The team that once stood outside of the NCAA hockey tournament picture with a stack of must win games in its sight now sits seeded atop the Northeast Region and can peer at a Mason Cup in its trophy case. Although the road to the tournament at first appeared dire, the now No. 4 Miami University ice hockey team can forget the past and concentrate on the present that is the University of New Hampshire Wildcats.
An unbeaten streak of 13 games rewarded the ‘Hawks their first CCHA tournament championship in school history. But it is the fourth seeded Wildcats that will reap the benefits of playing on friendly ice in Manchester, N.H. at 4 p.m. Saturday at Verizon Wireless Arena.
“It’s not almost a home game for them, it is,” coach Enrico Blasi said. “We played there in 2007 against them in the regional. I can tell you it will be loud and a UNH crowd. But at this time of the year you have to play great teams in order to move on. It is what it is and we are looking forward to it.”
Blasi’s defense should look forward to bashing forwards Paul Thompson and Mike Sislo. Thompson, a Hobey Baker award finalist, led the Hockey East conference with 42 points while Silso ranked fifth with 32.
“UNH has one of the top offenses in the country with Sislo and Thompson,” senior Carter Camper said. “They can score a lot of goals, they are fast and skilled and a great team.”
Thompson ranks sixth nationally with 52 points overall for an offense that ranked ninth nationally.
The Wildcats (21-10-6) were also the second best scoring defense and allowed the second fewest goals in the Hockey East conference, behind Boston College. The Red and White (23-9-6) suit up the nation’s points leader in senior Andy Miele, who joins Camper and Thompson as a Hobey Baker finalist.
Still the stats won’t mean much to screaming Wildcat fans willing and wooing for a victory Saturday.
“We’re used to it,” Camper said. “We go to Detroit with the finals at the Joe (Louis Arena) and face a Michigan team most likely and we are used to it in the NCAA Tournament as well. We will prepare for it like any other game and hopefully we can silence the crowd.”
With 16 teams in the National Championship picture, the Red and White hope to bring the unbeaten streak to 17 games and play in St. Paul, Minn. April 9.
“One of the goals was to win the Mason Cup and we’ve waited all year for the NCAA Tournament,” Camper said. “A lot of us have been here before and for us seniors, it’s our last go and you never know if you are going to get back. You never know if it’s going to be the last time as underclassmen. You just have to take the opportunity and make the most of it.”
Blasi and the Brotherhood have worked hard in practice all week after an exhausting trip to Detroit. After the joy at ‘the Joe’ and the selection show, they are only thinking of wrecking the Wildcats and staying alive.
“This is what you work for,” Blasi said. “You want to give yourself an opportunity to play for a National Championship and we are one of the 16 teams moving on. We have a lot of work to do and we know that. We have a great opponent in UNH. We’ll get ready for them during the week and hopefully play our best on Saturday.”
Saturday’s puck will hit the ice on ESPNU.
development of a fetus.”
Thursday, Beyond Coal held free Mercury testing for students at the Shriver Center, and will release their findings later next week.
However, despite his concerns, Zimmer is happy a resolution is imminent.
“The Campus Sustainability Plan is a fantastic move in the right direction and we commend President Hodge and the Sustainability Committee for their efforts,” Zimmer said.
Junior Ashley Smith sees both sides of the issue. While Smith is happy a plan is being drafted, she understands Zimmer’s concerns about coal.
“I’m happy that action is being taken, but I also understand how damaging coal can be to both people and environment,” she said.
However, the report doesn’t just contain long-term environmental solution. Hodge said the university has already begun to work toward environmental sustainability.
This summer, Stoddard and Elliot Halls will be converted to geothermal energy, according to Hodge.
In addition to adding a sustainability co-major, Hodge said Miami will amp up its recycling efforts and to work to only construct buildings with silver LEED certifications (the third highest behind gold and platinum certifications).
Overall, Hodge said his primary concern is to decrease reliance on foreign sources of carbon-based fuels, but as he explained, timing is everything.
“Whether global warming is happening or not, we want to make sure we are creating a healthier environment,” Hodge said. “It’s about making the right decision right now.”