Category Archives: New Faces

Part II: Q&A With Coach Petraglia

BoB continues with its interview with assistant coach Nick Petraglia. Part I can be found here:

Miami assistant Nick Petraglia (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Miami assistant Nick Petraglia (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

BoB: Obviously you’ve got some big shoes to fill on defense, losing three solid starters in Matthew Caito, Chris Joyaux and Taylor Richart. Can you talk about the incoming group of defensemen?

Petraglia: Yeah, so we have four new guys on the blue line – that’s half our D-corps – so there will be a lot of opportunity back there.

Grant Frederic – Coming in from Green Bay, he was a leader and a captain there, plays a really sound game at both ends of the rink. He’s big, he’s physical, he has a good stick, he takes pride in playing defense and making the right play. Offensively, he has a really good shot and release, and I think that offensive confidence is coming with him where he can chip in down there as well. But he’s just a very well-rounded player that’s probably very ready to contribute right away, and he’s coming in with a pretty good track record. He’s a mature guy, so he’ll have a big impact.

Bryce Hatten – Is a kid that is big, he has good feet for a big guy, really good stick, rangy, solid, simple defender that’s tough to play against. Coming off a year where he missed much of the season with an injury, and he’s worked hard to get himself back to 100 percent. He’s probably going to need a little time to get back into hockey shape and just feeling comfortable out there when we get to contact and really get going. But a talented kid that really takes pride in defending and not giving much up. Excited to see him transition to college hockey.

Chaz Switzer – Played three years in the USHL, I think he’s been committed the longest among this group on the back end. A lot of edge, physical, tough, left-hand shot which we haven’t had too many of those guys, so that’s helpful. And again, he understands his game and his role and he really likes to just plays defense and shut guys down.

We like the compete level there and the balance between those guys.

Jared Brandt – Older kid that was a captain in Minot last season with Christian Mohs and had a very successful career. He skates really well, has good poise with the puck, makes solid plays, was very successful on the power play. Another left-handed shot and a guy that can play both ends of the rink and comes in as a seasoned guy with a lot of maturity.

A balanced group, a little bit older – actually I think the whole class is older, Willie (Knierim) is the only true freshman – so we have guys that even though they’re freshmen have played a lot of hockey and are a little bit older, and typically it’s a little bit easier for those guys to transition to college hockey as opposed to 18-year-old kids that have just graduated from high school.

BoB: Is it by design with how the NCHC is structured, with everyone seemingly 6-feet-3, 220 pounds, to bring in older, more physically developed players on the blue line?

Petraglia: Well, it’s a case by case basis. I think the thing for us is it’s not age but it’s bringing in kids that are ready to play right away. So if a kid’s ready at 18 and he’s ready to come in and make an impact – that’s harder to find – typically it takes a bit of seasoning because college hockey is older and the development path and just the structure of it allows for extra years of development with the junior hockey landscape. Taking advantage of that time is something that’s beneficial to almost everybody. I guess it’s partially by design but for the most part it’s just making sure that guys come in when they’re ready to contribute, because we don’t want anybody coming in, sitting in the stands and struggling.

BoB: So goaltending. You have nine minutes and 39 seconds of experience returning in net, so can you talk about your goaltending group?

Petraglia: We’ve been here before with the way our tandems have worked, the guys staying in the same class, and that’s not something that’s held us back in the past actually. The last few times this has happened we’ve won the CCHA championship (in 2013) and the time before that we went to the national championship game and the time before that it was Charlie Effinger and Jeff Zatkoff, and they ran with it right away, and that team won a championship as well. Not to compare anybody but just saying that the structure of that is not something we’re afraid of or nervous about. We’re excited about the group coming in.

Ryan Larkin – Has been committed for a while and didn’t play last year because of injury except for a couple of games. High IQ, great poise and demeanor in net, and just a well-accomplished high-end goalie. The biggest thing for him is he’s really not coming in as a freshman because he enrolled and was here in January because of his injury – he has a full semester of Miami underneath his belt. He knows his teammates and he knows what the program is all about because he’s already lived it. Even though he didn’t play, he’s coming into the fall comfortable with his surroundings and has the confidence in his health, so he’s going to be a guy who obviously plays an enormous roll on our team. And it’s nice that’s coming in as a freshman that has some understanding of what things are really like at this level. Excited about him.

Chase Munroe – Big kid from Chicago, again, has a real calm demeanor in net. Fills a ton of space, tracks the puck well, understands the game. He’s a kid that we got a little later in the process, but somebody that has a high ceiling and a lot of potential and had a real solid season for the Minnesota Wilderness (of the NAHL).

Andrew Masters – Evan McCarthy is still going through some injury problems that he’s dealing with in rehabbing, so he’ll not be available for us for a while, and that’s why we had to go out and recruit another goalie after the season so we had the proper depth. Andrew Masters is a kid that had a very successful season last year in Georgetown (Ont.), was the goalie of the year in his league and one of the top goalies in the Canadian Juniors system, so it will be exciting to see what he can come in and show us.

But at the end of day, we’re looking for these guys to all work together and great teammates, and whoever’s name is called on Friday and Saturday nights to get the job done and help us win games, whoever that’s going to be.

BoB: You and Coach Brent Brekke both do recruiting for Miami, but as a former RedHawks goalie, do you handle more of the goaltender recruiting?

Petraglia: No, I don’t think it matters. Obviously it’s a position I played and something I’m passionate about. We all work together as a staff to make those decisions, and we’re always involved in making choices for who would be best for our program. Can’t say I can take full credit for that – it’s something that we all work together on.

BoB: Miami’s success in net has been something we’ve seen continuously over the past decade, including seasons like this one when the RedHawks have had two freshmen goaltenders. Is that something the coaching staff takes pride in?

Petraglia: Yeah, we take a lot of pride in that. I think that’s not just credit to the goaltending, but just the whole team in general. It’s a situation where everybody’s got to be on the same page and buy into playing a team game, and I don’t care how good of a goalie you are, if you don’t have a team that’s playing well and buying in in front of you, it’s going to be hard to stop pucks. We do take pride in that, our team defense and especially our penalty kill, which has been very successful over the course of time – Coach Brekke does a great job with that – but just the buy in of everybody is a key part to our program. If we’re going to have a problem in that area, that’s not a good thing. Any good team is going to have good goaltending and good, solid team defense.

Scouting FutureHawks: Joey Keane

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – As a 16 year old, Joey Keane has played in 24 of 25 games in his first USHL season with Dubuque.

1

The Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman, who is committed to play at Miami, put up 11 points in 26 games with the Under-16 Chicago Mission last season and is feeling his way out at the next level, posting two assists in 2015-16.

Another Chicago-area product, Keane is projected to join the RedHawks in the fall of 2017 by Elite Prospects.

At this point we give the obligatory disclaimer that when writing about FutureHawks, opinions are only based on this game, and that typically does not provide a completely accurate representation of the player’s abilities. However, combined with stats at this and previous levels, a decent idea can be had about a player’s strengths and weaknesses at this point.

With that in mind, Blog Of Brotherhood visited the Team USA facility last weekend and took a look at Keane:

JOEY KEANE

Height: 6-0. Weight: 180. DOB: 7/2/1999. From: Homer Glen, Ill.

Games: 24. Goals: 0. Assists: 2. Points: 2. Plus-minus: 1. PIM: 18.

GAME NIGHT: Keane was on the second defense pairing to the right of 19 year old Carson Vance. He entered play with just one assist, but he would pick up his second of the season a night later against Team USA.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The first thought that comes to mind when seeing Keane is: This kid’s really 16? He displays veteran coolness on defense that makes one think the 1999 listed for his birthyear is a typo. By contrast, he is still a bit cautious, which is completely understandable and probably welcomed by the coaching staff considering he has logged all of two dozen games in this league – he rarely takes chances. Keane has a number of means by which to clear the puck out of danger, from pitch-forking it away to poke checking to whacking it up the boards, and all appear to be highly developed for his age. Again, this was just one game, but he appears to be a student of the game with his positioning and well-coached style of play. His passing is also excellent, good enough to vault him onto the top power play unit, where he logged a number of minutes due to ample Team USA minor penalties. There’s a lot to like in Keane.

FIRST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS: Made a good pass to help get the puck out of the defensive zone…was on the ice for a Team USA goal, which was scored on a weak wrister from the blue line which was not at all a result of his play…on the power play, moved the puck well from the blue line but Dubuque did not generate a shot…made a solid offensive zone pass that resulted in a good shot on goal that was stopped…took a quality bad-angle shot in deep off a loose puck, and later that shift cleared the puck along the boards nicely in his own zone with a forward bearing down.

SECOND PERIOD HIGHIGHTS: Pitch-forked a puck to his partner from behind his own net…shot on goal off a dump in that was saved…excellent hold-in at the blue line with his skate on the power play…fanned on a PP shot in the slot…settled another tough clearing attempt at the blue line, ultimately resulting in a Dubuque goal.

THIRD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS: Had a wrist shot blocked, and a subsequent lateral pass to his partner was picked off cleanly…blasted a puck all the way down the ice on the penalty kill, ending a scoring threat…logged tons of ice time in the final five minutes in this close game.

FINAL GAME INFO: Keane finished with the one sharp-angle shot and went even, with one goal at even strength scored by both teams while he was on the ice. Dubuque also netted a power play maker with him on the ice.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Right now he’s an impressive defensive defenseman in this league at 16. The sky seems to be the limit for Keane, and based on his ice time on the power play, penalty kill and in the final minutes (he was out there on the final shift in a one-goal game), Dubuque’s coaches agree. He makes quality passes and could be a solid quarterback on the power play, especially since he has scored at previous levels. At 6-feet-0 and 180 pounds, he definitely needs to get stronger, as he can get muscled off the puck, but his skills helped him overcome that a couple of times in this game. He should still grow at least another inch, and that combined with strength conditioning will only make him better. Keane isn’t a sexy player at this point – not a fancy passer, doesn’t blast slap shots or lay out big hits – but if you like the defensive aspect of hockey, he’s a delight to watch and has a ton of upside.

WHERE HE FITS IN AT MIAMI: If the plan for Keane truly is 2017-18, only Scott Dornbrock and Grant Hutton would be back that season from Miami’s current crop of blueliners, so his primary competition would be other incoming D-men in the incoming classes of 2016 and 2017 at that point. He is a high school junior now, so he could come in later, but if he continues to improve the next 18 months he should be ready as a true freshman. With the stronger body and more development, he could be a top shut-down defenseman who can also contribute on offense and possibly run the power play. Yes, please.

GAME PHOTOS BY CATHY LACHMANN:

2

8

9

15

17

Scouting FutureHawks: Gordie Green

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Gordie Green is in his second full season of USHL hockey with Dubuque, and he is expected to make Miami a better offensive team in 2016-17.

3

At 5-feet-8, he fits the physical profile of some of the most successful points-producing RedHawks in previous years. He has signed a National Letter of Intent earlier this season, meaning he will most likely move to Oxford this summer.

Green has not produced points en masse since joining Dubuque, but he should still be able to make a significant contribution to next season’s Miami team. In 85 career games with the Fighting Saints, he has 13 goals and 21 assists for 44 points, including 13 points in 25 games in 2015-16.

The Michigan native turns 19 in February and did play a game with the U.S. Under-17 team in 2013-14.

As always when writing about FutureHawks, it’s understood that the below opinions are based on the performance in one game, which typically does not provide a completely accurate representation of the player’s abilities but normally gives a good idea of what a player brings on game night.

With that in mind, Blog Of Brotherhood visited the Team USA facility last weekend to watch Dubuque take on the U.S. National Development Under-18 Team and took a look at Green:

GORDIE GREEN

Height: 5-8. Weight: 179. DOB: 2/24/1997. From: Detroit, Mich.

Games: 23. Goals: 4. Assists: 9. Points: 13. Plus-minus: 3. PIM: 25.

GAME NIGHT: Green was on the second line as a right wing with the Smith brothers – Mitchell and Evan – both Yale commits and significant offensive threats. Team USA’s Griffin Luce, an impressive player at 6-feet-3 and 214 pounds, spent much of the night covering Green and did not make his life easy.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Green has substantial muscle mass for his size, filling out at 179 pounds despite being just 5-8. Like many fitting that size profile, he tries to elude defenders and set up scoring chances. He loves to forecheck and is a pest in the offensive zone as he tries to force opponents into turnovers and uncomfortable passes as they bring the puck up the ice. Green sets up in front of the net and tries to redirect shots and knock home rebounds from the slot, which is somewhat unusual for a small forward.

FIRST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS: Fired a shot just wide after a Team USA turnover in its defensive zone…tape-to-tape pass in the offensive zone ultimately led to a scoring chance…hammered a player along the boards…on the power play, he won a battle along the end boards and connected on two passes to keep a threat alive…outskated a USA defenseman to avoid icing…stole the puck in the offensive zone but lost it…laid out a hit during a battle in front of the USA net.

SECOND PERIOD HIGHIGHTS: Earned an assist when linemate Mitchell Smith scored a bad-angle goal…great outlet pass from the defensive zone along the boards to get his team out of trouble…cleanly stole the puck in the defensive zone…logged a lot of power play time.

THIRD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS: Excellent pass from behind his own net to spring Dubuque loose…grabbed a loose puck in traffic for a shot but missed the net…buggy-whipped a low shot that was blocked by a defenseman…turned it over in the defensive zone but USA did not generate a scoring chance.

FINAL GAME INFO: Green finished with an assist — his ninth of the season — a plus-1 rating for the Smith goal and four shots on goal.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Green’s passing ability is his most notable attribute, as he rarely misses a teammate’s stick and appears very confident in this aspect of his game, which will translate in the college game. As mentioned above, his forechecking is tenacious. Often defense is one of the last areas to develop for players in Green’s age group, and he is already ahead of the curve. While he held his own against bigger players, he didn’t thrive down low, which is probably a key reason his points total is not higher than 13. While Luce is bigger than most in the USHL, big, tough, physical forwards are what Green will face in the NCHC, so this was a good test for him. He almost seems miscast at right wing – he is more of a playmaker, as well as a solid defender, than a sniper or a net-crasher. But Dubuque is loaded up the middle, which is possibly why he’s playing on the right side. There’s also a lot to like about his compete level, his physicality and his hockey IQ – he is almost never out of position and always gets back on defense.

WHERE HE FITS IN AT MIAMI: Miami needs scoring, and Green certainly has a lot to offer in the offensive area, but the question that’s of immediate concern is: How often will he be able to put the puck in the net? He will be another guy that can move the puck on the power play and is responsible enough that he could be a fourth forward on one of the RedHawks’ units. Green may also play on the PK, although in this game Dubuque was only shorthanded once so the sample size was too small to evaluate. Again, just based on one game as well as his track record in the USHL, Green does not appear to be the next Carter Camper-Andy Miele-Austin Czarnik in terms of points, but he looks like he should generate more points than an Alex Gacek or an Alex Wideman. He is averaging a half point per game in 2015-16, which is a realistic expectation in Oxford and would put him in the 20-25 range. He seems to be an excellent fit for Miami coach Enrico Blasi’s system, which should help his transition in 2016-17. And Blasi expects all of his forwards to play defense, which Green will do, and that could earn him more ice time. He should be a solid addition in what looks to be a quality recruiting class.

GAME PHOTOS BY CATHY LACHMANN:

7

10

11

13

19

16

5

6

#4 Miami hosts Michigan State for 2 game set

Another week, another Michigan team for the RedHawks to play. This week will mark the 4th straight week that Miami has played a team from Michigan, this time welcoming the Michigan State Spartans to Steve Cady Arena.

The last 3 Michigan teams Miami has played were all ranked teams at the time, having split with Michigan and Ferris State on the road and taking 5 points over Northern Michigan last weekend. (In case you were wondering, Miami heads to Alaska in 2 weeks, but plays the 5th of 6 CCHA schools from the state of Michigan in the Lake Superior State Lakers the first weekend of December, and we have to wait until February to see the 6th such team – Western Michigan.)

As we scout the unranked Spartans, the first thing we notice is that they just beat Michigan 7-2 last Saturday night. In fact, Sparty has won their last 3 Saturday night games and lost each of those series’ 3 Friday night games. Not only that, but they have outscored their opponents 17-5 in those Saturday games. Each of these series has been against CCHA teams, and Michigan State stands in a tie for third in the logjammed CCHA standings at the start of the week (ND beat Michigan Thursday night to jump to the top of the CCHA and push Miami to 2nd and MSU to 4th currently).

Second year coach Tom Anastos had only good things to say about the RedHawks.  “I’ve watched them on video half a dozen times,” Anastos said at Tuesday’s press conference. “I’d like to see them in person now. They play really hard, and they’re a good team. They’ve done a good job building a culture that, in spite of bringing in a lot of new (players), they are coming into a culture. That’s what we want to establish here.” (source: The State News)

Michigan State will be led by Sophomore Matt Berry, who currently stands 4th in CCHA scoring with 6 goals and 5 assists (behind RedHawks Riley Barber, 14pts and Austin Czarnik, 13 pts). Berry had a hat trick in the 7-2 victory over Michigan and looks to lead the Spartans over another ranked CCHA foe.

Anastos, the former CCHA Commissioner, seems a bit unsettled on his goalie situation at the moment. Junior Will Yanakeff has played in 7 games, compiling just a 2-4-1 record and is allowing 3.71 goals per contest. Freshman Jake Hildebrand was in net for MSU’s big win against Michigan, and is 2-1 on the season, and has only allowed 1.8 goals in his 4 games played.

In the Miami net, we will likely see the return of Ryan McKay as he returns from injury. Coach Blasi remains quite secretive on who will play: “He’s going,” Blasi said. “I don’t know if he’s going to play this weekend or not, but he’s 100 percent and ready to go if called on.” (source: The Miami Student)

Jay Williams has performed fantastically while McKay has been nursing some sort of groin or leg injury, and we’ll likely see the rotation kick back up again now that he’s healthy. McKay sports a 1-0-1 record with the tie being a shootout win against Providence. After that shootout win, McKay started the Friday night game at Michigan and that is when he quickly came out of the game. Just 5 minutes in, McKay injured himself, came out of the game, and even went into the locker room for a stretch. He was the only other goaltender dressed that night, so he did come back on the bench and was also the only goalie dressed for the other 5 games Miami has played (2 at Ferris and 2 at home against NMU) as well. In any event, it will be nice to see this freshman back on the ice and fighting off the frozen rubber again.

We like repeating it, so we’ll fill you in on the leading scorer in the CCHA – Miami’s Riley Barber. Barber leads all scorers as a rookie with 14 points and Austin Czarnik is just one point behind him. Czarnik leads the RedHawks with 6 goals and leads the country with 3 shorthanded goals. The new “super duo” as coined by CBS College Sports’ Dave Starman will look to continue their hot play this weekend.

As we mentioned in last week’s wrap up, the Hawks will need to stay out of the box this week. Michigan State clearly has the ability to put the puck in the net, it’s a matter of when (Friday or Saturday?). MSU is scoring on 25% (11 of 44) of their power plays and Miami will need to make sure they aren’t caught in the box for a sudden outpouring of goals like MSU had against Michigan last Saturday.

As we wind down towards puck drop, I can’t help but think Miami is going to sweep the weekend and the boys will again sit atop the CCHA standings after 4 weeks of CCHA play. Miami has owned Michigan State of late, having won the last 5 contests including 2 CCHA tournament games last season. Overall, Miami is 31-68-5 against MSU and Coach Blasi looks to improve his record above .500 as he is currently 19-20-0 against the Spartans. Miami is 4-0-2 at home this season, and 2-2 when allowing 3 or more goals. Team defense will again be the name of the game to keep MSU off the scoreboard.

While 5 points is nice, 6 points is nicer. Let’s get a sweep, RedHawks! See you at the game on Saturday night!

2011-12 Season Preview: Miami RedHawks Forwards

Over the next few days, we’ll preview the 2011-12 Miami RedHawks for you. We start with the Forwards today. Enjoy!

Returning stars (with Twitter handle, NHL Rights)

  • Reilly Smith (@muckbro18, DAL) led the team in goals last year with 28, to go along with 26 assists. If it weren’t for 2 super-seniors, this guy is your MVP of the 2010-11 RedHawks.  Reilly was a unanimous pick to the preseason First-Team All CCHA (9/27) after an outstanding sophomore campaign in which he led the CCHA in +/- rating at +27.  He finished the year with several honors including First team all-CCHA, CCHA all-Tournament Team, College Hockey News Second-Team All-America and INCH Third-Team All-America. We are all hoping that Reilly’s scoring wasn’t inflated by Andy Miele’s presence last year and that he will carry over last year’s success into this year.
  • Senior Co-Captain Alden Hirschfeld’s (@aldenhirschfeld, undrafted) 12 goals-14 assists — 26 total points line last year didn’t show much of the story. The kid scores big goals.  Alden scored the game-winning goal in double overtime against Michigan in the Midwest Regional Final in 2010, and 1 each in NCAA tournament games against Denver (round of 16) and Bemidji State (Frozen Four) in 2009. Point totals have been 6, 14 and 26 in his first three years in Oxford. He netted two goals in Miami’s exhibition win over Windsor on Sunday.
  • Trent Vogelhuber (@tvogelhuber, CBJ) and Curtis McKenzie (@muckbro16, DAL) will be counted on to mentor the 6 incoming Freshmen forwards.

2011-12 Rookies (Twitter handle, NHL Rights)
These guys are easily Miami’s best recruiting class ever. Scoring. Size. Speed. Scoring. Two-way ability. Toughness. Filthy hands. Did I mention scoring ability?

  • Tyler Biggs (@Tyler_Biggs, TOR) Listed at 6’3″, 210 pounds, Tyler should make a great replacement for Justin Vaive and provide a much higher scoring punch. In the words of our friend, Miami Women’s Club Hockey Head Coach Scott Hicks: “He’s not as big as weber. He just provides a completely different dynamic than vaive. He is more of a playmaker with a scoring touch than just a goal scorer.”  High praise for this youngster.
  • Cody Murphy (n/a, undrafted) – Played for the Tri-City Storm last year, where he served as assistant captain, and recorded 25 points on 11 goals and 14 assists in 60 games.
  • Jimmy Mullin (n/a, TB) – registered 3 shots in the exhibition. In his one season in the USHL, Jimmy played for the Fargo Force, scoring 60 points on 23 goals and 37 assists in 52 games as he was named first team All-USHL.
  • Blake Coleman (@BColes25, NJD)- 13 shots on goal in the exhibition (6 in the first, 7 in the third). Blake will get on the scoring sheet, and should do so often.  Blake played 59 games for the Indiana Ice last season, and had an incredible 92 points on 34 goals and 58 assists in being named the USHL’s Player of the Year.
  • Austin Czarnik (n/a, undrafted) Considered a steal for the RedHawks, as he was originally committed to Michigan State, de-committed and came to Oxford. Let’s hope he stays a few years. His speed and determination will be gamechangers for Miami as we battle east coast squads and move into the NCHC over the coming years.
  • Alex Wideman (@awides10, undrafted) Under-sized, but according to some, has possibly the most upside of all the incoming forwards. His speed and savvy will be an asset as he could have the best overall career of any of this freshman class.
There are a lot of connections from these guys to active upperclassmen. Of course we know about Alex and Chris Wideman being brothers. But in addition, Alex, Blake Coleman, Max Cook and Bryon Paulazzo all played together at the same time for the Indiana Ice in 2009-10.

Key Losses

  • Pat Cannone. Third leading scorer at 14-23–37 in 2010-11, and someone who scored 30 or more points EACH of his 4 years in Oxford totaling 133 career points. Sure the next two guys are hard to swallow, but this one is equally as hard.
  • Some other guy named Carter Camper. 19-38–57 in 2010-11, 4o+ points per season (41, 42, 43, 57). Captain. ‘Nuff said.
  • Oh yeah… I think I forgot someone… Hobey Baker Award Winner Andy Miele… 24 Goals, 47 Assists. 71 total points last season and 170 career points as a ‘Hawk.  Gone.  Poof.

Total scoring lost: 5 seniors (Cannone, Camper, Miele, Justin Vaive 9-7–16, and defenseman Vincent LoVerde 2-7–9), 70-122–192. 48% of goals scored last year.  A total of 523 total points out of 4 guys over 4 seasons.  Makes you think back to the amazing times we’ve enjoyed in the Goggin since 2007.

Predictions
Well, let’s not get too excited, but I don’t think the RedHawks will lose much production on offense. These guys are more than capable of picking up the slack where the 4 departing seniors left things after last year.  The Media and Coaches seem to think the same, picking Miami #2 in the CCHA preseason polls and #1/2 in the National Polls, and you can’t do that unless you’re expected to reload.

The gun’s loaded and cocked. Let’s see how things shake down on Friday night!!! 3 days left until Regular Season HOCKEY!!!

>New Faces: Alden Hirschfeld

Name: Alden Hirschfeld
Previous Team: Mahoning Valley Phantoms (NAHL)
Height/Weight: 6’2, 190lbs
Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio
Born: January 26, 1988

Hirschfeld, a forward, spent two seasons with the Mahoning Valley Phantoms of the NAHL and was selected second overall by the now defunct Ohio Junior Blue Jackets in the 2007 USHL draft. Here are his Phantom career stats (playoff games included):

-126 games played
-47 goals
-60 assists
-107 points
-Finished his Mahoning Valley career with a +21 rating

Here’s what Coach Blasi had to say about the Ohio native:

“Alden is a warrior. He is big and strong and plays very hard. Alden has great leadership qualities and a tremendous work ethic that he will bring to our Miami Hockey Family.”

Alden Hirschfeld @ Phantoms Hockey


Seems to me like he’ll fit on the third or fourth line. Thoughts?