Here are a few more looks at the new primary home sweaters courtesy of Tracy Brod Troxel from the Pep Rally Fan Appreciation Night.
Light the lantern!
Fueled by the return of freshman goaltender Ryan McKay and the first two goals of senior transfer Marc Hagel’s Miami career, the fourth ranked Miami RedHawks (9-2-3, 6-2-2-2 CCHA) completed the weekend sweep of the Alaska Nanooks 4-0 at Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska on Saturday night.
McKay, who had missed Miami’s last eight games due to injury, recorded his second career shutout in just his fourth career start. In 3+ games (he was injured early in his start against Michigan on October 26 and played just five minutes), he has allowed only one goal and sports some outrageous numbers. In four games, McKay is 2-0-1 with a 0.32 goals against average with an astounding .989 save percentage. Last year’s co-USHL goaltender of the year has most definitely come in “as advertised.” And, that’s to take nothing away from classmate Jay Williams who has been very good in his own right. Williams has carried Miami over the past month and is 7-2-2 on the season with a 2.16 goals against average with a very strong .918 save percentage.
After a scoreless first period that featured an Alex Wideman disallowed goal, the sophomore from St. Louis would get on the scoreboard as he converted a pass from Austin Czarnik for a 5×3 powerplay tally to give Miami the only goal it would need.
From there, the teams traded powerplays and quality chances, but McKay and the RedHawks stood strong taking 1-0 lead into the second intermission.
Miami broke the game open in the third period with two goals in a three minute span as Hagel took advantage of a Blake Coleman rebound to beat Nanook netminder John Keeney for his first as a RedHawk at 8:20. Then, at 11:24, Czarnik found sophomore Jimmy Mullin on a breakaway and the Cincinnati native made it look easy in beating Keeney for just his second goal of the season.
For Coleman and Mullin, it was nice to see them rewarded on the scoresheet, and in Coleman’s case, he was very involved in the game finishing with a team-high four shots on goal and a +2 rating. Though he did not put the puck in the net, he was all over the place creating offense notching his third assist of the season. Hopefully, Mullin and Coleman will continue to pile up the points providing additional scoring threats to complement Riley Barber and Czarnik. Speaking of ‘the Czar,’ the sophomore center collected two more points with assists on Hagel’s first goal and the Mullin breakaway. He has now taken over the team and league lead in points with 19, one ahead of Barber in both categories and 10 more than senior Curtis McKenzie for Miami’s top honors.
To close the scoring, Hagel collected his second of the night with a shorthanded empty-netter with 47 seconds left as Alaska attempted to capitalize on a late powerplay by pulling Keeney. Freshman defenseman Matthew Caito and McKenzie were credited with assists. Caito leads all Miami defensemen in scoring with 1-5-6 on the year.
Next weekend, the RedHawks return home to face the Lakers of Lake Superior State on Friday and Saturday at Steve Cady Arena. Over the weekend, the Lakers (7-9, 4-6 CCHA) were swept by Notre Dame in South Bend and will again face a lengthy bus trip south as they head to Oxford.
– Mullin’s goal was his first since October 27 in a 4-3 win at Michigan.
– Coleman’s assist was his first point since November 9 when he registered an assist against Northern Michigan in a 5-2 Miami victory. He has not scored a goal since October 20 in a win against Providence.
– McKay’s two shutouts are good enough for fourth nationally though he has started just four games.
– Czarnik continues to pour on the points. His five-point weekend gives him points in Miami’s last three games and his 19 points ties him for eighth nationally in the overall scoring race.
– Miami is now unbeaten in its last seven games (5-0-2) with the RedHawks’ last loss coming on November 2 when they were shutout 3-0 at Ferris State.
Miami forward Austin Czarnik has been named to the 2012 All-CCHA Rookie Team. The Washington, Michigan native leads the RedHawks in assists with 20 and is second on the team in total points scored, with a total of 29. He joins defensemen Joe Hartman (09-10) and Chris Wideman (08-09) as well as goaltender Connor Knapp (08-09) as the only current RedHawks to have earned the honor. RedHawk forward Jimmy Mullin also received an honorable mention.
Here’s a list of past Miami players to be selected to the All-Rookie Team:
– Craig Fisher (88-89)
– Ken House (88-89)
– Dan Diakawa (91-92)
– Justin Krall (92-93)
– Dan Boyle (94-95)
– Randy Robitaille (95-96)
– Josh Mizerek (96-97)
– Andy Greene (02-03)
– Matt Christie (03-04)
– Marty Guerin (03-04)
– Connor Knapp (08-09)
– Chris Wideman (08-09)
– Joe Hartman (09-10)
Connor Knapp made 22 saves in notching his second shutout of the season and added an assist on Miami’s second goal as the RedHawks received goals from four different players and completed the sweep of #8 Western Michigan by a final score of 4-0.
With the victory, Miami moved into a tie for second place in the tightly packed CCHA and are now just two points behind league leading, duhOSU.
Junior co-captain Reilly Smith opened the scoring in the first period for Miami with his fourth goal of the weekend, and his team leading 18th on the season, while freshman Jimmy Mullin (8th) and senior co-captain Alden Hirschfeld (8th) added breakaway goals to blow open a close game in the third period. Freshman Tyler Biggs (5th) added the fourth and final Miami goal just 24 seconds after Hirschfeld’s to send the Broncos back to Kalamazoo empty handed.
Miami received solid efforts from several players tonight including an “under the weather” Curtis McKenzie who fought through a bug with hustle and hard work that helped contain the Broncos and make life miserable for them.
And, in addition to scoring a goal, Miami’s Reilly Smith was all over the ice killing penalties and even blocking shots for the RedHawks. Adding the captain’s ‘C’ to Reilly’s sweater seems to have brought even more out of him.
Freshman Ben Paulides has been earning head coach Enrico Blasi’s trust lately and his game has been mentioned by several folks as having greatly improved since the start of the season. And, again tonight. Paulides was solid in his own zone and was credited with an assist on Mullin’s goal early in the third period. It bodes well for next year if Paulides can lock down one of the top six defense positions with the impending losses of seniors Will Weber, Cameron Schilling and Chris Wideman.
As much as Miami dominated the Broncos tonight by limiting their time and space, they also exposed Western as maybe not yet ready to play “big boy hockey” as their alums and fans have been shouting for the past year. With multiple breakaway chances, Miami’s speed and size were simply too much for Western to handle as they’ve proven they do not possess the kind of elite talent to match a group of forwards as skilled as Miami’s. But, they play a great team game and will be a difficult out for anyone at full strength.
For the RedHawks, it was business as usual. And, Miami needs to continue to play well and make up ground in the national standings. If they continue to ride the superior goaltending of Connor Knapp and if the second and third lines continue to contribute scoring, the RedHawks will be fine as the year begins to wind down. It goes without saying that Miami has dialed up the team defense and is becoming very difficult to play against. Expected to be a strength at the start of the year, the RedHawks are now flexing their defensive muscles as they have absolutely shut teams down since a 2-6 start to the season. And, unbelievably, there are just ten regular season contests remaining in the 2011-12 season.
Next weekend, Miami continues a four-game homestand as they welcome Northern Michigan to the Goggin for another important CCHA series.
– Connor Knapp has now won six consecutive starts and for the second time in three weeks, played both games. He again allowed just one goal on the weekend equaling his effort at Michigan State January 6-7.
– Knapp lowered his goals against average this weekend to a ridiculous 1.77 and improved his save percentage to an inhuman .932 after stopping 48 of 49 shots in the two wins
– The Broncos again played without leading scorers Dane Walters and Shane Berschbach
– Tampa Bay Lightning GM and former Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman was in the house tonight, presumably to check in on his fourth round selection from 2010, Miami’s Jimmy Mullin (nice time to score a goal, Jimmy).
– By playing Connor Knapp in both games this weekend, head coach Enrico Blasi redeemed himself after going against his gut last weekend. Knapp has to play until he proves he can’t handle the workload.
– Here’s the MURedHawks.com recap
– An interesting, if not whiny take, from MLive.com with whiny quotes from Bronco head coach Andy Murray. I have to admit, I didn’t expect this from him.
Freshman Jimmy Mullin scored his fifth goal of the season just 1:24 into overtime and senior goaltender Connor Knapp made 33 saves as Miami started 2012 with a 2-1 victory over #15 Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich.
Miami sophomore forward Bryon Paulazzo opened the scoring late in the first period with his third goal of the year, but MSU’s Greg Wolfe notched the tying goal just twelve seconds later as good defense and great goaltending ruled the remainder of regulation.
Entering overtime, Miami was a paltry 0-3-2 in extra session games this year and had not won an overtime game since senior co-captain Alden Hirschfeld scored the game-winner in double OT against Michigan in the 2010 NCAA Regional Final in Fort Wayne, Ind. That game was played on March 28, 2010.
Not to be denied in their sixth OT opportunity, Miami dominated the extra period outshooting the Spartans 4-0. Fresh of the plane from Alberta, Canada, Team USA World Junior Championship hero Austin Czarnik found Mullin from behind the net, and as the MSU defense collapsed on Miami junior forward Reilly Smith, Mullin found himself with an opportunity and beat senior Spartan netminder Drew Palmisano high over his left shoulder.
“Czarnik made a nice play behind the net and I came around the right-hand side and everybody went to Reilly (Smith) so when they go to one person all you have to do is shoot and it went in,” Mullin said of the game-winner. “I was really excited about that.” (source: MURedHawks.com)
– It was Mullin’s first career game-winning goal.
– Miami is now 6-3 against Michigan State over the past three seasons.
– Smith was one of the best players on the ice and was denied on several grade A chances by Palmisano. He led all Miami skaters with six shots on goal.
– Freshman forward Cody Murphy played in his first game since injuring his leg in a game on October 8, 2011.
– By earning the OT victory on the ice, rather than in a skills competition, Miami earned all three CCHA league points and now sits in seventh place, but just two points out of fourth in the tightly contested conference race for home ice and a first round bye.
– Here’s USCHO’s CCHA beat writer Paula C. Weston’s take on the game and postgame video with head coach Enrico Blasi below.
In their most complete game of the season, the Miami RedHawks (5-6, 3-4 CCHA) received goals from freshmen Jimmy Mullin and Tyler Biggs and senior goaltender Cody Reichard made 20 saves as the RedHawks knocked off #4 Michigan (7-3-1, 3-3-1-1 CCHA) 2-1 at Steve Cady Arena.
It was an all-around effort for Miami as not only did the defense deny the Wolverines time and space, but chipped in with three of the four assists on the two Miami goals. Sophomore Garrett Kennedy and junior Joe Hartman assisted on the Mullin goal while senior co-captain Will Weber and junior forward Curtis McKenzie offered helpers on Biggs’ game winner. And, when the defense did breakdown, Cody Reichard was there to make key saves with none bigger than a lunging stop on Wolverine senior David Wohlberg, who found a loose puck on his stick in front of the Miami net with just over a minute left in regulation.
If last night is to be a harbinger of what’s to come, things are looking up for this team. Miami played with the sort of intensity that toed the line between out of control and physical. Unlike many of the season’s first 11 games that have been a parade to the penalty box, Miami managed to physically dominate the Wolverines but took only three minor penalties for six minutes before a few unpleasantries were exchanged between Michigan’s Alex Guptill and Miami’s Curtis McKenzie at the game’s final buzzer. If Miami can limit their time shorthanded and play their brand of tough, physical hockey, that will help them as the young forwards continue to find their game.
Tonight, Miami goes for their fourth straight win as they conclude this early season matchup with #4 Michigan. With three league points already secured, the RedHawks have an opportunity to play their game and improve upon their 8-3 record against the Wolverines over the past several years. In order to do so, they’ll need to play a game very similar to last night — tough defense, timely scoring and good goaltending. If they can, they’ll erase their early 2-6 start and climb back to .500 overall.
– Senior Trent Vogelhuber was assessed a 10 minute misconduct for leaving the bench to get involved in the scuffle at the final buzzer. It’s unclear if Vogelhuber was assessed a DQ or if it was just a misconduct. If he received the DQ, he’ll miss tonight’s finale against the Wolverines.
– Miami’s freshman forward Austin Czarnik will return to the lineup tonight after serving his mandatory one-game suspension for receiving a DQ in last Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Alaska.
– After a slow start, senior netminder Cody Reichard is on a roll. His overall record is now 4-3 and he has been in net for the past three Miami victories allowing just three goals while watching his season stats improve dramatically. Reichard now sports a 2.27 goals-against average and .908 save percentage as he begins to round into form. In fact, as of October 30, Reichard’s numbers were an un-Cody-like 3.11 and .870 after the weekend sweep at the hands of Lake Superior State.
– In addition to having a chance to even its overall record at 6-6, a win tonight would even the RedHawks record at home as well as in the CCHA as Miami has moved into 7th place in the league, just two points behind Michigan. A regulation or OT victory would catapult the RedHawks past the Wolverines in the CCHA.
Inside College Hockey has ranked Miami’s 2011 recruiting class #1 in its annual rankings.
The RedHawks feature four of the top 20 forwards (Biggs, Mullin, Coleman, Czarnik) in the nation, and while there are no defensemen or goaltenders listed for Miami, it’s certain this class would have been even higher if
He Who Must Not Be Named Connor Murphy had honored his word and actually suited up on the blueline for the Red and White.
Next season, you can expect to see Pat Sieloff’s name listed at defense, and possibly, both Ryan McKay and Jay Williams at the goaltender position as Miami works to replace four-year starters Will Weber, Cameron Schilling, Chris Wideman, Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy watching all the freshmen grow and mature as student-athletes and young men.
On the weekend of the NHL Draft in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Miami Athletic Department has released the 2011-2012 roster. Here’s a quick look at the newest RedHawks and the jersey number they’ll be wearing. Stay tuned for an NHL Draft recap as well!
Austin Czarnik- 7
Alex Wideman- 10
Cody Murphy- 14
Jimmy Mullin- 20
Tyler Biggs- 22
Blake Coleman- 25
Ben Paulides- 28
Connor Murphy- 55 Um, yeah…