April 29, 2011

By Josh Reeher

OXFORD, Ohio - Anytime a program loses a class of seniors that played such an instrumental part in the growth of a program, it is tough to fill the void left behind. However, in terms of Miami University's hockey program, it's not time to rebuild, but time to reload as four incoming freshmen for the 2011-12 season are already racking up awards and big-time goals before they even step foot onto Miami's campus.

Blake Coleman (Plano, Texas) was named the 2010-11 United States Hockey League (Tier 1 Juniors USHL) Player and Forward of the Year. The 5-foot-11 forward claimed the USHL scoring title recording 34 goals and 58 assists for a total of 92 points in 59 games for the Indiana Ice. His 92 points were the most scored in over a decade in the USHL, and also 17 points more than the next highest point scorer this year. Coleman recorded 29 multi-point games this season, including two five-point games. His five assists on Jan. 2 were a league season high. Coleman had an eight-game point streak (6-8-14) from Nov. 24 to Dec. 17 and also had two six-game point streaks during the season. He had points in 10 of his final 11 games of the regular season (9-14-23) and posted a plus-19 rating during that stretch. Coleman also led the USHL with an impressive plus-52 rating on the year, the highest rating on record since the USHL became Tier I in 2002.

Jimmy Mullin

Jimmy Mullin (Cincinnati, Ohio) also collected an end-of-the-year award in the USHL, as he received a spot on the 2010-11 USHL All-Rookie Team. The 5-foot-10 forward led the Fargo Force in scoring and was seventh in the USHL with 60 points (23-37-60) in 52 games in his first year in the league. Mullin was fourth overall in the league with a plus-29 rating. A 2010 fourth-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning, he was able to match a team record for points in a game when he scored five points (1-4-5) on Dec. 3, 2010. On three occasions this season, Mullin earned honors as the CCM Offensive Player of the Week in the USHL.

Tyler Biggs

When it comes to clutch scoring, signees Tyler Biggs (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio) proved they both have what it takes as each recorded overtime game-winning goals for the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Men's U-18 Championship, which ran April 14-24. Biggs scored the game-winner on April 23 4:22 into overtime, as the U.S. topped Canada, 5-4, in the semifinals of the tournament.

Connor Murphy

In the championship game, April 24, Murphy tallied two goals, including the game-winner at 6:06 of the first overtime period, and added an assist, as Team USA captured its third straight gold medal in the tournament. The 6-foot-3 defenseman was named Team USA's Player of the Game for the gold-medal contest after his three-point outing.

All four future RedHawks were part of a 12-member signing class back in November, the largest recruiting class in head coach Enrico Blasi's 12 years at Miami.