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NHL report: 6 made debuts in 16-17

Six former Miamians made their NHL debuts in 2016-17, bringing the total number of ex-RedHawks to play in the world’s best hockey league to 33.

Scoring their first NHL goals were rookies Austin Czarnik and Blake Coleman, who became the 18th and 19th players to hit the net in that league after playing their collegiate hockey in Oxford.

Miamians have logged a total of 5,831 NHL games, tallying 798 goals and accounting for 2,205 points.

BoB takes a look at ProHawks’ milestones and highlights of the 2016-17 NHL season:

FIRST LOOKS: Dressing in their first NHL games this season were Czarnik, Coleman, Riley Barber, Sean Kuraly, Pat Cannone and Jack Roslovic.

Austin Czarnik (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Czarnik had the best rookie year from a points perspective, scoring five times and dishing for eight assists for 13 points in 49 games for the Boston Bruins.

Coleman played in 23 games for the New Jersey Devils, finishing 1-1-2 in 23 games.

Kuraly picked up a lone assist in eight games with Boston, but he scored twice in the same game in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the tying goal with under three minutes left in the third period and the overtime game winner in a 3-2 win over Ottawa.

Cannone (Minnesota) debuted at the age of 30, and both he and Barber (Washington) logged three games without a point, while Roslovic (Winnipeg) took the ice for one game and was held off the scoresheet.

Dan Boyle (BoB file photo).

CALLING IT A CAREER: Dan Boyle called it quits prior to the season, ending his career with 1,093 games played, 163 goals and 442 assists for 605 points. He is tops all time among ex-Miamians in games, helpers and points and is second only to Brian Savage in markers.

SCORING LEADER: Los Angeles D Alec Martinez was tops among former RedHawks in NHL scoring with 39 points, including nine goals. F Reilly Smith was No. 1 in goals, scoring 15 times for Florida.

PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS?!?! While 13 players who spent time in Oxford logged NHL games in 2016-17, only three participated in the Stanley Cup playoffs: Kuraly, Tommy Wingels and Chris Wideman. Kuraly scored two goals in four games, including a game-tying goal and an OT winner. Wideman made his NHL postseason debut, and notched a goal and three assists in 15 contests. Wingels dressed for nine games but did not tally a point. Wideman and Wingels both played for the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa eliminated Boston in the first round before being knocked off in the conference final.

Tommy Wingels (BoB file photo).

HEADING TO CANADA: Wingels was traded to Ottawa mid-season and rolled up four points including two goals in 36 games after his move. He had eight points (5-3-8) in 37 games with San Jose, but that team was bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

IRON MAN: For the fourth straight season, Smith played in at least 80 games. He dressed for exactly 80 in 2016-17, which actually represented a four-year low for the forward. He has also recorded at least 20 assists and 35 points in each season during that span.

MILESTONES: Andy Greene moved into second place on the all-time games-played list by former Miamians, and dressed for the 700th time in his career, all with New Jersey. He also earned his 150th career assist in 2016-17.

Martinez moved into sixth in games played, eclipsing the 400 mark, and passed Kevyn Adams to move into sixth place in career points.

Wingels became the sixth former RedHawk to scored 50 NHL goals. He had eight in 2016-17, giving him 53 total. Wingels has now played in 54 postseason contests, fourth-most by a former Miamian.

On deck: BoB takes a look at Miamians in the AHL.

FINAL 2016-17 REGULAR SEASON STATS


Skaters

Player Team Pos. GP G A Pts. +/– PIM
Alec Martinez Los Angeles Kings D 82 9 30 39 -17 24
Reilly Smith Florida Panthers F 80 15 22 37 -13 17
Chris Wideman Ottawa Senators D 76 5 12 17 7 46
Curtis McKenzie Dallas Stars F 53 6 10 16 5 72
Austin Czarnik Boston Bruins F 49 5 8 13 -10 12
Andy Greene New Jersey Devils D 66 4 9 13 -15 8
Tommy Wingels Ottawa Senators F 73 7 5 12 -11 27
Blake Coleman New Jersey Devils F 23 1 1 2 -7 27
Sean Kuraly Boston Bruins F 8 0 1 1 -1 2
Pat Cannone Minnesota Wild F 3 0 0 0 0 0
Riley Barber Washington Capitals F 3 0 0 0 0 0
Jack Roslovic Winnipeg Jets F 1 0 0 0 -1 0


Goalies

Player Team GP Min. W L GAA Sv% SHO
Jeff Zatkoff Los Angeles Kings 13 555 2 8 2.94 .879 0

FINAL 2016-17 PLAYOFF STATS


Skaters

Player Team Pos. GP G A Pts. +/– PIM
Chris Wideman Ottawa Senators D 15 1 3 4 4
Sean Kuraly Boston Bruins F 4 2 0 2 4
Tommy Wingels Ottawa Senators F 9 0 0 0 4

ALL-TIME NHL STATS


Skaters

(through 2016-17)

Player Yrs. Pos. Games Goals Assists Points +/– PIM
Dan Boyle 1998-2016 D 1,093 163 442 605 -5 693
Brian Savage 1993-2006 F 674 192 167 359 -80 321
Randy Robitaille 1996-2008 F 531 84 172 256 -64 201
Andy Greene 2006-present D 707 39 158 197 -1 208
Reilly Smith 2012-present F 365 76 111 187 38 92
Alec Martinez 2009-present D 419 48 99 147 31 126
Kevyn Adams 1997-2008 F 540 59 77 136 -38 317
Tommy Wingels 2010-present F 373 53 73 126 -28 209
Ryan Jones 2008-2014 F 237 40 32 72 -11 141
Chris Wideman 2015-present D 140 11 19 32 11 80
Curtis McKenzie 2014-present F 92 10 11 21 -4 120
Mike Glumac 2005-2008 F 40 7 6 13 -8 38
Austin Czarnik 2016-present F 49 5 8 13 -10 4
Alain Chevrier 1985-1991 G 234 0 11 11 0 35
Pat Leahy 2003-2007 F 50 4 4 8 -1 19
Todd Harkins 1991-1994 F 48 3 3 6 -10 78
Todd Rohloff 2001-2004 D 75 0 6 6 -19 40
Blake Coleman 2016-present F 23 1 1 2 -7 27
Justin Mercier 2009-2010 F 9 1 1 2 2 0
Andy Miele 2011-2014 F 15 0 2 2 2 11
Jarod Palmer 2011 F 6 1 0 1 -2 4
Carter Camper 2011-2012 F 3 1 0 1 1 0
Rob Robinson 1991-1992 F 22 0 1 1 -4 8
Connor Knapp 2014 G 2 0 1 1 0 0
Jeff Zatkoff 2013-present G 48 0 1 1 0 0
Sean Kuraly 2016-present F 8 0 1 1 -1 2
Craig Fisher 1989-1997 F 12 0 0 0 -3 2
Richard Shulmistra 1997-2000 G 2 0 0 0 0 0
Cameron Schilling 2013-2015 D 6 0 0 0 -2 4
Steve McKichan 1990-1991 G 1 0 0 0 0 0
Pat Cannone 2016-present F 3 0 0 0 0 0
Jack Roslovic 2016-present F 1 0 0 0 -1 0
Riley Barber 2016-present F 3 0 0 0 0 0


Goalies

Player Yrs. Games Min. W L T SHO GAA Sv %
Richard Shulmistra 1998-2000 2 122 1 1 0 0 1.48 .941
Jeff Zatkoff 2013-present 48 2,490 18 25 0 1 2.72 .908
Connor Knapp 2014 2 77 0 1 0 0 3.12 .875
Alain Chevrier 1985-1991 234 12,202 91 100 14 2 4.16 .864
Steve McKichan 1990-1991 1 20 0 0 0 0 6.00 .750

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF STATS


Skaters

Player Pos. S. Cups Games Goals Assists Points +/– PIM
Dan Boyle D 1 130 17 64 81 -10 68
Alec Martinez D 2 60 6 10 16 1 30
Reilly Smith F 0 18 8 5 13 12 0
Brian Savage F 0 39 3 8 11 -7 12
Tommy Wingels F 0 54 2 6 8 4 42
Andy Greene D 0 45 3 4 7 4 16
Randy Robitaille F 0 13 1 4 5 -5 8
Kevyn Adams F 1 67 2 2 4 -9 9
Chris Wideman D 0 15 1 3 4 -4 4
Sean Kuraly F 0 4 2 0 2 0 4
Alain Chevrier G 0 16 0 1 1 0 0
Jeff Zatkoff G 1 2 0 0 0 0 0


Goalies

Player S. Cups Games Min. W L SHO GAA Sv %
Alain Chevrier 0 16 1,013 9 7 0 2.61 .909
Jeff Zatkoff 1 2 117 1 1 0 3.08 .908
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Czarnik makes NHL debut for Boston

Austin Czarnik became the 28th former Miamian to log an NHL game when he made his debut for the Boston Bruins in Columbus on Thursday.

Austin Czarnik (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Austin Czarnik (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Czarnik, tied for fifth on the RedHawks’ all-time points leaderboard with 169 and second in team history with 123 assists, logged 15 minutes in his first game in the world’s premier hockey league.

The center from Washington, Mich., scored 20 goals and picked up 41 helpers in his first full pro season with AHL Providence in 2015-16. He turned professional immediately following his senior season at Miami in March of 2015 and notched two assists in three games for the P-Bruins.

Czarnik was Miami’s captain his final two seasons and tallied at least 37 points in all four of his seasons in Oxford.

Miami’s Next In Line For the NHL

Twenty-seven former Miami players have logged at least one game in the NHL, and several more could be in line to join that list in 2016-17.

BoB takes a look at the RedHawks’ pipeline to the world’s top hockey league, and the players that could be the Next In Line.

Center Pat Cannone (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Center Pat Cannone (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

C Pat Cannone, Minnesota Wild – Cannone was an iron man while at Miami (2007-11), as he recorded 133 points (45-88-133) and 83 PIM in 166 games while not missing a game his entire collegiate career. The captain of the AHL Chicago Wolves tallied a career high in points (55) and goals (20) last season. The 30 year old should anticipate a call-up to the Wild this season considering Minnesota will likely be in need a fourth line center. Cannone signed with Minnesota in the off-season and would play for AHL Iowa if he doesn’t make the big club.

Defenseman Vincent LoVerde (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Defenseman Vincent LoVerde (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

D Vincent LoVerde, Los Angeles Kings – LoVerde lit the lamp 11 times last season as captain of the AHL Ontario Reign, while also dishing out 21 assists for a career best 32 points in just 56 games. LoVerde won the Calder Cup two years ago, while adding AHL All-Star to his list of achievements in last year’s campaign. The Kings have an experienced winner in the minors in LoVerde if they want to add him to their top six. Worst case: he’ll Reign in Ontario again as captain.

Right wing Riley Barber (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Right wing Riley Barber (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

RW Riley Barber, Washington Capitals – The Hersey Bears rode the success of Barber’s first year with the team, finishing runner-up to champion Lake Erie in the Calder Cup. The 22-year-old was fourth in the AHL in goals (26) and was in the top 20 in points. The Pittsburgh native can rack up points by beating goaltenders in creative ways, whether it be full strength, on the power-play, or even shorthanded.

Center Austin Czarnik (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Center Austin Czarnik (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

C Austin Czarnik, Boston Bruins – In Czarnik’s four seasons at Miami, he totaled 169 points, fifth most in school history, but he didn’t stop there. In his rookie season in the pros, Czarnik ranked seventh in the AHL in total points (61) with the Providence Bruins, one point behind former Miami star Andy Miele in seven fewer games. The American centerman was plus-17 in his 2015-16 season, but might have to wait to crack the top 12 forwards considering Boston signed free agents C’s David Backes and Riley Nash.

“It’s Go Time” – Western Michigan at #5 Miami

Question: Is there anything better than playoff hockey?

Answer: No.

The last time WMU and Miami met, it was under the stars at the Hockey City Classic in Chicago.

Now that we’ve established that, the fifth ranked and second seeded Miami RedHawks (21-12-1, 14-9-1-1 2nd NCHC) are back at home for the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season when they needed three games to dispatch Michigan State en route to the final CCHA championship weekend at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. They will face an old CCHA foe and MAC rival in seventh seeded Western Michigan. The Broncos (13-16-5, 6-13-5-4 7th NCHC) trail the tightly contested all-time series 56-60-11 and went 0-3-1 vs the RedHawks with the only non-loss coming in Kalamazoo a weekend before the Hockey City Classic in Chicago. In that game, Miami led 4-0 after two periods before hanging on to post a 4-3 victory at Soldier Field.

In Oxford, it was a more pleasing storyline as the RedHawks swept the Broncos by 1-0 and 5-2 scores and you never really got the feeling that WMU could challenge Miami offensively. Hopefully we’ll see even more offense this weekend after watching Miami put up 44 shots against North Dakota in a 2-1 loss Friday last before putting six goals on the board against likely NCHC Player of the Year, Zane “Five Spot” McIntyre who trolled the Blog of Brotherhood on Twitter.

What did he do?

He “favorited” our tweet predicting a Miami sweep of UND last weekend. The problem was that he did it after UND won game one by the narrowest of margins when a fluke goal decided the outcome.

Of course he then laid an egg on Saturday surrendering a “five spot” to the RedHawks in a 6-3 Miami victory.

Zane “Five Spot” McIntyre trolled the Blog of Brotherhood last weekend. The problem? Five goals against on Saturday night.

If you’re going to troll, at least do it before the game. And, if not, you might consider backing up the trolling with decent play. Either way, not good.

Anyway, back to this weekend.

Miami enters the NCHC playoffs as the second seed nearly pulling off a “worst to first” story. As it is, Miami turned the tables on last year’s 8th place finish on the strength of a 2nd place effort in the regular season. They built upon last season’s successful NCHC playoff run which ended in the inaugural NCHC championship game where they fell to Denver ending up a mere goal short of a ninth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. This year, an NCAA appearance is all but certain as playoffstatus.com shows the RedHawks as having a 99% chance of reaching the tournament even with two losses this weekend.

Last weekend Miami dropped a close one on Friday before Austin Czarnik went off on Senior Night recording four points on the back of his first career hat trick (including two shorthanded goals) to lead the RedHawks to a dominating 6-3 victory over North Dakota. Jay Williams had goaltending duty and played well on Friday save the first goal by UND, which was an ugly, harmless shot from the corner that he inexplicably misplayed. Ryan McKay had the net Saturday and played well enough to win but I think we definitely see Williams tomorrow. Depending on how game one goes, and based on his play, we could see him again on Saturday night.

Western Michigan is led offensively by three players with 10 or more goals. Colton Hargrove (12-13-25, 72 PIM), Sheldon Dries (13-12-25) and Nolan LaPorte (10-12-22, 89 PIM). On

Kenny Morrison is highly regarded as a potential NHL free agent.

the blueline, Kenny Morrison (5-10-15) is well-regarded and has been mentioned as a possible early departure risk as NHL scouts are circling the would-be free agent.

In net, Lukas Hafner has had a good season including last Saturday’s shutout of #6 Minnesota-Duluth in Kalamazoo. Hafner (11-11-5, 2.35, .916) took the reins from senior Frank “The Big” Slubowski last season and has played the majority of the minutes in the WMU net this year. He has the talent to keep WMU in these games and could even steal one if Miami isn’t getting traffic in front and pucks to the net. Like last weekend, Miami should attempt to make these games up and down affairs and fire more than 40 SOG to wear down the Broncos and their netminder.

Interestingly, the Broncos have four players with 50 or more PIM this year with three of those four having 70 or more. In contrast, Miami has just one, senior Blake Coleman (80 PIM) so this will definitely be a clash of styles. WMU likes to muck it up and play in your face using their size and physicality. That said, they feature uber-goon Mike McKee who is really worse than a goon. He’s a cheap, dirty player. Miami will have to keep their composure because WMU head coach Andy Murray will want his guys in the faces of Miami’s talented and smallish forwards.

Overall, this is a very good matchup for Miami on paper. While I believe Hafner could steal a game for the Broncos, I don’t see it happening. I think Miami will take care of business in two tightly contested games. MIAMI SWEEPS.

Thank you Seniors! — #1 North Dakota vs. #5 Miami

By the end of the weekend, Miami hopes to once again pose with hardware. This time as NCHC champions.

As Miami returns home for the final two games of the regular season, could there be more drama in the air than what’s flying around in Oxford, Ohio?

Consider.

Fifth ranked Miami (20-11-1, 13-8-1-1 2nd NCHC) will close out the season against #1 North Dakota (24-6-3, 15-5-2-0 1st NCHC) in a battle of two teams that have spent the majority of the year ranked in the top 10. Should the RedHawks sweep, they will claim a share of the NCHC regular season title and the #1 seed in the NCHC playoffs. Though the teams will be tied atop the standings, Miami would claim the top seed by virtue of its 3-1 record against UND.

And, consider.

Saturday is senior night and six RedHawks (Austin Czarnik, Blake Coleman, Anthony Jacaruso, Cody Murphy, Alex Wideman and Ben Paulides) will skate in their final regular

Alex Wideman is one of six Miami seniors who will play the final regular season games of their career this weekend against North Dakota.

season games at Steve Cady Arena with a chance to earn their second regular season championship of their remarkable careers.

No Miami class has won more than one regular season championship in program history.

Yep, you read that right.

No Miami class has EVER won two regular season championships in any four year period in the history of the university, which of course, dates back to 1809. Probably overly dramatic since the hockey program has only existed since 1978 — pure semantics. This class could become the first to do so after capturing the CCHA’s final regular season title at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season.

North Dakota is a storied program that’s won seven national championships and fifteen, now sixteen, regular season titles. Getting a share of the NCHC title in our second year in the conference would be fantastic. It took Miami 15 years of program existence and 13 CCHA seasons to win a regular season title in that now defunct league.

And, to do it against North Dakota would be even sweeter.

Last Time We Met

Like most of the top teams in the NCHC when pitted against one another, and certainly Miami has seen this, the squads split a series in Grand Forks back in November with Miami winning 3-2 on Friday before dropping the finale 4-1. In the Miami win, Jay Williams had to make just 21 saves and Sean Kuraly had two goals to lead the RedHawks. Ryan McKay struggled in the Miami net in the loss as North Dakota started junior Zane McIntyre both nights.

Certainly Miami would like to replicate the Friday victory as they limited UND to just 23 SOG and controlled the green and white with tight checking defense.

North Dakota

UND comes to Oxford on a roll having won four in a row. Their last non shootout loss was a 3-2 OT setback to Omaha way back on January 30. And, their last regulation loss? January 9 to UMD.

However, UND suffered a loss in a sweep last weekend (yeah, I see what I did there). The loss to which I am referring was that of senior assistant captain and leading goal scorer Mark MacMillan (16-9-25) to a lower body injury which required surgery earlier this week. MacMillan, a fourth-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadians (one of 14 NHL picks — I think — I lost count at 10) had already set a career high in goals before being injured Saturday night while blocking a shot off the stick of SCSU’s Jonny Brodzinski. Presumably, MacMillan

The loss of senior assistant captain Mark MacMillan will be difficult for North Dakota to overcome.

fractured his foot and I’m assuming surgery was required to fix what was likely an ugly injury. But, I’m speculating. Regardless, MacMillan won’t play this weekend, and I’d find it hard to see him returning for the remainder of his college career, but never say never.

UND is led by its d-corps which boasts numerous NHL draft picks and junior netminder Zane McIntyre who shared the USHL’s goaltender of the year award with Miami’s Ryan McKay just over three years ago.

Up front, speedy Drake Caggiula (15-16-31) leads an attacking set of forwards including Michael Parks (12-19-31) that are a handful but perhaps not as talented as Miami’s crew led by Czarnik, Coleman, Murphy, Kuraly, Anthony Louis and Riley Barber. That said, UND will want to slow things down. Miami, on the other hand, should look to run the green and white out of the building. Forty shots on net each night should be the goal.

Miami

Well, here we are. The end of another solid regular season and the end of a bounce-back year for the program. While it’s too early to hand out accolades, the team has played hard and well enough to have earned the chance to win a regular season title on home ice.

Last weekend in Denver, Miami split its series with the Pioneers, but one thing that really stood out? The rejuvenated play of junior forward Riley Barber who had three goals on the

Miami fans are crossing their fingers that Captain America has returned.

weekend playing hard, inspired hockey. If Barber is ready to roll, look out this weekend and for the rest of the year.

However, questions abound in net as neither Ryan McKay, and most certainly Jay Williams, looked overly strong. McKay allowed three goals in Friday’s win, but Williams was ineffective surrendering four goals in less than one period of play. McKay steadied the ship when he came into the game, but still gave up two goals after Miami attempted to crawl back into the contest at 4-2. Whomever Blasi goes with (I’ll bet it’s McKay on Friday) has to give this team a chance to win by scoring three goals because getting more than that against UND just isn’t realistic. Miami has to be prepared to win two slugfests.

The Prediction

These two teams are very evenly matched with the defensive and goaltending edge belonging to UND. That said, I’d probably give the RedHawks an advantage up front with, in my opinion, more top-end guys, more game-breakers than UND which really has a grinding offensive mentality. Miami could earn a significant size advantage this weekend, especially if head coach Enrico Blasi chooses to dress both Crash Cousins. Even with one or the other in the lineup, and Miami’s size on the blueline, they match up quite well in both the size and speed categories.

But, with UND missing one of their best players, the excitement around the weekend, senior night, and what it means to Miami (home ice, #1 seed in the NCHC, Penrose Cup, redemption for last year, NCAA seeding on the line, etc., etc.), I’m going to call a MIAMI SWEEP and watch the RedHawks skate off Saturday night with the Penrose Cup.

How to Listen/Watch

The Voice of the RedHawks, Greg Waddell, will be back on the radio this weekend as both games will be available at MURedHawks.com and over the air at 1450-AM (Saturday only) and 1490-AM. Friday’s game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network which unfortunately means no NCHC.tv for Friday. Saturday’s regular season finale will be streamed through the league’s package and also available on Time Warner Cable (Chan. 311 & 1311) and on Fox College Sports Pacific (DirecTV Chan. 608, Time Warner Chan. 321).

From the League Office

  • This weekend marks the final weekend of the NCHC regular season before beginning NCHC Tournament play next weekend. No. 1/1 North Dakota has already clinched a share of the Penrose Cup, awarded to the NCHC regular-season champion. UND needs just one point at No. 5/5 MIAMI this weekend to win the title outright. The RedHawks need to sweep UND to also get a share of the title, which would then give MIAMI the No. 1 seed in the NCHC Tournament and make UND the No. 2 seed.
  • North Dakota enters the top-five series with MIAMI riding a four-game win streak and seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1), which is the longest active unbeaten streak in the NCAA. With its share of the Penrose Cup, UND has secured its 16th conference championship in program history, the most of any NCAA Division I men’s program.
  • Four teams (MIAMI, Omaha, Denver and Minnesota Duluth) are separated by just five points with two games to play, while only three of those teams will get home ice for the NCHC Quarterfinals. UMD currently sits in fifth place on the outside looking in, but can make that up with at least three points and some help this weekend. UND has already secured home ice. Tiebreakers for seeding, should they be needed, are listed on page 8 of the release. More information on possible place finishes for these teams are listed below.
  •  According to the KRACH Ratings, the eight NCHC teams have played the eight toughest schedules in the country this season, led by Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State at No. 1 and 2, respectively. Omaha, Denver, MIAMI, CC, WMU and UND round out the top eight, respectively.

Possible place finishes for each team entering this weekend:

  •         North Dakota – 1,2 (needs just 1 point at Miami to clinch 1 seed/outright title, already has share of regular season title)
  •         MIAMI – 1,2,3,4,5 (needs 2 points to secure home for sure, needs sweep of UND to share regular season title and get 1 seed)
  •         Omaha – 2,3,4,5 (needs 4 points to secure home ice for sure)
  •         Denver – 2,3,4,5 (needs 5 points to secure home ice for sure)
  •         Minnesota Duluth – 2,3,4,5,6 (needs just 1 point to secure 5 seed, needs at least one team ahead of them to lose/tie to have a chance to get home ice)
  •         St. Cloud State – 5,6 (SCSU has to sweep DU and UMD has to get swept by WMU for SCSU to move up to 5 seed)
  •         Western Michigan – locked in to 7
  •         Colorado College – locked in to 8

 

#4 Miami 8, #12 Nebraska-Omaha 2

Thoughts after last night’s 8-2 whipping of #12 Omaha.

Overall, it was a thorough beat down as Miami rattled off seven consecutive goals after actually surrendering the first goal of the game just 4:14 in. Six different RedHawks combined for the 8 goals with senior Cody Murphy notching a natural hat trick (3 consecutive goals) while Kevin Morris, Matthew Caito and Michael Mooney found the net for the first time this season. For Mooney, it was his first career goal, shorthanded, while the Omaha net was mysteriously vacated by Omaha head coach Dean Blais, despite trailing 7-2. Bit of a bush league move if you ask us. Senior captain Austin Czarnik recorded four assists, including his 100th and gave up an opportunity to record his first goal of the season when he passed the puck to Mooney on a 2-on-1 break. On the year, Czarnik has a 0-16-16 line in what can only be described as a bizarre start to his senior season.

Miami captain, Austin Czarnik, is now 13th on the RedHawks all-time scoring list. (photo: Miami University)

Thinking more about Czarnik’s scoring line, I wonder if it’s something having to do with last season when this team seemed to be all about individuals rather than the greater good. I wonder if it’s a sign of maturity as a leader on this club that Czarnik isn’t trying to do to much. That he’s more comfortable with the ‘C’ on his sweater? While I still have some leadership concerns with the ‘C’ I think the formal addition of Sean Kuraly and Blake Coleman as assistant captains was an appropriate move.

Coleman was a bit out of his mind last night, but you have to like the combination of skill and snarl he brings. He’s tough to play against and will make his presence known to the opposition when he doesn’t like something.

Other thoughts and notes:

Depth: This team has it. It didn’t last year. I believe Tim Bray said 14 Miami skaters have tallied goals this year and that, amazingly, does NOT include senior captain Austin Czarnik who entered 2014-15 with 37 career goals.

Goaltending: Jay Williams was good, not great last night. I’m sure he’d like to have the first goal back scored off an ugly rebound of a harmless point wrist shot that hit him square in the chest. But, with this offense (and really any offense), two goals or less should get a W and Williams now has 11 of them this year. Those 11 wins are just one short of his career high set his freshman year, the last year of existence for the CCHA. Despite his success, I could see Miami head coach Enrico Blasi give Ryan McKay a start tonight since he hasn’t played in a few weeks. However, this is another important league game. I’d rather see Williams again tonight and then give McKay a start in the Florida College Hockey Classic on either December 28 or 29. There’s certainly no fatigue issue with Williams, or shouldn’t be, because Miami is coming off a bye week, and will have two off-weeks for exams and Christmas before heading south.

Attendance: 2,006? For a matchup of top-15 top-12 squads? I really don’t know what’s going on in the SW Ohio area. The Reds don’t draw. The Bengals don’t draw. And now, Miami hockey doesn’t draw.

Admittedly, I live in Denver and my partner-in-crime Miamibeef04 lives in Columbus. However, Beef was there last night making the two hour drive south. Just because it’s no longer Michigan and Ohio State is no reason that building isn’t full. Here’s a rundown of Miami’s home attendance this year. Because capacity has never really been settled — is it 3,200? 3,642? 4,000? — I’m going with 3,200 to qualify as a sellout.

vs. Bowling Green – 1,860

vs. Ohio State – 3,554 (sellout)

vs. St. Lawrence – 2,589 and 2,663

vs. Colorado College – 3,153 (sellout) and 2,878

vs. Western Michigan – 2,633 and 2,470

Frankly, this is pathetic. You have a top-5 team again. It was one bad season last year. That there aren’t at least 3,000 butts in seats (seriously, it’s not a big building to fill) each night is embarrassing. I don’t want to hear about the new seat licenses, though surely that hasn’t helped. Tickets are available. If you don’t want your season tickets anymore, fine. Walk up and buy a ticket. Good seats still available.

I can guarantee you I will be at Magness Arena here in Denver and World Arena in Colorado Springs when Miami visits the Centennial State twice in February.

Get to the games, people!

Highlights: Here is a link to the highlights from last night courtesy of NCHC.tv

http://www.nchc.tv/omaha/video/omaha-miami-vs-omaha-highlights—12-5-14

And, check out John Lachmann’s analysis at http://www.wcpo.com/sports/redhawkey

Tonight: Miami and Omaha will complete their NCHC weekend series, and the season’s series, tonight at 7:05 PM at Steve Cady Arena in Oxford.

My adidas

Here are a few more looks at the new primary home sweaters courtesy of Tracy Brod Troxel from the Pep Rally Fan Appreciation Night.

Ben Paulides (28) and Jimmy Mullin (20) sport the new adidas sweaters. Notice the Miami University patch on the shoulders this year. Nice touch!

Captain Austin Czarnik. You can clearly read the Est 1809.

Captain Austin Czarnik. You can clearly read the Est 1809.

Miami’s home ice advantage

Watch as the coach and the captains talk about the importance of Miami’s home ice advantage.

Postgame comments — 3/21

Enrico Blasi, Blake Coleman and Austin Czarnik address the media following Miami’s 3-0 victory over North Dakota.

Post-practice Comments — 3/20

Miami head coach Enrico Blasi and junior captain Austin Czarnik met briefly with the media following today’s practice at Target Center in Minneapolis.