Saturday, October 30, 2010

#1 Miami cruises past Lake St. 6-2

photo: Rachel Lewis Photography

October 29, 2010 - Oxford, Ohio

The #1 ranked Miami RedHawks opened an early 5-0 lead en route to a relatively easy 6-2 victory over Lake Superior State at Steve Cady Arena Friday night.

The RedHawks (5-1-1, 3-0 CCHA), who were averaging nearly five goals per game, did not disappoint with the top line of seniors Carter Camper and Andy Miele and sophomore Reilly Smith leading the way with ten points between them. Camper, the nation's leading scorer, notched his eighth goal of the season and 20th point in just his first seven games while Miele recorded his second straight four-plus point night with a line of 1-3-4. The reigning national player of the week took over possession of second place in the national scoring race (4-12-16) behind his linemate. And, the real benefactor of playing with these two veteran seniors has been Reilly Smith who tallied his sixth goal of the season and now has a line of 6-3-9 in six games. In 44 games last season as a freshman, Smith had eight goals and 20 points. The Dallas Stars draft pick is doing his best to pick up the scoring void left by the graduation of Jarod Palmer and the early departure of Tommy Wingels for the pros.

Playing their first game without shutdown junior defenseman Will Weber, the RedHawks limited the Lakers to just 18 shots on goal as junior Cody Reichard improved his perfect season record to 4-0. Reichard took a shutout into the final period, but a series of Miami penalties provided plenty of chances for LSSU who went 1 of 6 on the powerplay.

Frankly, Miami played a very sloppy third period but it's evident early when the legs are going, the RedHawks have greatly improved their speed and puck movement over a year ago. They are playing with unmatched confidence and great skill that will help them against small, speedy teams that have typically given them fits. And, when they finally field a complete, healthy team, they should be a joy to watch this season.

At the start of the final period, and after a lengthy discussion, Miami senior captain Carter Camper was issued a five minute major for kneeing at :44. It was Camper's first career major penalty and led to a Laker goal from Chad Nehring at 2:14.

Sophomore Curtis McKenzie answered quickly for Miami and reestablished the five goal margin at 6:33. For McKenzie, it was his second goal of the season and an absolutely beautiful finish as he accepted a perfect saucer pass from senior Pat Cannone and roofed a backhander over Laker senior goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson.

Miami would take five penalties in the third period and LSSU was able to capitalize late in regulation just after the expiration of another Miami penalty to make it a 6-2 final. The RedHawks must find a way to cut down on penalties which have been a problem over the past several years.

The series with the Lakers concludes tonight at 7pm at Steve Cady Arena in Oxford.

  • Junior assistant captain Alden Hirschfeld returned to the lineup after missing the last five games due to injury. He picked up where he left off by notching what turned out to be the game-winning goal, his fourth of the season. He now has a line of 4-3-7 in just three games this season.
  • In the aftermath of junior defenseman Will Weber's neck injury, several Miami players including Carter Camper and Curtis McKenzie wore protective neck guards for perhaps the first time during last night's game. And others, like Andy Miele and Garrett Kennedy, had them on during warm-ups, presumably to try them out.
  • Camper's early statistics are eye-popping. He leads the nation in goals (8), assists (12 - tied with Miele) and points (20) after seven games and has a +11 rating.
  • The RedHawks have scored at least four goals in all of their victories and have topped six goals four times this season.
  • Miami's six goals were scored by six different RedHawks.
  • Miami has outscored its opponents 19-3 over the past three games.
  • The win was Miami’s seventh straight over the Lakers (2-4-1, 0-3 CCHA).
Coverage links

Cincinnati Enquirer

Dayton Daily News