Despite being out-shot in both games, the Miami University hockey team swept the University of Notre Dame this weekend in a battle of two teams desperate for CCHA (Central Collegiate Hockey Association) points.
Senior goalie Connor Knapp got the start both nights and allowed only one goal on 60 shots.
The Red and White entered the weekend in a three-way tie for seventh place in the CCHA with Notre Dame and Northern Michigan University. The sweep jumped the ‘Hawks up to fifth place and only three points behind third place Western Michigan University.
“It was a huge sweep,” senior forward Trent Vogelhuber said. “Especially with the season winding down with only four games left. We’re considered a bubble team for the NCAAs.”
Entering the series, Notre Dame had been carried by their offense, but Knapp and the rest of the Miami defense shut down the Irish, only allowing one goal the entire series that came on a 5-3 power play. Notre Dame outshot the Red and White 60-42 in the series.
Knapp recorded a shutout in the first game, a 3-0 victory, giving him 11 shutouts in his career and his third of the season.
“In big games down the stretch you’re not going to win without a goaltender who is playing well and is hot,” Vogelhuber said. “For us to have success, our goaltenders are going to have to be the MVP.”
Freshman forward Cody Murphy scored his first and second career goals in the second game as the Red and White won 4-1.
“I took a penalty [before the goal] and felt bad,” Murphy said. “I was just happy to contribute anyway I could. It was a really special one for me.”
Freshman forward Tyler Biggs had a goal and an assist in the first game, the first time he has had a multi-point game in his career.
Junior forward and tri-captain Reilly Smith scored in both games, increasing his CCHA-leading goal total to 23. Both of his goals came on power plays.
“Everyone is starting to believe and has been positive,” Vogelhuber said. “It is a great locker room to be around right now. I think this is the best hockey we have played all year and we’re excited going forward.”
The ‘Hawks penalty kill was sharp once again, killing nine of 10 Irish power play opportunities.
Meanwhile, Miami converted two of their eight power play chances, both coming in the second game.
The RedHawks got off to a fast start in the first two periods of the first game, scoring within the first five minutes each time.
Freshman forward Blake Coleman started the game off with a goal less than two minutes into the game. Smith scored later on a power play and Biggs sealed the game with an empty net goal with less than two minutes remaining.
Miami scored twice the first period of the second game, as Smith found the back of the net and Vogelhuber also had an unassisted goal. The end of second period and start of third was loaded with penalties as both teams had three.
“I thought we handled it well,” Head Coach Enrico Blasi said. “It [the penalties] went both ways and we just had to stay composed for as much as we could in those situations. When we had a chance to execute we did. It was a real good weekend for everybody.”
The teams exchanged power plays as each team scored on a 5-3 advantage. The Irish trimmed the lead to 2-1 on their power play, but Murphy’s two goals on a 5-3 opportunity and then again in the third period put the game out of reach.
The RedHawks return to the ice for a home and home against the Ohio State University this Friday and Saturday. Friday night’s contest will be the team’s final home game of the season. Fans can listen to both games on Miami’s IMG Sports Network or online at www.redhawkradio.com.
In 1980, The Miami Student reported that several uptown bars were waiting for the Ohio Department of Liquor Control to approve liquor license applications. These were the first liquor license applications submitted by the city, which had been dry before the passage of a referendum in November 1979.
“I’m seeing the ball pretty well right now,” he said. “It is nice to come away with a good first weekend.”
Junior pitcher Brooks Fiala helped the RedHawks rebound in the second game by striking out a career-high nine batters over 7.2 innings. He only gave up five hits and two earned runs in the 8-2 victory.
“Fiala pitched a great game,” Simonds said “We really bounced back from a tough first game.”
The Red and White fell behind early in the opener and were never able to catch up. Junior starting pitcher Mac Thoreson gave up six runs in only 3.2 innings of work, all of them earned. He walked three and struck out three. The ‘Hawks were only able to muster up five hits and two runs, with both runs coming on Bower’s two-run blast.
Fiala limited Furman’s offense to only five hits in game one of the double header and the team’s bats came alive as well. The Red and White smacked 15 hits, with four coming from Bowers and three apiece from senior rightfielder Ryan Curl and freshman shortstop Scott Slappey.
“It was big,” Fiala said about winning the second game. “We really wanted to salvage the weekend and I just wanted to keep the team in it.”
The second game of the double header was a high scoring affair filled with errors, as Furman committed four and Miami committed six.
The offense picked up where they left off in the first game though, racking up 13 hits and 12 runs. Freshman designated hitter Matt Honchel and senior centerfielder Alex Johnson each had three hits and three RBIs. Bower had four RBIs during the game. Senior left-fielder Bryce Redeker managed to draw four walks during the game.
The RedHawks took a 10-7 lead in the sixth and narrowly held on to win the game, 12-11. The Paladins picked up a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth before Curl made a sliding catch in foul territory to seal the deal.
“We have some young guys who haven’t been in that situation before,” Simonds said. “We got a little tight. We have some improving to do and we have to get better late in the game. The nice thing was we were still able to get the win.”
Senior pitcher Matt Rosinski closed the final four innings for the ‘Hawks to pick up the save. He allowed only two hits and three runs, all of which were unearned.
The RedHawks return to Greenville next weekend for two games against Michigan State University and another against Furman.
play at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati for a second-straight year. The previous year, Mavun
ga had a less than stellar performance, finishing with two rebounds and zero points in 14 minutes.
“Julian had an awful game,” Associate Head Coach Jermaine Henderson said. “He was air-balling layups and we couldn’t get him off the court fast enough. The whole environment seemed to overwhelm him.”
As a result, Mavunga came out angry the next year and was by far the best player on the court, racking up 18 points and 12 rebounds, dominating the game. The RedHawks lost 60-53 but the game showed the toughness and potential of Mavunga.
Mavunga really started to come into his own his junior year. He was the central focus of opposing team’s defensive strategies and now had to learn to deal with increased defensive attention.
Rising above these obstacles, Mavunga’s work ethic rose to the challenge as he led the team in points, rebounds and assists. He was the team’s most valuable player and was a first-team All-MAC selection.
Every offseason Mavunga challenges himself by reflecting on how he can improve.
This mantra is seen by his coaches.
“[He] is always pushing himself further and never settling,” Henderson said. “He could have been satisfied with the level of his game after his sophomore year but Julian is always looking to elevate his game.”
The final chapter of Mavunga’s book should be titled, “The Maturation of a Star.”
In terms of wins and losses, this has been a relatively disappointing senior season for the senior from Indianapolis. However, Miami has been plagued with injuries throughout the year, leading to roster shifts nearly every night and younger players getting more minutes than expected.
Mavunga became the leader on the stat sheet as well as the senior leader on the team. He is still leading the team in points, rebounds and assists this year, but now he has to exude strong leadership qualities at all times.
Miami’s Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Charlie Coles, described Mavunga’s leadership style as, “Do as I do, not do as I say to do.”
This style parallels Mavunga’s laid back personality.
“[He is] one of the most popular and personable guys I have ever coached,” Coles said.
Mavunga came into Miami knowing that he would be molded into a better man. However, it is safe to say he did not expect to deal with the adversity he has had to endure.
“The Miami way is a culture of hard work, not giving up and holding each other accountable,” Mavunga said.
He attributes this philosophy to helping him improve as a player and as a person.
“[Miami] is a program of underdogs, a place where players can develop,” Henderson said, in explaining why Mavunga has flourished at Miami. “Julian mirrors this persona by coming here and getting better and making those around him better.”
The future for Mavunga is as uncertain as most graduating seniors. Mavunga said that he is not looking too far down the road at this point and his only focus right now is on the current season.
Whatever the future holds, it will be met with the same level of passion and intensity that Mavunga brings to the basketball everyday. He undoubtedly has been a bright spot in Miami athletics, embodying the Miami way and standing tall.
Taylor Davis- sophomore Major: undeclared CAS and undeclared business & Andrew Doggett-junior Major: political science, mass communication
Colten Kidwell- junior Major: business economics Minor: entrepreneurship & Molly Kenney-junior Major: speech communication
John Stefanski- junior Major: public administration & Lizzie Litzow-junior Major: speech communication, political science
Campbell Stemper- senior Major: political science, Minor- Chinese & Sam Meneely- junior Major: accountancy
Meghan Wadsworth- junior Major: public administration, health promotion & Robert Harrelson-junior Major: political science, Minor: history