It’s not hard in general to notice Miami’s Ryan Jones on the ice. The Hobey Baker finalist is possibly the RedHawks most dominant player having scored 48 points in 40 games this season.
If for some reason his play doesn’t identify him on Saturday, just look for his hair.
The senior has what most would call flowing locks, draping well pas his shoulders. When asked about his hair, though, Jones has a great story to tell behind it.
Jones is growing his hair to donate it to Locks of Love, an organization that collects hair to create wigs to give to young cancer patients who lose their hair during chemotherapy treatements. Recently, Jones met 13-year old Korinne Croghan, who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and her story inspired him to grow his hair long enough to donate it.
Jones says that his hair has more than reached the required length and that as soon as his team’s playoff run ends, he’ll have the scissors ready to cut it.
“The minute we’re done I’ll be cutting it, even thought Barry Melrose wants me to keep growing it,” said Jones of the ESPN hockey analyst – who happens to be covering this regional tournament for ESPNU – who sports long flowing hair as well. “He’s just mad because mine looks better than his.
Focused from Day One
Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said on Friday that he was proud of his team’s focus since the beginning of the season that has helped to earn his club the number one seed in the region.
There was plenty of reason to focus for the RedHawks this year, particularly once three key players – Jones, Nathan Davis and goaltender Jeff Zatkoff all decided to turn down the NHL last summer in favor of returning for a senior season.
“It shows the type of commitment those guys have for Miami University,” said Blasi when asked about the trio’s decision to return. “Each of them agonized of the fact of leaving their team. It wasn’t about the money, it wasn’t about playing in the National Hockey League. It was about having to leave the team.”
Jones was the final player to make the decision to come back, and Blasi said when he did decide, it gave the RedHawks an added boost.
“Once Ryan decided to come back, I can tell you that the confidence for our team has been at a whole new level,” said Blasi. “Everything that has been done since that point on has been done with a purpose.”
Blasi also hopes that these players returning for their senior year will send a message to others in the college hockey world.
“It’s shows and example to the rest of our team and hopefully college hockey as well,” said Blasi. “It’s okay to play your senior year and have a fun time doing it. The NHL and pro hockey will always be there. You can only have your college days once.”
Fun in the Sun
Enrico Blasi was asked during Friday’s press conference how often his team – the Miami University RedHawks – is confused with the University of Miami Hurricanes. Blasi answer was quick and simple.
“Wait, we’re not from Florida?”
He did say that the success of his club has helped get the Miami University name known in the college hockey and sports world and said that is a credit to the teams in the recent past.
Miami used to be know as Miami (Ohio), but dropped the Ohio reference in recent years.