Jan. 23, 2009

Courtesy of Miami (Ohio)

OXFORD, Ohio - The RedHawks hit the road to take on the Mavericks of Nebraska-Omaha Jan. 23-24 both games start at 7:05 p.m. Central Standard Time and will be televised on CBS College Sports.

Both games will also be radio streamed on www.MURedHawks.com and Saturday’s contest with the Mavericks will be aired on WMOH (1450 AM). All the action will be called by Greg Waddell of the ISP Sports Network.

The Mavericks enter the weekend with 22 points and are tied with Ohio State for fourth-place in the CCHA standings. Overall Nebraska-Omaha holds a record of 13-8-4 and 8-6-4-2 in conference play. The Crimson and Black are fourth in goals allowed in conference play (37) trailing only the RedHawks (36), Alaska (31) and league leader Notre Dame (30).  The Mavericks are coming off a loss and a tie/shootout loss against Alaska in Fairbanks. Nebraska-Omaha dropped the first match up 2-0 and earned a 1-1 tie in game two with Alaska winning the shootout 1-0.  The matchup between the RedHawks and the Mavericks is the only series this weekend with two teams in the top four in the league. The Crimson and Black have been dominate in the Quest Center this season boasting a record of 8-2-2 entering the weekend.

Miami holds an all-time record of 15-6-2 against Nebraska-Omaha and a 6-4-0 mark over the Mavericks in Omaha. Miami has controlled the series of late winning the last nine consecutive games. The Red and White have not lost to Nebraska-Omaha in Omaha since Oct. 18, 2002.

- The University of Nebraska-Omaha recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary and Miami University will commemorate its 200th birthday on Feb. 17.  

- Both the RedHawks and the Mavericks enter the weekend with one win in their last six games.

- Justin Mercier (Erie, Pa.) is only five points away from becoming the 42nd member of Miami’s100-point club. Mercier has 46 career goals and 39 assists. In six career games against UNO, Mercier has six points (3-3-6) and a +8 mark.

- In Mercier’s career, Miami holds a record of 56-9-5 when the Erie, Pa. native records a point and a 38-3-1 mark when Mercier scores a goal.

- Carter Camper (Rocky River, Ohio) leads the CCHA in points with 30 (14-16-30) his point total ranks him tied for sixth nationally.  

- Pat Cannone (Bayport, N.Y.) leads the RedHawks in game tying goals with four. No other RedHawk has more than one.

- Connor Knapp (York, N.Y.) ranks 12th in the nation in goals-against average. Knapp has one shutout this season and has posted 20 saves in seven of 12 starts.

- Raymond Eichenlaub (Wilmette, Ill.) posted a +3 rating and three blocks in Miami’s 6-1 win over Michigan State on Jan.17. The RedHawks hold a record of 9-0-1 this season when Eichenlaub has a positive +/- ranking and a 35-1-3 mark all-time.  

- Gary Steffes (Grand Blanc, Mich.) picked up his seventh and eighth goals of the season on Jan. 17 against Michigan State.  In his first 78 games with the Red and White, Steffes scored 11 goals in his last 24 he has found the net eight times.

- Camper, Steffes, Mercier and Tommy Wingels (Wilmette, Ill.) all have at least four second period goals this season. Camper leads the team in second frame scores with five.  
Carter Camper (Rocky River, Ohio) leads the team in points with 30 (14-16-30) that ranks him tied for sixth nationally in points. Camper also leads Miami in goals (14), power-play goals (7) and is tied for the team lead in assists (16) and game-winning goals (2). Camper leads the CCHA in points, ranks tied for fourth in power play goals, is tied for second in goals and is fifth in assists. The native of Rocky River, Ohio is averaging 1.27 points per-game, which is the best career points-per-game average by any player under Enrico Blasi.

Camper picked up CCHA Player of the Month honors with his performance on the ice in the month of December. The sophomore racked up 10 points in the month, which led the nation, including four goals and six assists. The Rocky River, Ohio native also picked up his first career hat trick on Dec. 7 against Western Michigan. The three goals were a career high for Camper but he was not finished setting career-high watermarks as a week later he passed out four assists against RPI. Camper set a new career high in points in the Western Michigan game with a four-point night and then matched it Dec. 14 against RPI.

Miami has also named Camper as its Hobey Baker Memorial Trophy candidate. Camper is currently tied for sixth in the nation in points, leads the CCHA in points and is second in the conference in power-play points. Over the past two seasons Camper leads the nation in points per game with 1.27.

Tommy Wingels (Wilmette, Ill.) has racked up seven goals and nine assists this season. Wingels is tied with Carter Camper (Rocky River, Ohio) for the team lead in game-winning goals with two. During the RedHawks eight-game winning streak (Nov. 14 – Dec. 14), Wingels picked up both his game-winners and 13 points. Wingels set a career high with four points in a game on Dec. 14 against RPI as he netted two goals and passed out two assists.

JUSTIN MERICER (Erie, Pa.) is only five points from becoming the 42nd member of the 100-point club at Miami University. Last season, three players reached the 100-point plateau (Ryan Jones, Nathan Davis and Mitch Ganzak). Mercier has eight goals and 12 assists this season with four points (1-3-4) in his last two games.

Chris Wideman (St. Louis, Mo.) continues to rack up assists this season and is currently tied for fifth in the CCHA in assist scoring and is the league’s top freshman.  Wideman is also tied with Billy Maday of Notre Dame for the most points by a CCHA freshman on the power play. The St. Louis, Mo. native is sixth in the conference in defenseman scoring and is the top freshman scorer in the defensive pairings. Wideman is second in the nation in scoring by a freshman defenseman and first in the CCHA.

Gary Steffes (Grand Blanc, Mich.) has been one of the biggest offensive surprises in the CCHA this season. Steffes entered the season with 11 career goals, 24 career points in 78 career games. This season has been a completely different story as the Grand Blanc, Mich. native has racked up eight goal (a career-high for goals in a season) and 15 points in 24 games. Steffes got things going early in the season with a “hat trick” in the second game of the season against Ohio State. The Red and White have solid success when Steffes is able to find the net as the RedHawks hold a record of 14-1-1 mark all-time when he scores.

Several current Miami players have had a great deal of success against Nebraska-Omaha led by Carter Camper (Rocky River, Ohio), who has seven points (5-2-7) in four career game games against the Mavericks.  Camper scored his first career goal (SH – third period) against UNO last season on Oct. 26. Jarod Palmer (Fridley, Minn.) has also has some success against the Mavericks with eight points (2-6-8) in six games.  

The RedHawk special teams units are currently rated as the best in the CCHA. Miami leads the conference and is second in the nation on the penalty kill with a unit that kills off 90.7-percent (136/150) of power plays for opposing teams. The RedHawks also have a solid power-play unit that is currently ranked third in the CCHA with an 18.9-percent (28/148) success rate. Miami has two of the Top 3 power play point-scorers in the CCHA this season in Carter Camper (Rocky River, Ohio) and Pat Cannone (Bayport, N.Y.).Camper is second in the conference with 16 points (7-9-16) with the man advantage and Cannone is third with 14 (4-10-14).  This season, Miami is 8-5-2 when it scores on the power play, 8-4-0 when they are perfect on the penalty kill and 6-2-0 when they do both in the same game.

With his 13th win in 2008-09, head coach Enrico Blasi hit the 200-win mark. Miami earned its 200th victory under Blasi with a 6-1 victory over Michigan State on Jan. 17. It was Gary Steffes (Grand Blanc, Mich.) that scored the game-winning goal and earned win number 200 for Blasi. Entering this season, Blasi ranked 95 in winning percentage in college hockey history. Over the past four seasons no coach has won more games or posted a higher winning percentage than Blasi. He holds the most wins and the highest winning percentage in school history.
Miami is currently ranked 10th in the USCHO and CBS College Sports Division I men’s hockey poll. The RedHawks have moved up and down in the Top 10 this season but have been ranked within the nation’s Top 10 for 39 consecutive weeks. During this run, the RedHawks have been ranked as the nation’s No. 1 team for ten weeks. Miami has also been ranked in the Top 10 for 74 of the last 82 weeks and has been ranked No. 1 11 times. This season, Miami has played 10 games against ranked opponents and holds an overall record of 6-3-1 with a 2-3-1 mark on the road.

No. 9 Miami (13-8-3) scored three times in the first period and never looked back as they picked up a 6-1 victory against Michigan State.

The RedHawks got things going early as Carter Camper (Rocky River, Ohio) broke out of his three-game pointless streak with a goal at 7:07 of the first period. Tommy Wingels (Wilmette, Ill.) got things started with a pass that found Justin Mercier (Erie, Pa.) in the slot. Mercier fired a shot on net that was saved by Michigan State goalie Jeff Lerg but the rebound bounced onto the stick of Camper who fired the puck in the top right corner of the net.

Gary Steffes (Grand Blanc, Mich.) kept things going as he found the net for the seventh time this season at 12:46 of the first frame. Brian Kaufman (Shoreview, Minn.) worked the puck up the left side and found Steffes with a cross ice pass.

"I was about to take a shot," Kaufman said. "I didn't have a great angle but I thought it was my only option, but at the last second I heard Gary screaming for the puck so I gave it to him and he put it away."

Andy Miele (Grosse Point Woods, Mich.) would finish scoring in the first period with a tip in at 16:42 of the stanza. The goal came on a four-on-four attack for the RedHawks as Jarod Palmer (Fridley, Minn.) passed the puck to Cameron Schilling (Carmel, Ind.) at the blue line. Schilling launched a shot on net that Miele tipped past Lerg to the Red and White a 3-0 advantage at the end of the first period.

Connor Knapp (York, N.Y.) stopped all three shots he faced in the first period and Miami killed off one Spartan power play.   

Camper kept things going in the second period after the RedHawks gained a man advantage following a Brandon Gentile holding call at 5:53. Following the penalty call, Pat Cannone (Bayport, N.Y.) won the faceoff and worked the puck in the Miami zone. After a series of fakes, Cannone found Camper and Miami went up 4-0.  Michigan State would battle back with a power-play goal of its own at 10:23 of the period. Daultan Leveille picked up the goal with assists from Matt Schepke and Jeff Petry.

Knapp made four more saves in the second period and the RedHawks went 3-of-4 on the penalty kill and 1-of-3 on the power play.

Steffes picked up his second goal on a break out play 1:04 into the third period. Camper cleared the zone for a line change but the dump attempt was picked up by Mercier. Mercier used his speed to get up the ice and find Steffes, who had just jumped off the bench. Steffes slammed the puck into the back of the net for the second multiple goal game of his career. Mercier would close out the scoring with a hard shot that found its way through Lerg's pads and into the net at 15:53 of the third period. Mile and Palmer picked up the assists.

Miami RedHawk Hockey Game Notes
Michigan State 1 (7-14-3/4-10-2-2 CCHA) at #9 Miami 6 (13-8-3, 11-5-2-1 CCHA)
Jan. 17, 2009 • Steve Cady Arena • Attendance 3,042

•Miami scored six goals on against Michigan State on Saturday night after entering the contest with six goals in all of 2009

•GARY STEFFES (Grand Blanc, Minn.) picked up his the second multi-goal game of his career on Saturday, both have come this season. Steffes' goal at 12:46 of the first period was the game winner and is the fourth game-winning goal of his career.

•Nine different players recorded a point on Saturday, five different players earned two points and Carter Camper (Rocky River, Ohio) and Justin Mercier (Erie, Pa.) each grabbed three points on the night.

• The win is the 200th of head coach Enrico Blasi's career.

•In seven periods against the Spartans this season Connor Knapp (York, N.Y.) has only allowed three goals.

•Miami moves 6-0-1 when lead leading after one period and 13-0-0 when leading after two.

•CAMERON SCHILLING (Carmel, Ind.) recorded his first career point as he picked up the first assist on Andy Miele's (Grosse Point Woods, Mich.) first period goal.

•Miami remain unbeaten when scoring first with a record of 12-0-1 this season and a 146-43-17 mark under head coach Enrico Blasi.

•The three goals in the first period marks the seventh time this season Miami has netted three goals in a single frame.

•First Star: Carter Camper; Second Star: Gary Steffes; Third Star: MSU's Jeff Lerg.

•The goal at 16:42 of the first period was the 30th career point for sophomore Miele

•Mile and MSU's Corey Tropp and Justin Johnston are all from Grosse Point Woods, Mich.

Freshmen Trent Vogelhuber and Will Weber are both draft choices of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Weber was chosen in the second-round of the 2007 NHL draft by the Jackets. Vogelhuber, a native of Dublin, Ohio, was taken in the same draft, in the seventh-round. Vogelhuber called being drafted by his favorite team “a dream come true.” Weber and Vogelhuber join three other RedHawks, who have been picked in the NHL draft. Justin Mercier was picked by the Colorado Avalanche in 2005. Justin Vaive was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 and just this past off season Tommy Wingels was picked by the San Jose Sharks.   
Miami returns to Steve Cady Arena to take on the Bowling Green Falcons Jan. 30-31. Both games will be televised on the Ohio News Network with the game on Friday starting at 7:35 p.m. and Saturday’s game at 7:05 p.m.