The champions of the 2011 CCHA playoffs are the Miami RedHawks. Miami beat Western Michigan by a score of 5-2 on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena for its first ever Mason Cup title. Earlier in the day, Michigan edged Notre Dame for a 4-2 victory to take third place in the CCHA tournament.
The Miami game looked like it could be a repeat of yesterday's blowout of Notre Dame at first. The RedHawks held a 2-0 lead after the first period and were dominating the action. In the second period, however, Western Michigan cut into the lead with a goal. In the third period, the Broncos scored first to tie the game at two goals apiece. Miami imposed its will after that, however, scoring three straight goals to finish the game and win 5-2.
Michigan's game got off to a bit of a rough start with Red Wings draft pick Riley Sheahan scoring less than five minutes in for Notre Dame. Louie Caporusso responded later in the period with a power-play goal, and Carl Hagelin scored 15 seconds later to give Michigan the lead. Jeff Rohrkemper provided an insurance goal in the third, which proved to be big since Notre Dame scored with less than two to go in the game. Luke Glendening added an empty-netter to ice the victory for Michigan.
Next up for all four of these teams is waiting for the NCAA hockey tournament selection show, which airs on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2. Miami is now in position for a No. 1 seed by winning the Mason Cup, and Michigan looks like it will have a No. 2 seed. Both Western Michigan and Notre Dame are likely going to be in the tournament, and both could receive No. 3 seeds.