The Miami University men’s ice hockey team is taking an eight-game unbeaten streak into December.
The RedHawks beat Bowling Green State University 4-0 Nov. 18 and then tied them 4-4 Nov. 19. However, they failed to win the shootout.
At the Denver Cup Classic Nov. 25-26, the Red and White defeated Providence College 6-2 and then beat No. 9/10 University of Denver 4-2 to win the Cup. It was the second time the team has won the Denver Cup Classic, with the first coming in 1997.
Junior Reilly Smith was named tournament MVP following his three-goal performance in the event.
“I think it does a lot for our confidence,” Senior Cameron Schilling said. “Denver’s an elite team, so it shows we can compete and defeat elite teams like Denver.”
The RedHawks now travel to Marquette, Mich. to take on the Northern Michigan University Wildcats. The Wildcats are 5-6-3 overall and 2-5-3-2 in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) play. However, the team has only lost once during their eight home games this year.
That loss came against Michigan State University. The team also plays on an Olympic sized rink, which is larger than what the Red and White typically play on.
Smith said the larger rink might work in favor of the RedHawks.
“It’ll be something to get used to, but in the past we’ve flourished on the larger rink and we have a lot of young and fast players that should be able to use the ice to their advantage,” Smith said. “We’re going to have to focus on the size of the ice and spread the ice open and focus on one on one battles down low.”
Miami and Northern Michigan last faced each other in 2010 in Oxford, where the RedHawks dismantled the Wildcats. The ‘Hawks won the first game 4-0 and then won the second game 9-1.
The RedHawks continued their streak of CCHA honors, as Reilly Smith was named Player of the Week while freshman forward Austin Czarnik was named Rookie of the Week.
This is the second time both Smith and Czarnik have won these awards this season. Smith has won CCHA Player of the Week four times in his career. In addition, a Miami player has won a CCHA award for each of the past four weeks.
Thursday, several ‘Hawks received more honors for their solid month.
Smith was named CCHA Player of the Month, while Czarnik was honored as the Rookie of the Month. Senior goalie Cody Reichard was named Goalie of the Month by the league.
The Red and White are also inching into the national rankings again. They are currently No. 18 in the USCHO poll, one spot ahead of the University of Michigan.
Schilling said the Red and White are not too concerned with their ranking.
“Rankings don’t mean much right now,” Schilling said. “It is nice, but we have to get our CCHA standing up. This is a huge weekend coming up, since we’re not doing [too] great in the CCHA.”
It is the first time the RedHawks have been ranked since Oct. 24. The Red and White are currently in fifth place in the CCHA.
Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. for both Friday and Saturday. Following this series, the RedHawks will play a home and home series against Ohio State University the following week.