Blake Coleman sat at his stall with a pack of ice on his right arm on Wednesday. A scrimmage at Devils’ development camp had finished, and Coleman had attempted a spin-o-rama goal in the shootout.
In a few months, Coleman will still be wearing red, but it won’t be New Jersey red.
The 5-foot-11 forward will return to Miami for his senior season.
He’s coming back to help them win a championship.
“We had a good run there at the end of last season, pretty much everybody’s coming back on our team,” Coleman said.
Miami struggled during the season, compiling a 12-19-3 record into the NCHC playoffs. The RedHawks were underdogs in the first-round series agains St. Cloud State, the No. 1 team in the conference, and Miami needed to win the NCHC to make the NCAA tournament.
The RedHawks won the next three games, including an OT victory over St. Cloud State, to make the NCHC Championship game. With a tournament berth on the line, the RedHawks faced Denver in Minneapolis, Minn.
Miami lost 4-3.
“I think we have a little bit of a bad taste from how it ended last year,” Coleman said.
The Plano, Texas native missed 11 games with an upper-body injury last season. Miami went 2-8-1 in his absence.
“It’s another year away from the injury, so that heals up fully,” Coleman said. “It’s another year to get stronger and gain some more patience with the puck.
“The game’s starting to slow down at the college level for me and I’m expecting the same thing to continue as I go into senior year.”
In his return from injury on Feb. 21, Coleman scored two goals — including the game winner. It was one of four multi-goal games he recorded over the next six games, and one of five multi-point games over the next 10 games. Coleman finished the stretch with 12 points over the final 10 games.
“It was exciting, but it was my teammates picking me up. they made it easy for me and everybody elevated their game,” Coleman said. “We had that good taste and we got that run and then it ended so abruptly that everybody kind of wants to pick up where we left off.”
Along with Coleman, Austin Czarnik and Riley Barber will also return for the coming season with Miami. Czarnik and Barber recorded 47 and 44 points respectively, good for first and second on the team.
Coleman’s 28 points ranked fourth on the team. The forward appeared in 27 games, giving him a team lead of seven points per game.
Over his career with the RedHawks, Coleman has appeared in 106 games and amassed 70 points.
“I’m pretty close to getting my degree,” Coleman said.
“From talking to the guys in the summer and with New Jersey it was the best fit and the best option to go back for next year.”