Once again, Miami couldn’t close out a win.

The RedHawks managed two points in a 1-1 tie vs. Minnesota-Duluth at Cady Arena on Friday, allowing a tying third-period goal and earning the extra point in 3-on-3 play.

Josh Melnick (right) and Louis Belpedio (left) celebrate Belpedio's OT goal (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Josh Melnick (right) and Louis Belpedio (left) celebrate Belpedio’s OT goal (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Miami has now held the lead after two periods seven times this season and has won just three of those games.

Senior goalie Jay Williams stopped 36 shots for the RedHawks, the highest save total for a Miami netminder this season.

After a scoreless first period, the RedHawks took the lead when senior defenseman Chris Joyaux backhanded one through Bulldogs goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo’s pads 2:16 into the middle frame.

Miami held the lead until the 14:22 mark of the final frame, when Tony Cameranesi blasted a shot by Williams on a 4-on-4 to tie the score.

The puck went in and out of the net so quickly that it was initially ruled no goal before replay confirmed the puck hit the inside of the cage.

The game was officially recorded as a tie, and Louis Belpedio knocked the puck home in the second extra session to give the RedHawks the extra point in the conference standings.

Joyaux had scored one career goal entering this season but has found the net in consecutive games and has four markers this season.

Senior forward Andrew Schmit earned the lone assist, his third of the campaign.

With the two points, Miami now has 10 in 11 games and remains in seventh place in the NCHC at 2-7-2.

At 3-2-2 when leading after two periods, the RedHawks’ winning percentage in those scenarios is just .571.

These teams wrap up their weekend series at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.

Preview: Minn.-Duluth at Miami

WHO: Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (7-7-3) at Miami RedHawks (6-10-2).

WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.

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

TV: Friday–Time Warner Sportsnet (DirecTV Ch. 691).

MINN.-DULUTH RADIO: WWAX-FM (92.1), Duluth, Minn.

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

NOTES: Minnesota-Duluth has not played a game since Dec. 12, so Miami has a chance to catch the Bulldogs rusty, at least early in the weekend series.

UMD was shut out in each of its last two games, 3-0 losses at home vs. North Dakota.

The Bulldogs went through a rough patch defensively earlier this season but have allowed just nine goals in their last seven games, including three straight blankings.

Austin Farley leads UMD in goals (10) and points (19), and Tony Cameranesi is tops in assists with 12 and second in points with 17 despite missing two games.

Kasimir Kaskisuo has been in net for all of the Bulldogs’ games this season, posting a 1.91 goals-against average and a save percentage of .923.

These teams never met until 2008 in the NCAA West Regional. They split their four-game set last season, and UMD holds a 4-3 edge in the all-time series.

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.

Analysis: One Warrior’s take on the NCAA Tournament’s first weekend

For this Redskin Warrior, a sense of optimism and hope comes along with the tournament brackets for once. Teams like the evil empires BC and BU are nowhere to be found (until the finals, anyway), other teams are missing key components, and momentum from a strong finish seems to be on our side. There are 9 teams that made the tournament in 2011, and 6 teams that have never won the whole thing.

Here are my picks and thoughts on the weekend ahead…

Northeast Region: #1 overall – Boston College, Minnesota-Duluth, Maine, Air Force

Let’s start in Worcester, where BC will undoubtedly have issues with Air Force. The Atlantic Hockey Champion has given teams fits in the last few NCAA tournaments. Last year, the Air Force Academy took the #1 overall seed Yale to overtime. 2 years ago, RIT took down another #1 seed in Denver, then blew out New Hampshire to make its first ever Frozen Four.

Even though BC has won 15 in a row, I still think Air Force comes in with the experience of last year’s tournament and gives them quite a fight. They are over sized and over matched on paper, but you can never discount the heart of the Falcons on the field or on the ice. BC in a tight one, maybe even in overtime again.

On the other side, you have the defending National Champions in the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs taking on the Maine Black Bears – Hockey East’s runner-up. If Maine’s Hobey Baker candidate and the nation’s top goal-scorer Spencer Abbott doesn’t play, I think they are 1 and done. If he plays (his status is currently “questionable”), this is a game to watch. I think the ‘Dogs come out on top in either scenario, however.

In the regional final, look for a titanic battle between the last 2 National Champions. BC’s size and speed will overpower UMD and make it to the Frozen Four again.

West Region: #4 overall – North Dakota, Minnesota, Boston University, Western Michigan

Congratulations, Western Michigan! You’ve won the CCHA Tournament, arguably the best conference in NCAA hockey this year. Here’s the Mason Cup, and you get North Dakota as your victory prize!

All kidding aside, I think the Broncos ride their Mason Cup win to a good showing. However, North Dakota has won 3 straight WCHA Playoff tournaments – something no other team has ever done, and they’ve been here before. NoDak moves on in this matchup.

In the early game in St. Paul, the home town team is matched up with Boston University. The Minnesota Golden Gophers make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008. For one of the flagship programs of college hockey, this is somewhat remarkable, and in that time, 29 teams have made the NCAA tournament since Minnesota last did. Can you beat my score of guessing 24 of those 29 teams?

Minnesota, this region’s host, should have about 15,000 of the capacity 18,064 fans in the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, and I have no doubt this will help propel them to a victory.  Don’t count out BU, however. In a battle between head coaches who have 5 total national championships between them (Lucia – 2, Parker 3), I’ll take Minnesota.

This creates a rematch of a conference tournament that we just saw last week, and ironically, it happens in the exact same building.  Last Friday, North Dakota quickly went down 3-0, but rallied and scored 6 unanswered goals to move on. This coming Friday, I predict a different story, and Minnesota heads to Tampa.

Midwest Region: #2 overall – Michigan, Ferris State, Denver, Cornell

Michigan extends its NCAA tournament appearance streak to 22 years in a row – all of them under head coach Red Berenson – and will face the Cornell Big Red, whom Michigan met in the first year of the streak. While Cornell has 18 total wins on the season, Michigan has 18 wins against TUC’s this year. ‘Nuff said. Michigan big.

On the other half, a much depleted Denver squad comes in for its 5th straight trip to the NCAA tournament. The Pioneers could be missing their best player in Jason Zucker, and head coach George Gwozdecky is preparing for the weekend as if they do not have their leading goal-scorer. They will take on a Ferris State squad that was unexpectedly bounced by Bowling Green in round 2 of the CCHA Playoffs, and has only been to the NCAA tournament one other time (2003) in their history. I’m taking Ferris State, here, but they’ll run into a much more stern task in the regional final.

If the 2 CCHA teams prevail in Green Bay, this pits the #1 vs #2 teams from the conference against each other. Ferris State lost 7 times during the CCHA regular season this year, and two of them were to Michigan. I don’t think Ferris State has the star power to overcome Michigan, and Michigan makes it to their second straight Frozen Four.

East Region: #3 overall – Union, Miami, UMass – Lowell, Michigan State

Of the 4 brackets in this year’s tournament, I don’t think Miami could have drawn a better grouping. They don’t have to face Michigan, North Dakota, or either of the Minnesotas OR Bostons. Nice work, selection committee!

In the early game, Michigan State – the last team in the tournament – takes on the ECAC winner, the Union Dutchmen. A school of only 2,000, who is lead by first-year coach Rick Bennett, looks for their first-ever win in the NCAA tournament.  I think they get it this year, as Michigan State is reeling. As we know, they fell 6-0 and 4-1 in Oxford 2 weekends ago, and have a bit of a goalie controversy. Also in his first year, Head Coach Tom Anastos will need to find something for either Drew Palmisano or Will Yanakeff to build on from those embarassing losses. Michigan State is going to be coming off of a bye, those 2 big losses, and another “bye” week, so they are going to be rusty as well. The ECAC Champs from Schenectady, NY (that’s fun to say) take this one handily.

We’ll have some more for you on the Miami vs. UML game later in the week, but I will tease you with this fact from our Sunday #SixPack from this past weekend. Despite the youth on this team, Miami will be the bigger and stronger team. UML’s largest player is just 6′ 1″ tall. Miami averages that in height, with 13 players plus Connor Knapp coming in at 6′ 1″ or taller. It might look like a scene from one of my favorite hockey movies with the size advantage Miami will have on the ice. In any event, the New York Rangers RedHawks take down the scrubs from Mystery, Alaska River Hawks and move on to face Union.

The Regional Final will be a hard fought battle, but I’m confident that Miami will be back on track after a big win on Friday night and will carry the momentum to Tampa where I’ll get to see the RedHawks take on Michigan in the National Semifinals.

To recap, that’s BC against Minnesota on one side, and Michigan vs Miami in the other half of the bracket. Post your picks in the comments below and we’ll see how things turn out this weekend. IS IT FRIDAY YET?!?!?!

>RedHawks Blast Lakers

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Andy Miele with Three Points as Miami Rolls 8-1

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The #11 Miami RedHawks took care of business in a big way defeating the Lake Superior State Lakers 8-1 on Friday night. Eight RedHawks notched multiple-point games with senior captain Carter Camper and his classmate Justin Vaive each tallying two goals. National points leader and Hobey Baker candidate Andy Miele had yet another stellar game as he recorded a goal and two assists bringing his season totals to 18-41-59 with one game to play in the regular season. Meanwhile, Camper is “just” the nation’s third leading scorer and his two goals brought his tremendous senior campaign numbers to 17-32-49.

While the offense was humming, junior netminder Cody Reichard was solid in recording his 12th win and continued his stellar second half play. Reichard is making a bid to be the #1 goaltender down the stretch for Miami. Since December 29, Reichard has allowed three or more goals just twice (at MSU 1/21, vs. WMU 2/11) and is 6-1-2 during that stretch including a shutout of Michigan. In fact, Reichard has allowed one goal or less in six of nine starts and is playing his best hockey of the year. For the season, Reichard is 12-4-2 with a 2.11 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. With the victory, Miami has moved into a tie for 7th in the PairWise rankings. Here’s a rundown on the scores that helped boost Miami last night.

  • Fairbanks over Anchorage – Dropped the weak Seawolves from TUC status pulling some inflated numbers down for WCHA teams (can’t say that too often) such as Duluth and Denver who were 2-0 and 3-0-1 respectively against UAA.
  • CC over Duluth – Second time the Bulldogs are mentioned. Miami jumped them last night as a result of their loss and the Nanooks win (above).
  • SCSU over Wisconsin – Miami’s 1-1-1 record against the Huskies is currently better than Wisconsin’s (0-1) flipping a comparison.
  • Ferris over Ohio St. – Miami’s 0-2 record against the Buckeyes doesn’t hurt as much when they drop from TUC status. We’ll be rooting for OSU to lose in their first round CCHA series – for more than one reason.
  • Quinnipiac ties Union – Miami jumped the Dutchmen (didn’t even have to look up Union’s mascot — though I did double check) as a result.

It will be interesting to watch as things change over the coming few weeks.

>Game #26 – Miami v. Alaska

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Knapp earns third shutout of the season as Miami blanks Alaska 5-0


Fairbanks, Alaska (Jan. 23) – #2 Miami earned five points on their longest road trip of the year defeating the Alaska Nanooks 5-0 in Fairbanks, Alaska last night. Sophomore Connor Knapp stopped all 19 shots in registering his third shutout of the season. It was Knapp’s first game action since a 2-1 loss to Robert Morris on January 10 where he made just 13 saves. His goals-against average is now a sparkling 1.95 with a 91.8 save percentage as he improved his record to 4-2-3 on the year.

This weekend saw the reunion of last year’s top line of juniors Carter Camper and Tommy Wingels and sophomore Alden Hirschfeld that was so good throughout the NCAA tournament. And, they didn’t disappoint managing five points between them for the weekend. It was also nice to see Hirschfeld pick up his game as he seemed much more involved and active than I can remember seeing over the past several weeks. In addition, Trent Vogelhuber seems to have picked up some of that energy as he was also much more visible, working much harder than I have seem him. It’s good to have those two sophomores helping contribute to take some of the scoring pressure off senior Jarod Palmer and the juniors (e.g., Camper, Pat Cannone, Andy Miele, Wingels, etc.).

The RedHawks jumped to an early 1-0 lead at 6:42 of the opening period when freshman Reilly Smith redirected a Tommy Wingels shot past Nanook goaltender Scott Greenham. The goal was scored 6×5 during a delayed penalty as Miami was able to control the puck in the offensive zone and find a quality chance. Miami would tally just six minutes later when sophomore Matt Tomassoni found the net off a chance on the right side. Tomassoni took a pass from senior Brandon Smith and wristed a high, hard shot that appeared to hit Greenham’s right shoulder and bounce up and over the sophomore. The RedHawks would complete their highest scoring first period of the season when Palmer scored off a feed from Andy Miele that chased Greenham from the net at 14:50 of the first period.

Steve Thompson would enter the game and keep the Nanooks in it, but Miami would finish off the evening on third-period goals from Wingels and Brandon Smith to secure a five-point weekend and an enjoyable flight back to Ohio for the Red and White.

Head coach Enrico Blasi succinctly summarized his thoughts on the 5-0 victory.

“It was a good effort by all of our guys tonight,” Head Coach Enrico Blasi said. “Connor played well (in) net and we came in with a determined effort. It was nice to get the win.” muredhawks.com

Notes

  • Knapp’s shutout was the third of the season and his fifth in just 33 career games. He has already surpassed last year’s two shutouts which was his first season at Miami.
  • Wingels’ goal was his team-leading 13th of the season. He is just two goals off his career high of 15 that came during his freshman campaign in Oxford.
  • Miami’s fourth line of Brandon Smith, Justin Vaive and Matt Tomassoni includes a fifth-year senior (Smith), the 6’6″ son of an NHL legend (Vaive) and a defenseman (Tomassoni). The line combined for 2-2-4 on the evening.
  • Miami (16-4-6, 13-1-4-2 1st CCHA) has opened a seven point lead over second place Michigan State with two games in-hand. The RedHawks ran their league unbeaten streak to 16 games.
  • Miami is once again atop the Pairwise and KRACH rankings and are positioning themselves for a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament should their good play continue.
  • One of the key components of the Pairwise Rankings that effectively determine the 16-team NCAA Tournament, is record against Teams Under Consideration (TUC’s). The top 25 teams in the Pairwise are ranked and defined as “under consideration.” Miami has played 26 games this season with 18 of them coming against TUC’s. They are 12-2-4 in those games having played the 7th most difficult schedule in the nation and have achieved the 2nd best winning percentage in the country. However, only Miami’s series with Lake Superior State is against another TUC for the remainder of the regular season meaning it will help Miami’s Pairwise if the top teams they have already played, and beaten, such as Ferris State, Michigan, Notre Dame, New Hampshire and St. Cloud State continue to win.
  • Miami returns home for the next two weekends starting with a two-game series against the CCHA’s last place team, Western Michigan January 29-30 followed by what is shaping up to be a big series against fourth place Lake Superior State. The Lakers are having a surprisingly nice season and are in line for a first round bye in the CCHA playoffs.
  • After two weeks on the road, Miami will not leave the state of Ohio until at least the CCHA championship weekend in Detroit in late March.
  • Ohio State’s victory over Michigan State coupled with Miami’s win in Fairbanks enabled the RedHawks to open a seven-point spread over the second place Spartans in the CCHA. It’s roughly a 2 1/2 game lead since CCHA league wins are worth 3 points each.

Other Games of Interest
#8 Ferris State 3, Michigan 2 – Ferris earns the split in the second half of the home-and-home from Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.

#3 Wisconsin 4, #1 Denver 3 – The Badgers take 3 of 4 points from the Pioneers in Madison opening the door for #2 Miami to return to the top of the polls this week.

#14 Bemidji State 5, #4 Minnesota-Duluth 4 – The Beavers of the CHA sweep the first place team in the WCHA. The sweep effectively silences the noise-makers from that western conference whom as we know, can do no wrong…for a few minutes at least.

>Destination: Washington…RedHawks Are In the Frozen Four

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“It’s the most beautiful sight these eyes have ever seen.”

The RedHawks are moving on to Washington, D.C. They’ve won the West Regional and will move on to the Frozen Four. It was Miami hockey at it’s finest, as they Red & White upended the streaking Bulldogs of Minnesota-Duluth, 2-1 on Saturday night. After a scoreless first period in which Miami only had one official shot on goal, Justin Mercier got things going in the second, to give Miami a 1-0 lead. It was a shorthanded tally, his 51st as a RedHawk and 13th of the season. Later in the second, Mercier struck again, potting his second of the night on the power play and giving the RedHawks a 2-0 lead they would never relinquish.

It appeared that Duluth had gotten on the board in the second, but the goal was overturned due to interference in front of the net. All night long, the Miami penalty kill was outstanding, holding UMD’s third-best power play to an 0-6 mark on the night. Miami, however, was 1-7 with the man advantage.

UMD goaltender Alex Stalock was pulled late in the game, in favor of the extra attacker. The Bulldogs would only score once in the waning minutes, with 2:05 remaining, although they had several chances in the Miami end as time wound down.

Not to be lost in all of this…the outstanding play of Miami goaltender Cody Reichard. He was very, very good tonight and kept his team in the game with some gigantic saves. Reichard was named the game’s second star. MReichard, Mercier, and defenseman Cameron Schilling were named to the West Regional All-Tournament team, with Mercier being named the Regional MVP with 3 goals in this weekend’s action.

The RedHawks now have some time to prepare for their next matchup, as they’ll meet the winner of Cornell/Bemidji State on April 9 in our Nation’s Capitol. They’re two wins away from a National Championship.

Congratulations to everyone involved that paved the way. The Brotherhood is truly something special.

Frozen Four ticket info from MURedHawks.com:

Tickets for the Frozen Four are available by calling the Miami Athletic Ticket Office at 1-866-MUHAWKS. In order to be eligible to purchase tickets to the Frozen Four fans must be an active member of the Red & White Club.

Frozen Four ticket orders will be processed under the following Red & White Club guidelines:

$2,500 and above = maximum of six (6) tickets per membership;
$1,000-$2,499 = maximum of four (4) tickets per membership;

$250-$999 = maximum of two (2) tickets per membership;

Seat locations will be filled based on active membership level of the Red & White Club. The Frozen Four ticket price is $177 for an all-session ticket (two semifinal games and the national championship game).

The Miami Athletic Ticket Office will be open on Sunday, March 29th from 2-3 p.m. to process orders and answer questions about the Red & White Club.

Updated TV Schedule:

Miami PostGame Following Minn. Duluth Win

Stay tuned. More to come as updates follow.