As many of you know, I am a huge fan of the Miami University Redhawks hockey team, in the CCHA. I am a Miami alum and have watched how the program has grown into one of the premier teams in college hockey. Two of the current Redhawks are prospects of the Dallas Stars, freshmen Curtis McKenzie (F) and Reilly Smith (F).
Both had a great weekend as Miami won two games in the NCAA tournament, against the University of Alabama-Huntsville (yes they have a team) and a school you're all probably more familiar with, the University of Michigan. McKenzie in particular stood out. He had one goal and one assist in Saturday's game and two assists in Sunday's double OT win over Miami's arch nemesis, the wolverines. McKenzie is a dominating physical presence on the ice. Reilly Smith plays on a line with one of Miami's top scorers, the undrafted Andy Miele. Reilly has some good skills with the puck. He's a bit thin but as a freshman, I hope he can put on some more weight. If any of you like college hockey, check out Andy Miele - he has got some slick puck handling skills and patience with the puck.
What I think really stands out is that both of these players are freshmen and have become an important part of the lineup. It's a hard line up to crack. I'd love to see both of these two players eventually crack the Stars line up too - in a few years.