WNY Hockey Prospects

2015 NCAA Tournament Preview: East

The 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Tournament begins this weekend and as many people know, there will be quite a few Western New York Hockey Prospects who will be looking to help their team’s reach this year Frozen Four this April 9 & 11 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Here’s a preview of this weekends matchups.

East Bracket – Providence, R.I.

Saturday March 28th
No. 3 Miami vs. No. 15 Providence
6:30 P.M. on ESPNU

When the tournament brackets were released, no game made more waves than the Miami vs. Providence matchup.  The NCHC was the strongest conference in college hockey all season and half of the Top 10 overall teams in the final USCHO poll were from the NCHC.  Miami’s reward for winning the NCHC Tournament? Flying to Rhode Island to play the Providence Friars in what amounts to a home game for the 15th seed in the tournament.

Unfair as sending Miami to Providence may be, the Friars will still have a very tough matchup on their hands with the Redhawks. Miami won their NCHC Final matchup against St. Cloud State in a thrilling 3-2 game that saw Blake Coleman, the Redhawks 3rd leading scorer, record a hat trick. Coleman has been a solid contributor all season for Miami with 20 goals and 17 assists for 37 points in 37 games.  The Redhawks offense also features 4 players with 30 or more points and 7 players with 22 points or more.  With an offense lead by high scoring forwards Austin Czarnik, Riley Barber and Coleman, the Redhawks are a very hard to slow down and will also benefit from the play of Junior goaltender Jay Williams who’s 1.89 goals against average and .922 save percentage have helped him to a 19-8 record.

Providence has a local connection too as Trevor Mingoia, the Western New York Hockey Prospects #12 overall rated player, hails from Fairport, NY and is a big part of the Friars offense.  Mingoia,  a 5-foot-11 190 lb forward has 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points in 36 games so far this season, good for a tie for first in goals and second overall in points.  Mingoia and his Friars teammates will have their hands full against the high powered Redhawks offense but will certainly by aided by the hometown crowd. For Sabres fans, another player to keep an eye on will be bruising defenseman Anthony Florentino, a sophomore who heads up the first pairing for the Friars and has a booming slapshot from the blueline.

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