Category Archives: 2012-13 News

Barber, Kuraly Lead USA past Germany

The goals haven’t come as quickly at Miami for freshman sniper Sean Kuraly as he would like, but on Thursday in Ufa, Russia, the 19 year old from Dublin, Ohio opened the scoring for Team USA in the 2013 World Junior Championship as the Americans routed Germany 8-0. Assisting on his goal was Miami teammate Riley Barber who contributed a goal and two assists to help the Red, White and Blue to an opening day win. Barber tied for the team high in shots on goal with six while Kuraly finished with 1-1-2 and won 10 of 14 faceoffs (good enough for a team-leading 71.4%), something we’ve come to expect from him thus far at Miami.

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Quick Hit: Hagel Fitting In

Here’s a nice interview by longtime Journal News sportswriter Rick Cassano, with Miami senior Marc Hagel. As you probably know, Hagel had one year of NCAA eligibility left after finishing his undergraduate degree at Princeton, and per NCAA by-laws, was eligible to transfer to Miami and play immediately.

Cassano goes on to suggest that freshman goaltender, Jay Williams, will see the majority of the action this weekend as Ryan McKay continues to heal up. According to Rico, McKay might be available if needed this weekend.

Tuesday Newsbrief – Election Day Style

The #5 Miami RedHawks completed their four-game Michigan roadie by splitting both series against conference rivals Michigan and Ferris State in what will be Miami’s final regular season trips to those schools as conference mates. In doing so, Miami avoided losing ground to either squad in the standings and returns home this weekend to face #16 Northern Michigan (4-3-1, 1-2-1 CCHA) at Steve Cady Arena.

Last weekend, Miami dropped the Friday opener 3-0 as Ferris State sophomore C.J. Motte blanked the RedHawks by stopping all 25 shots he faced as the Bulldogs outshot the RedHawks 31-25. Saturday was a much different affair as Miami came out flying notching a 4-2 victory on the strength of freshman Sean Kuraly’s first collegiate goal and two goals from sophomore sniper Austin Czarnik. Freshman Jay Williams played both nights in net as Ryan McKay recovers from injury, and picked up his fourth win of the season making 24 saves as Miami outplayed and outshot the Bulldogs 40-26.

On the season, Miami is now just 1-2-1 on Friday nights, but is a perfect 4-0 on Saturday as they ran their overall record to 5-2-1 and 2-2 in the CCHA. Miami is locked in a five-way tie for second in the league.

Looking ahead to the weekend’s opponent, Northern Michigan lost a shootout and defeated Michigan in Marquette blowing a lead on Friday and nearly doing the same on Saturday as Michigan’s senior captain A.J. Treais toyed with the hearts of Wildcat players and fans on both nights.

On Friday, Treais, who has seven goals and ten points on the season, scored with just 0.6 seconds left in regulation as Michigan overcame a 4-1 third-period deficit to send the game into overtime and ultimately to a shootout. In the shootout, Treais notched the only goal giving the Wolverines two league points on the evening and sending the Wildcats home disappointed.

On Saturday, the Wolverines faced the same 4-1 third period deficit and again rallied as Treais and Mac Bennett scored to pull Michigan within one. However, the Wildcats held on to take a 4-3 victory earning three league points and four of six on the weekend.

Notes

Earlier this week, sophomore forward Alex Wideman tweeted that he is “mono free” and hopefully that means we’ll see him this weekend in Oxford.

Sophomore Austin Czarnik (5-5-10) and freshman Riley Barber (4-6-10) share the team lead in points and are tied for second in the CCHA with the aforementioned Treais and trail Northern Michigan’s Matt Thurber (1-10-11) for the league’s top spot. It is interesting to note that both Treais and Thurber are seniors.

Miami is the highest ranked CCHA team (fifth) and seven of the eight NCHC schools are in this week’s top 20 with only Nebraska-Omaha failing to crack the rankings. Only Denver is ranked higher than Miami (third) of teams that Miami will face regularly beginning next season.

Senior defenseman Joe Hartman was again absent from the Miami lineup last weekend. Hopefully big Joe returns soon.

Miami’s victory on Saturday in Big Rapids snapped a five-game losing streak at Ferris’ Ewigleben Ice Arena. The RedHawks last won at Ferris State on Saturday January 16, 2010 when Tommy Wingels netted two goals to lead the RedHawks to a 5-4 victory and a weekend series sweep of the Bulldogs.

The RedHawks are making a concerted effort to take advantage of their speed and defensive lapses by executing stretch passes with Curtis McKenzie and Austin Czarnik hooking up several times already this year. Czarnik is a master with the puck and has extremely good vision while McKenzie is doing a fantastic job getting open by moving his feet up the ice. On Saturday, Czarnik found McKenzie for a breakaway which ultimately resulted in a penalty shot for the RedHawk senior forward that he was unable to convert, but the effort will pay off in time.

Barber, Czarnik earn Player of the Month Honors

It is becoming “old hat” to see RedHawks taking player of the week or month honors (think Reilly Smith – 3 POTM awards in 2011-12, Andy Miele twice and Carter Camper once in 2010-11, Czarnik as rookie of the month last season, and Cody Reichard AND Connor Knapp were each Goalie of the month winners last year). This afternoon, we continue that trend as the CCHA has announced that 2 young RedHawks have earned awards in October.

Riley Barber, sporting a 5 game point streak with 4 goals and 4 assists earned the Gongshow Rookie of the Month award. Barber is tied for the league lead in scoring through 3 weekends, and has been the leader of the RedHawks 11 freshman – 10 of which have seen ice time already in this young season. Seeing as though this is his first month in the CCHA, it’s also his first monthly CCHA honor – not a bad start for the youngster. Barber was also named CCHA Rookie of the week for the week of October 22nd.

In addition to Barber’s honor, Austin Czarnik earned the CCHA Player of the Month award for his outstanding play in October. “Z” has also tallied 8 points on the season, with 3 goals to go along with his league leading 5 assists. His three goals are of three different varieties, having scored one even strength goal, a power play goal and a short-handed goal thus far. The Sophomore didn’t earn any player of the week honors for the month, but was clearly the RedHawks leader on the ice, looking very Andy Miele-like all month.

Our Congrats go out to Riley and Austin!

Miami to host 2014 NCAA Midwest Regional in Cincinnati

It has been a relatively big day for the RedHawks on the eve of their away series at Ferris State. First, the big news: Cincinnati has been selected to be home to the Midwest Regional of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, and your Miami RedHawks will be the hosts. In addition to this spectacular news, two RedHawks were named as players of the month for October by the CCHA.

Miami will be the host of 3 games in the NCAA tournament in 2014 – the last time since 1996 that the Cincinnati Gardens have hosted a portion of the NCAA Hockey Tournament. According to MURedHawks.com, the arena “has also seen multiple NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament regionals and the 1997 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four take place under its roof.” Miami will, however, have to overcome the perception of what many believe was the worst Frozen Four ever to be held.

Some may recall that the 1996 Frozen Four that Miami hosted and eventually saw Michigan carry away the National Championship trophy. An average of over 11,000 fans attend the three games. Over that weekend, the arena crew may have lost a few employees as well – when putting in the goals after a break in the action (in the first of 3 games), a cooling line was hit and the ice was not staying frozen for the remainder of the games. The second semifinal was delayed a couple hours and the teams played in what could have been described as a swamp.

At the time, the Riverfront Coliseum as it was called, was not a hockey facility. Only occasionally did they host hockey games in the 15,300 seat arena. Nowadays, the arena is the home of the Cincinnati Cyclones (current team of 2009 Miami graduate Kevin Roeder), and has hosted the ECHL Playoff Championship known as the Kelley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2010.

The other host cities are as follows:

  • West: St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center (host of the 2011 Frozen Four)
  • East: Bridgeport, CT – Webster Bank Arena
  • Northeast: Worcester, MA – DCU Center
  • The 2014 Frozen Four is going to be held at the Wells Fargo Center – home of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.

As far as Miami is concerned, this is a big GIGANTIC win for a team that has accumulated too many frequent flyer miles in recent years. After trips to places like Bridgeport (lost to UMass-Lowell in 2012), Manchester, NH (loss to UNH as the #4 overall seed in 2011) and St. Paul (wins against Denver and Minnesota-Duluth in 2009), Miami will certainly enjoy the short trek to Cincinnati if they were to make the tournament. The shortest of the ‘Hawks 4 most recent NCAA tournament trips was to Ft. Wayne, IN, where Notre Dame hosted, and Miami earned it’s second ever and second consecutive trip to the Frozen Four which was held in Detroit. Miami currently has the 3rd longest streak in terms of NCAA Tournaments made at 7 (Michigan: 22, North Dakota: 10), and will be guaranteed a spot in the Cincinnati Regional if they were to make the 2014 tournament.

We will of course look forward to the 2013-14 season and tournament, but there’s a lot of work to do in 2012-13 first. We’ll preview this weekend’s big series at Ferris State in the coming hours.

Tuesday Newsbrief…and Such…

No recap this weekend? No problem!

With the seemingly endless stream of awful coming from new Miami All-Access partner NeuLion, and the lack of a video stream of last weekend’s games, the point of doing a recap of each game was moot. None of the Warriors really got a chance to even listen to Miami’s radio voice, Greg Waddell, call the games because the damn feed was in and out of service every few minutes. And, for much of the time, it was out for several minutes at a time.

That said, you may have heard that then #3 Miami split its two-game set at then #6 Michigan losing 4-2 Friday and winning 4-3 Saturday.

Miami freshman netminder Jay Williams was the hero of the weekend as he stopped 30 shots in a losing effort Friday after coming in cold off the bench as starter Ryan McKay was forced to leave the game early after apparently injuring his leg or groin muscle. And, on Saturday, Williams’ 37 save effort propelled Miami to a 4-3 victory as the RedHawks scored three times in the third period to overcome a 2-1 deficit.

Both games were played at breakneck speed with Miami and Michigan registering in excess of 65 shots on goal each night and were tightly contested.

On Friday, the teams were tied 2-2 after two periods as the Wolverines capitalized on two quick goals in the third to register the 4-2 victory. And, on Saturday, Michigan led 2-1 after two, but saw the RedHawks score three goals in just 2:41 as they held on to earn the split, 4-3.

Offensively, Miami was led by the tandem of Austin Czarnik and Riley Barber as they combined for six points on the weekend while Williams ran his collegiate record to 3-1.

Following their stellar effort, Miami finds themselves ranked fourth in the nation in both major polls and in a six-way tie for third place in the CCHA, just a point back of second place duhOSU and three points behind Notre Dame.

This week, Miami is on the road again at national runners-up and #19th ranked Ferris State in Big Rapids, Mich.

Last weekend, the Bulldogs split a home series with Alaska winning 6-3 on Friday before dropping the Saturday finale 3-2. Sophomore goaltender C.J. Motte was in net for both games making 76 saves on the weekend, the most for a Bulldog goaltender in a two-game weekend set since 1992. If that means anything, it could indicate the Bulldogs defense-first, trapping system isn’t properly functioning yet with the defensive departures of team captain Chad Billins, Brett Wysopal and Aaron Schmit. The Bulldogs are breaking in three freshmen defensemen, Simon Denis, Jason Binkley and Travis White, and you’d like to think the RedHawks can take advantage of their youth as teams have tried to do to Miami over the season’s first month.

We’ll have a full preview later this week, but the teams square off at 7:05pm both night. Hopefully, Miami All-Access and Greg Waddell have the call if NeuLion can get its act together.

Miami’s All-1980s Team Announced

Earlier this week, Miami announced the official results of balloting for the All-80s team and I have to say, somebody better explain how Craig Fisher, who scored 108 points IN ONLY TWO SEASONS against a true CCHA schedule, wasn’t part of it.

Your All-80s team includes:

Miami’s All-1980s First Team (votes)
F – Steve Morris (173)
F – Rick Kuraly (157)
F – Bill Bok (108)
F – Vern Sketchley (108)
D – Kevin Beaton (198)
D – Andrew McMillin (161)
G – Alain Chevrier (222)

Miami’s All-1980s Second Team (votes)
F – Todd Channell (91)
F – Bill Easdale (70)
F – Dave Wheeldon (68)
D – Dave McClintock (130)
D – Bob Wallwork (114)
G – Dan Kodatsky (203)

No offense to the guys on the team, but most of them rung up unbelievable numbers prior to the CCHA really coming together as a conference in the mid to late 80s. Michigan and Michigan State were not the powers in the early part of the decade they would become and Fisher faced those schools plus juggernaut Lake Superior State on some very underwhelming Miami squads that didn’t have a lot of talent. To be fair, Bowling Green was a very good program in the early 80s, but the CCHA simply was not the league it would become when Fisher was scoring 37 goals in 1989-90.

Who do you think was snubbed from this team?

Balloting begins for Miami’s All-90s team on Tuesday, October 30 at MURedHawks.com.

AD Search Committee selected

The Miami Athletic Department has selected 17 individuals to find a new Athletic Director, the University announced today. You can click here to read the full release.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we see with this committee as it relates to the RedHawks Ice Hockey Program:

  • First of all, Enrico Blasi is a member of the search committee. Phew. Doesn’t look like he’ll be pulling a Jerry York and taking on the AD role as well as the head coaching position. Not that we thought he would, but this will ensure he’s involved with the decision, and we will likely get someone that is, at least partly, committed to the hockey program.
  • Excluded from the committee is Steve Cady. Currently, Coach Cady is labeled as Senior Associate Athletic Director, which in our books, means he was the Number 2 guy behind Bates. I’m reading through the lines here, but this likely means Coach Cady has applied for the position and/or is a (leading?) candidate.
  • Also excluded from the committee is Head Football Coach Don Treadwell and Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Cooper. I wouldn’t go as far as saying this will be a bad thing for these 2 sports when it comes to the new AD, but it is interesting that neither of them are on the committee. With these as the 2 main revenue sports at Miami, a renewed focus on them will be sorely needed to bring the programs back to the top of the MAC, and back into the NCAA spotlight. Senior Defensive Lineman Austin Brown is a studen-athlete representative of the football program, as is Rick Amos, a football Alumnus from the class of 1987. Senior Defensive Lineman and Captain Austin Brown is one of 2 student-athlete representatives on the committee, as is Rick Amos, a class of 1987 Football Alumnus.
  • Frankly, I’m shocked we don’t see Head Women’s Basketball Coach Maria Fantanarosa on the committee. Maria has been in Oxford as the head coach of the Lady RedHawks since the 1998-99 season (starting her 15th season), and graduated from Miami with a degree in speech communication in 1990. She has been a RedHawk for life and it surprises me that she is not a part of this group appointed by University President David Hodge.

We’ll see what the committee comes up with in the coming weeks and months as the RedHawks hockey program roars into their CCHA schedule.

Is it Friday yet?

Miami’s “You Can Play” Submission

Featuring  players and video from this season, Miami has created and released its “You Can Play” submission which is simply amazing.

As you recall, You Can Play was founded after the tragic death of Miami student manager, Brendan Burke, who’s father, Brian, is the current GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brendan’s brother, Patrick, a Philadelphia Flyers’ scout, has taken up the torch to push YCP’s agenda forward. The vision of creating a locker room devoid of prejudice and hatred of LGBT athletes is something everyone should get behind, and the work the group has done to further that cause in the aftermath of Brian’s death, is amazing.

So, here’s Miami’s entry. I think it’s perhaps the best one done to date. What do you think?

 

Find out more about You Can Play and ways in which you can help.

2012-13 Preview: Here goes nothin’

After last year’s up and down season, followed by an unbelievable momentum swing and an unceremonious exit to the NCAA tournament, the RedHawks lost a group of 10 seniors, and endured early departures by leading scorer Reilly Smith and an underachieving, but promising freshman in Tyler Biggs. With a revamped team that includes 11 freshmen and 13 new faces, Miami enters the season this weekend with a home exhibition against Western Ontario. Today, we look ahead to the season with our 2012-13 Preview.

The Schedule:

  • First off, you can find the schedule here and we take a quick look at the TV schedule here.
  • As mentioned above, the RedHawks take the ice on Sunday afternoon with an exhibition against Western Ontario. We all know how these usually go, and this should be a great way to start things off for a group of skaters that is extremely young (18 underclassmen!), but extremely talented. Western Ontario will cross the border to take on Western Michigan on Saturday, and will then head to Oxford on Sunday. I would expect Coach Blasi to test out each of Miami’s new netminders (all 3 are rookies!) in the contest, as Freshmen Jay Williams and Ryan McKay will likely split much of the playing time this season. More info on the situation in net in our upcoming season preview articles.
  • The first 4 weeks of the season will be an interesting set of games, and should test the young ‘Hawks early. After the exhibition game, Miami welcomes both Colgate and Providence to Goggin Ice Arena and then opens CCHA play at Michigan in week 3 – a place where Miami historically has been AWFUL sub par. Follow that up with a trip for an always entertaining series in Big Rapids, MI against Ferris State, and you have a recipe for a .500 start if I’ve ever seen one. Ferris State has 18 returning letter-winners compared to Miami’s 18 underclassmen, and the Bulldogs are coming off of their first ever Frozen Four berth and National Runner-Up finish.
  • Miami finishes out November with home series against Northern Michigan and Michigan State, and then makes the long trek to Alaska.
  • December opens with a home series against Lake Superior State. The ‘Hawks then have a road series in Columbus against Ohio State before Winter Break.
  • Miami’s first “special appearance” comes in between Christmas and New Year’s, as the ‘Hawks travel to the Pittsburgh College Hockey Invitational, hosted by Robert Morris. Miami will take on Ohio State on Friday night – likely to be the premier game of the weekend. Depending on the outcomes, Saturday’s opponent could be Robert Morris or Penn State, who will be playing their first season of Division I Hockey in 2012-13. Yes, if you’re counting, that will mark 3 consecutive games against Ohio State during this stretch in December. Get an early jump on your hatred of the Suckeyes now by taking a look at their awful uniform selections from recent years (scroll down to view pictures).
  • As the new year opens, Miami will head to Northern Michigan, and then has perhaps their toughest road trip of the year to Wisconsin in mid-January. Wisconsin comes in with high expectations on the season, being ranked 18th in the USCHO preseason poll – a ranking that is rather high for the traditional powerhouse.
  • Bowling Green and Alaska come to Oxford, followed by a road trip to Western Michigan before the biggest series of the season for the RedHawks.
  • Miami will play Notre Dame on Friday February 15th in the confines of The Goggin, and then the same teams will face off in Chicago’s Soldier Field in the Hockey City Classic on Sunday the 17th. Wisconsin and Minnesota will play in the late game in Chicago. We’ll have full coverage of the event from every angle, including what we hope to be an on-ice picture inside Soldier Field for the Warriors. Tickets are on sale now for the games. Contact the Miami ticket office for seats in the Miami section, or head to Ticketmaster.com for other accommodations. We’ll see you in Chicago!
  • The season ends with a road series at Lake Superior State and a home series against Ohio State before the CCHA tournament commences for the final time.
  • Overall, Miami’s schedule includes just 4 teams who made the tournament last year (Ferris State, Michigan, Michigan State and Western Michigan) and will play 2 games against each of these teams.

Preseason Polls:

  • Preseason voting has taken place, and Miami is 4th in the CCHA Coaches’ Poll and 5th in the CCHA Media Poll swapping places with Ferris State in the two. You can get the scoop on the full CCHA polls here.
  • Michigan took the top spot in the Media poll (must be a bunch of Michigan homers in this voting group), and Notre Dame took the top spot in the Coaches’ Poll (blinded by the golden dome, perhaps?).
  • In this week’s Coaches Conference Call, Head Coach Rico Blasi had this to say:

We are excited to start the season and our expectations are no different any other year. We expect to improve every day and make sure that we’re playing our best hockey at the right time. But more importantly, more so than any other year, we have 12 new faces on our team and so our philosophy of just trying to be the best that we can be each and every day is really important going into the year.

We’ve got a really good senior captain in defenseman Steven Spinell that will lead the way, not only on the ice but off the ice as well. I think our schedule is one that is extremely challenging not only in our league from weekend to weekend but non-conference and obviously we’ve got a big game in February at Soldier Field with our league rival, Notre Dame. With so many alums in the Chicago area, both hockey alums and Miami alums, it will be a special event for our university and everybody associated with it.

  • The full audio of Coach Blasi’s 8.5 minutes on the call can be heard here. Coach Blasi certainly has a lot to say about the leadership capabilities of Captain Steven Spinell, and I for one am looking forward to seeing him lead the way for the RedHawks this year.
  • As you may have heard, the 2012 preseason polls are out, and Miami is ranked 9thin each of the official polls. Miami is not listed in the Inside College Hockey “10 for 13” which ranks their top 10 teams for the upcoming season. The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and USCHO.com Poll are linked here.
  • Austin Czarnik  was named to the preseason All-CCHA 2nd team: . USCHO also thinks highly of “Z” and has him in their 10 forwards to watch for 2012-13.
  • Full All-CCHA Team selections can be found here, with Notre Dame’s TJ Tynan leading the way as the favorite for CCHA Player of the Year. Western Michigan and Michigan lead the way with 3 players each spread among the top 2 teams.

We’ll have more for you across this weekend and into next week with team previews as well as a comprehensive preview of the entire Miami squad before next weekend’s season-opening series against Colgate.

Only 3 days until the puck drops, and we can’t wait to cover it all for you! Go ‘Hawks!