April 25, 2011

By Natalie Dillon & Hannah R. Miller

Final Season Stats

Miami celebrated its first Mason Cup in school history this year.

OXFORD, Ohio - The 2010-11 hockey campaign was a season of firsts for the Miami University RedHawks, who celebrated a number of accomplishments that made program history, both individually and as a team. The RedHawks' season was highlighted by winning the CCHA Tournament, as Miami brought home the first Andy Miele was recognized as tournament MVP, the first RedHawk to earn the distinction, while junior goalie Cody Reichard, sophomore forward Reilly Smith and junior defenseman Will Weber were named to the All-CCHA Tournament Team, with the four recipients the most Miami has ever placed on the team.

Andy Miele became the first RedHawk to ever win the Hobey Baker Award.

Miami also enjoyed two Hobey Baker Award Finalists for the first time in program history in Miele and fellow senior forward and co-captain Carter Camper. Miele then captured the award for college hockey's top player April 8, winning the first Hobey Baker Award in Miami history. The RedHawks also boasted two AHCA All-Americans in Miele (First Team) and Camper (Second Team), with Camper a repeat selection, and had three players named First-Team All-CCHA (Camper, Miele and Smith) for the first time ever.

When the RedHawks started the 2010-11 season, expectations were high after coming off back-to-back Frozen Four appearances and a CCHA regular-season championship as Miami was ranked in the top five in the country. The schedule featured a difficult CCHA slate paired with a daunting non-conference schedule that included several top-15 teams. Although Miami, who finished 23-10-6 overall, fell short of repeating as CCHA regular-season champs, the Red and White still managed a third-place finish with a 16-7-5-2 league record, marking the sixth straight year Miami finished in the top three in the league - the only team in the CCHA to do - while also being ranked in the top 10 nationally for much of the year.

The team faced a streak of challenging, non-league games to start the year, splitting a two-game series with Hockey East powerhouse New Hampshire Oct. 8 and 9 in Oxford before notching a win and a tie at St. Cloud State of the WCHA the following weekend.

The RedHawks came out strong in CCHA play, putting up a four-game undefeated streak during the last two weekends of October, including three wins to open conference action. Miami swept Northern Michigan while earning a win and tie versus Lake Superior State, vaulting them to No. 1 in the country. Camper nabbed awards for CCHA Player of the Month and HCA National Player of the Month after leading the NCAA in goals (9), assists (13) and points (22) in the RedHawk's first eight games of the season. Miele was not far behind, putting up 17 points of his own.

While Camper and Miele lit up the scoreboard, Weber sustained a severe laceration to the neck from accidental contact with an NMU forward's skate blade on Oct. 23. After being airlifted to surgery and receiving an estimated 100 stitches and 15 staples, Weber returned to the ice just three weeks later to a standing ovation from his home crowd on Nov. 12.

The RedHawks struggled in early November, dropping games to both Ferris State on Nov. 5 and Alaska on Nov. 13, but got hot through the remainder of the month and into December. By winter break, Miami had recorded a 10-5-2 record, including a sweep at Bowling Green and splits with Western Michigan and Notre Dame. Just before the New Year, the team took second place in the Florida College Classic in Estero, Fla., defeating Hockey East power Maine in the first round before falling to St. Cloud State in the championship game.

The RedHawks started the new semester on a cold streak, dropping two in a row to Ohio State Jan. 7 and 8 before rebounding with a sweep of Bowling Green at home. Hitting the road two weekends in a row, the team then split with Michigan State before playing to a pair of draws at Notre Dame.

Miami wore special jerseys to remember former student-manager Brendan Burke on the one-year anniversary of his death.

With a record of 3-3-2 after the first of the year, players felt the pressure leading into its home series with Michigan Feb. 4 and 5. The weekend held even greater significance than just a chance to move up in CCHA standings as it marked the one-year anniversary to the day (Feb. 5) of the death of Brendan Burke, the team's beloved student manager who was tragically killed in a car accident. Wearing special jerseys honoring Burke and holding a pre-game tribute to him, the RedHawks rose to the occasion and swept the Wolverines 4-2 and 3-0, giving Reichard his third shutout of the season.

Miami closed out the regular season on a nine-game unbeaten streak as the `Hawks tied and beat Western Michigan at home while sweeping Lake Superior State on the road in the regular-season finale after a bye week. Miele became the second RedHawk to win HCA National Player of the Month after a 12-point February while winning CCHA Player of the Month in back-to-back months for January and February..

Miele captured the CCHA scoring title with 56 points, the most in league play since 1991-92, while his 40 helpers in CCHA action were more than anyone else had points (a first in CCHA history) as Camper was second with 39 points. Smith was a mainstay atop the CCHA's list of goal scorers throughout the season as well, as he finished with a CCHA-best 21 on the year in league play and totaled 28 overall, which tied for fourth nationally, while finishing third in CCHA scoring with 38 points.

At the CCHA Awards banquet in Detroit prior to the CCHA Championship, Miele garnered CCHA Player of the Year, the second straight RedHawk to earn the honor (Reichard in 2010), while Camper was recognized as the CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the first Miami player to win the award.

After a first-round bye and a sweep of Alaska in the second round of the CCHA Tournament, the third-seeded RedHawks advanced to the CCHA Championship weekend for the second year in a row. On March 18 and 19, the RedHawks were in Detroit, battling for the CCHA Championship and the final one-seed of the NCAA Tournament. At Joe Louis Arena, Miami faced off against second-seeded Notre Dame in the first semifinal, notching four first-period goals to bury the Irish by a final score of 6-2 and advance to the championship game. After Western Michigan upset the University of Michigan in the second semifinal, Miami geared up to take on former assistant coach Jeff Blashill's Broncos in the title game. The RedHawks took a 2-0 lead in the first period but the Broncos fought back to tie it with an early third-period goal. Miami came together as the final period neared the halfway mark however and tallied three unanswered goals to seal its place as CCHA Tournament champions with the 5-2 victory.

During the tournament, Miele tallied three goals and three assists, extending his point streak to 17 games (tying a school record) and finished the season as the nation's leading scorer with 71 points while his 47 assists were also first. Camper recorded two goals and two assists in Detroit and ended the year with 57 points, fifth in the nation, while his 38 assists were third.

By winning the CCHA Tournament, the `Hawks earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, just their third in program history, while making a sixth straight trip to the NCAAs. On March 26, top-seeded Miami traveled to New Hampshire to take on the fourth-seeded University of New Hampshire Wildcats. The RedHawks, riding a 13-game unbeaten streak and a seven-game win streak, jumped out to an early lead less than a minute in, but UNH responded with a tying goal just one minute later. The Wildcats took the lead in the third period and came up with an empty-netter to end Miami's season with a 3-1 defeat, marking the first time Miami had missed the Frozen Four since 2007-08 and first time it didn't win at least one game in the NCAA Tournament since 2005-06.

The RedHawks' 23 wins gave them their sixth straight 20-win season, one of just four teams in the country to do so, while Miami continued to have the best win percentage in the NCAA over the last six years (.697 win percentage). The RedHawks also finished eighth in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and the USCHO.com Poll, marking their fourth straight top-10 finish.

Miami's senior class totaled 108 wins, second in Miami history.

As a team, Miami finished fourth in the country and tops in the CCHA in scoring at 3.74 goals per game while earning the same rankings on defense, allowing 2.18 goals per game. The RedHawks were also the only team in the country to rank in the top five on both sides of special teams, ranking third on the power play at 24.7 percent and second on the penalty kill at 88.3 percent.

With the season over, three RedHawks inked professional contracts as Miele signed with the Pat Cannone signed with the Vincent LoVerde, Miele and Justin Vaive) reunited one last time at the Night of Celebration Awards banquet April 16 where each senior took home at least one award. The quintet finished its career as the second winningest class in school history with 108 wins while Cannone never missed a game in his career, ranking second at Miami with 166 games played.

2010-11 AWARDS

Andy Miele:
Hobey Baker Award Winner
ACHA First-Team West All-America
CCHA Player of the Year
First-Team All-CCHA
CCHA Tournament MVP
All-CCHA Tournament Team
INCH and USCHO National Player of the Year
CHN, INCH and USCHO First-Team All-America
Two-time CCHA Player of the Month (Jan. & Feb.)
HCA National Player of the Month (Feb.)
Three-time CCHA Offensive Player of the Week (10/25, 2/7, 2/28)
INCH National Player of the Week (10/25)

Carter Camper:
Hobey Baker Award Finalist
ACHA Second-Team All-America
Lowe's Senior CLASS First-Team All-America
Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Finalist
First-Team All-CCHA
CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year
HCA National Player of the Month (Oct.)
CCHA Player of the Month (Oct.)
CCHA Offensive Player of the Week (10/18)

Reilly Smith:
First-Team All-CCHA
All-CCHA Tournament Team
College Hockey News Second-Team All-America
INCH Third-Team All-America
All-Florida College Classic Team
Two-time CCHA Offensive Player of the Week (11/1, 1/17)

Cody Reichard:
All-CCHA Tournament Team
Honorable Mention All-CCHA
CCHA Goaltender of the Week (2/7)

Chris Wideman:
Second-Team All-CCHA

Will Weber:
All-CCHA Tournament Team

Pat Cannone:
Honorable Mention All-CCHA

Alden Hirschfeld:
CCHA Offensive Player of the Week (10/11)

Vincent LoVerde:
CCHA Defenseman of the Week (2/28)

Cameron Schilling:
CCHA Defenseman of the Week (1/3)