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Ice hockey on brink of dynasty

Mike Zoller

In sports when a team dominates the competition year after year, the fans and media tend to refer to that team as a dynasty.

The Chicago Bulls and Dallas Cowboys were teams in the 1990s that earned this title. The Bulls won six NBA titles, while the Cowboys won three Super Bowls.

Today, the NFL's New England Patriots are quickly being considered a dynasty team by many sports writers, as they have already captured three Super Bowls since the turn of the millennium and seem to be headed for another one this year.

At the same time, however, the term dynasty is thrown around too loosely and even pre-maturely. While some called the University of Southern California's football team a dynasty, I say they were overrated. The University of Florida Gators, much to the delight of the Ohio State University fans, are not anywhere close to becoming a dynasty as their run of NCAA titles ended last season.

But now there is a new team that I believe is fighting for dynasty status. And while this team has a little work to do before they can be considered a dynasty, the Miami University RedHawk's ice hockey team is well on their way.

But why should a hockey team from the small town of Oxford, Ohio even be considered a dynasty?

First you have to look at what makes a dynasty. To me there are four main criteria that decide if a team truly is a dynasty.

First off, a team needs to have a head coach committed to the team for a long time. Right now Enrico Blasi isn't going anywhere until at least the 2016-17 season. This long-term contract solidifies his place in Miami hockey, he knows that this is his team; his team to mold and shape into a championship team.

The second thing a team needs to become a dynasty is a home arena they are truly proud of. While the Cowboys had Dallas Stadium, the 'Hawks have the new Goggin Ice Center. In just its second year, Goggin is the home for the future of Miami hockey. Making Goggin a feared place to play for visitors will be critical for the opponents of the Red and White.

Thirdly, in college, the ability to recruit is key if a team is to be considered a dynasty. Blasi is a great recruiter. He recruited the seventh best freshmen class in the nation this year, and already guys like freshmen Carter Camper and Vincent LoVerde have made a huge impact on the team. Blasi's ability to recruit top talent from around the nation will keep the RedHawks competitive year after year.

However, it's not enough to just be competitive, and this is where the fourth aspect of a dynasty team is present. Miami ice hockey is not a dynasty because they have failed to win national championships, or at least contend for them.

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While staying amongst the top teams in the CCHA the past two years and making the NCAA Tournament, the RedHawks now need to kick it up a notch. Come April, they need to hoist the trophy high and bring a national championship to Oxford. With a national championship and continuous trips to the Frozen Four, the 'Hawks can solidify their place as a dominant force year after year.

Miami has all the necessary components to becoming a dynasty in the world of collegiate hockey. With seniors Ryan Jones and Nathan Davis leading the team this year, students and fans might be witnessing the beginning of a team that will be talked about as one of the best ever in college hockey.