The Miami RedHawks came into the CCHA semifinals with a regular season championship and a playoff series win against Michigan State under their belt.
Their momentum was quickly demolished by a juggernaut Michigan squad in a 6-2 loss at Joe Louis Arena Saturday night.
2013 CCHA Championship
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“We’ve moved on already,” Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. “It’s something that we have to learn from. We have a lot of young guys in that locker room that haven’t been in that situation. I’m a big believer everything happens for a reason and we’ll learn from it and we’ll continue to teach our guys during the week. And now we’ve got a game to get ready for next week.”
The RedHawks have shown resiliency this season as they have lost back-to-back games just once dating to the end of December.
The third-ranked RedHawks are a young and talented team with 18 freshman and sophomores, including a pair of freshman goalies.
Miami has had an illustrious season, not only with the league title, but with individual accolades as well. Sophomore Austin Czarnik is the 2012-13 CCHA player of the year and freshman Riley Barber received rookie of the year honors.
Barber took the league by storm this season, leading the league and the nation with 38 points for a rookie.
“Let’s not forget that this is the team that won the CCHA regular season championship,” Blasi said. “So let’s not feel sorry for ourselves here. I’m so proud of them. I know that they can play better. I know we learned a big lesson tonight, and we’ll move forward.”
Czarnik continued his hot play against Michigan, recording two assists, but couldn’t get into any kind of flow on the ice with a flurry of Michigan goals coming in the second period.
“You’ve got to play with a sense of hunger and yet you still have to do your job,” Blasi said. “And that’ll be the lesson that we continue to preach throughout the week, and I think our guys will respond. This is a resilient group.”