FanPost

"MAC Hockey" Championship: Miami Defeats WMU 5-2

Your CCHA Championship (or MAC Championship game) winners are the Miami Redhawks.  Congrats on a great team, finishing a great season, and probably getting a 1 seed in the NCAA's (most likely getting New Hampshire in New Hampshire).  Their core of superb seniors really played their heart out and beat Western Michigan 5-2 to capture their first ever CCHA Championship.

Miami jumped out early with 2 power-play goals (well close to that, as Western was JUST getting out of the box as Miami scored one) to lead 2-0 after the first.  Western wouldn't score until late in the 2nd period, on a power-play as well.  With the score 2-1 after 2, Western came out firing and got another power-play goal to tie it up with roughly 17 minutes to go. 

Miami would dominate from there.  They would get a goal on a delayed penalty call of a deflection by tournament MVP Andy Miele and score on the ensuing power-play as well.  A late goal JUST off the glove of Jerry Kuhn.

Miami is 10-0-3 in their last 13 games, and is undoubtedly THE HOTTEST team in the nation heading into the NCAA championships.  Western will likely be a 3 seed in their regional (of 4 teams each) and will gain valuable experience from making the playoffs.  Western, predicted to finish 10th this year in the CCHA, finishes 4th in the regular season, and knocked off perennial powerhouse Michigan last night to get the title game finish in the tournament.

In a conference that is going to lose 3 of their teams, including 2 powerhouses to the utterly insane Big Ten Hockey Conference of 2012, this title game really helps both teams (mostly Western) with their hockey programs.  After this so called "Super Conference" forms, many of the smaller schools in both the CCHA and the WCHA will struggle to keep their hockey programs (more concern for the CCHA with only 8 schools).  If Western and Miami can establish high name programs like Michigan and State have, and join Notre Dame, then the CCHA should survive through rivalries.  Otherwise, we could see the likes of Bowling Green, Ferris State, Northern and LSSU lose their programs, and start a domino effect that could force Western out too.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years as the hockey landscape is set for a POWERFUL change with the addition of just one program.

This post was submitted by one of our esteemed readers and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or thoughts of Hustle Belt or SB Nation.

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