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Season Preview: Miami

My choice for 4th place in the CCHA is Miami.

Projected Depth Chart

LW Ryan Jones C Nathan Davis RW Nino Musitelli

LW Matt Christie C Geoff Smith RW Marty Guerin
LW Justin Mercier C Chris Michael RW Jarrod Palmer
LW Gary Steffes C Brian Kaufman RW Joe Cooper
LD Alec Martinez RD Mitch Ganzak G Charlie Effinger
LD Kevin Roeder RD Raymond Eichenlaub G Jeff Zatkoff
LD Brad Robbins RD Michael Findorff


Strengths:

The RedHawks had the best 1-2 punch in the nation last year at goalie, with Charlie Effinger and Jeff Zatkoff rotating starts for most of the season. Both goalies return this season, and despite the loss of top defenseman Andy Greene, they should still be an excellent defensive team.

The RedHawks also return a great deal of offense. Nathan Davis emerged as a star player last season, and linemate Ryan Jones also cracked the 20 goal mark. They’ll also have a strong second line led by some experience seniors

Weaknesses:

This is pretty much the same Miami team that ran away with the CCHA last year, minus key contributors Andy Greene and Matt Davis. On paper, they look like they’re going to have another great season and most people are picking them to finish at the top of the league. The trend in the CCHA recently, however, is that teams that surprise one year usually falter the following year. Head coach Enrico Blasi won the CCHA Coach of the Year Award last year, but that award has been a bit of a curse for the coaches that win it. The biggest thing that could hold Miami back is that they’ll miss the presence of Andy Greene, who logged a lot of icetime for the RedHawks and contributed both defensively and offensively.

Overall:

There’s not a lot of reasons to pick Miami to finish anywhere other than first or second again this year, but for some reason, I’ve got a feeling that they’ll struggle a little more than people expect. I think Zatkoff and Effinger will struggle a little bit more, especially with the rock solid Greene gone. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miami finish higher in the CCHA, but for some reason, I think they’ll finish fourth.

Question Marks:


Can Nathan Davis improve upon his totals from last year and be one of the leading scorers in the country? Will Miami continue to rotate their two goalies every other night?

Key Player:
Alec Martinez. Martinez played well as a freshmen, but will have to make a huge jump from his freshmen to sophomore year as he’ll see a lot more ice time, especially if he is paired up with the offensively talented Mitch Ganzak.

Breakout Player: Justin Mercier. The former NTDP forward had a decent freshmen season, but only scored a total of 10 points. He could make a huge jump in scoring like teammate Nathan Davis, another NTDP forward, did between his freshmen and sophomore season.

Did You Know?

Miami is the 7th oldest public university in the country.

Miami is one of four schools, along with Michigan, Stanford, and Navy, to produce both a US President(Benjamin Harrison) and a Super Bowl winning quarterback(Ben Roethlisberger).

If You Go There:


You Have to Eat At:
Brickstreet Restaurant. It’s a nice family-type restaurant that offers a little bit of everything.

You Have to Stop At:
Well there is the William Holmes McGuffey Museum where you can learn all about our nation’s first textbooks and….Just kidding. You’re only like 35 miles from Cincinnati. Go there and enjoy the zoo, or go across the river to Kentucky and feast on high-class booze. Oxford is also considered one of the quintessential college towns so, you know, cram yourself into a phone booth or go streaking or participate in other forms of tomfoolery.