INDIANAPOLIS – For the eighth straight year, the Miami University hockey team earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament, as the RedHawks were awarded a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Regional in Toledo, Ohio and will face third-seeded Minnesota State in the first round Saturday, March 30. The entire 16-team field was announced Sunday night on ESPNU.
Saturday’s first-round matchup is set for 5 p.m. ET at the Huntington Center and will be streamed live on ESPN3.com. It will also be shown on tape delay on ESPNU.
Joining the RedHawks and Mavericks in the Midwest Regional are fellow CCHA foe and CCHA Tournament champion Notre Dame, which is the No. 1 seed in the regional, and WCHA regular-season champion St. Cloud State, which is the No. 4 seed. The Fighting Irish and Huskies play in the first game Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET. The regional championship is slated for Sunday, March 31 at 4 p.m. and will be shown live on ESPNU.
Miami is making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history while its eight straight NCAA Tournament appearances is now the second-longest streak in the country behind North Dakota (11 straight years), which is a No. 2 seed in the West Regional. Michigan had the longest NCAA Tournament streak at 22 years, but its NCAA record streak ended this season. Miami dropped its first-round NCAA Tournament game last year to UMass-Lowell in overtime, 4-3.
The RedHawks are a No. 2 seed for the second straight year and third time overall, also earning it in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, though the ‘Hawks are 0-2 as a No. 2 seed. Miami is 7-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and last appeared in the Midwest Regional in 2010, when the RedHawks won the regional and advanced to the Frozen Four. This year's Frozen Four will be held in Pittsburgh, Pa. April 11 and 13.
Miami is 1-0-1 all-time against Minnesota State, winning in Mankato, Minn. Dec. 30, 1996, while the teams last met on the same date in 2004, which ended in a 3-3 tie. That game was held on neutral ice in Columbus, Ohio in the Ohio Hockey Classic though the two sides have never met in the NCAA Tournament. The ‘Hawks are 3-2 against current WCHA foes in the NCAA Tournament with all three wins coming in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
The RedHawks enter the NCAA Tournament with a 24-11-5 overall record while going 17-7-4-4 in the CCHA to capture the program’s fourth regular-season championship. Miami boasts its eighth straight 20-win season and is coming off a fourth straight trip to the CCHA Championship at Joe Louis Arena where the RedHawks lost to Michigan in the semifinals Saturday (yesterday). Miami collected several individual CCHA honors this year as head coach Enrico Blasi was named Coach of the Year for the fifth time while sophomore forward Austin Czarnik, who is a Hobey Baker Award finalist, was named the league’s Player of the Year and freshman forward Riley Barber earned CCHA Rookie of the Year.
Minnesota State posted a record of 24-13-3 overall and 16-11-1 in WCHA play this year to tie for fourth in the league. The Mavericks, who are making just their second ever trip to the NCAA Tournament, won their first-round series in the WCHA Tournament over Nebraska Omaha, but fell to Wisconsin in the quarterfinals. Minnesota State’s other NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2002-03, when the Mavericks lost in the first round. They are coached by Mike Hastings, who is in his first year at Minnesota State.
Tickets for Miami’s game against Minnesota State in the Midwest Regional in Toledo can be purchased here. To be eligible for tickets, fans must be a member of the Red & White Club by making a $100 donation.