Games 21 and 22
Friday, Jan. 17 • 7:35 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 18 • 7:05 p.m.
Steve Cady Arena • Oxford, Ohio
Miami RedHawks (9-9-2; 3-7-0-0 NCHC) vs. Nebraska Omaha Mavericks (8-11-1; 5-4-1-1 NCHC)
Radio: All Contests Are Streamed at MURedHawks.com
TV: Friday’s Game is Televised Locally on Time Warner Cable
The Miami University RedHawks play Nebraska Omaha for the second time this season in a pivotal NCHC series at Steve Cady Arena on Friday (7:35 p.m.) and Saturday (7:05 p.m.)
WAYS TO LISTEN/WATCH
Miami hockey can be heard live all weekend at MURedHawks.com. An All-Access broadcast will also be available for both contests. Friday’s game is televised locally on Time Warner Cable (channels 311 and 1311 [HD]). Both games can be heard live on WMOH (1450-AM) while Saturday’s contest is also carried on WKBV (1490-AM).
LAST TIME OUT
The RedHawks renewed their long standing rivalry at Western Michigan, but came up short in a pair of one-goal decisions (5-4, 3-2) over the weekend. Sean Kuraly scored twice and Justin Greenberg dished out a pair of assists for his first two collegiate points, but WMU rallied from a 3-2 deficit to top MU 5-4 on Friday night. Riley Barber scored twice on Saturday with his second bringing the RedHawks within a goal in the final minute, but a comeback fell short in a 3-2 loss.
Enrico Blasi (Miami ’94) is in his 15th season behind the RedHawk bench. He is a five-time CCHA Coach of the Year and was named National Coach of the Year in 2005-06. He stands 320-205-55 in 14-plus seasons at his alma mater, where he has led Miami to nine NCAA Tournaments, including two Frozen Four berths, a National Championship game appearance, a trio of CCHA regular-season titles and the school’s first ever Mason Cup in 2011. Blasi is the winningest coach in school history.
In his fifth season, Dean Blais holds a record of 82-79-17 as the Mavericks’ head coach. A two-time national champion head coach, Blais is 344-194-50 over his career. He helped guide UNO to an NCAA Tournament appearnce during the 2010-11 season.
IN THE POLLS
Neither team enters this weekend ranked in any major poll.
• Riley Barber enters the weekend riding a career-high six-game point streak, he has 13 points (5g, 8a) in that stretch and tallied multiple points in four of those contests.
• Barber’s hot streak has him tied for fourth nationally with 32 total points (14g, 18a). His 14 goals are also tied for fourth nationally.
• Sophomore forward Sean Kuraly has points in five of his last six games, tallying seven points (3g, 4a) in this stretch.
• Miami defensemen combined for five points (1g, 4a) and factored in five of MU’s six goals at Western Michigan. Prior to that, the RedHawks’ blue line totaled 21 points in their first 18 games.
• The RedHawks are 9-3-1 when scoring first, but a winless 0-6-1 when allowing the first goal.
THE SERIES: The RedHawks lead the Mavericks 17-9-3 in the all-time series, but are winless in their last three meetings against UNO.
ABOUT NEBRASKA OMAHA: The Mavericks are winless (0-5-1) in their last six games since sweeping the RedHawks (6-3, 3-1) in Omaha on Nov. 22-23. That slump leaves UNO at 8-11-1 overall and 5-4-1-1 in conference play. The Mavericks average 2.95 goals per game (22nd nationally) while yielding 3.35 goals per contest (49th). Josh Archibald leads UNO with 14 goals and 21 points, one of seven players with 12 or more points. Ryan Massa (3.34 goals against average, .882 save percentage) and Kirk Thompson (2.95, .885) have started 19 of the Mavericks’ 20 games in net.
LAST MEETING: Bryon Paulazzo’s goal staked the RedHawks to a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes in the Nov. 22 series opener in Omaha, but the Mavericks scored five-straight goals in the second period en route to a 6-3 series opening victory. One day later, Matthew Caito’s first goal of the year put MU ahead 1-0 once again, but UNO outshot the Red and White 43-26 and took the lead for good on Tanner Lane’s shorthanded goal early in the second period en route to a 3-1 win and a weekend sweep.
DYNAMIC DUO: Miami’s Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik continue to rack up points together. The duo has combined for 60 points this year (32 for Barber and 28 for Czarnik), making them the fourth-highest scoring pair in the nation.
1. Johnny Gaudreau and Kevin Hayes (Boston College) 75 points
2. Greg Carey and Matt Carey (St. Lawrence) 62 points
3. Matthew Zay and Daniel O’Donoghue (Mercyhurst) 62 points
4. Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik (Miami) 60 points
5. Sam Anas and Kellen Jones (Quinnipiac) 59 points
BACK TO BASICS: After a promising start to the year, Miami is trying to pull itself out of a midseason slump that leaves it sitting .500 overall (9-9-2) and 3-7 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. A 2-0 win over Wisconsin left MU at 7-3-1 overall with a 2-2 mark in NCHC play. The RedHawks allowed two goals or less in seven of those 11 games, including shutouts over current top-10 teams St. Cloud State (No. 3/4) and Wisconsin (No. 9/9). Since then, MU is 2-6-1 and allowed three goals or more in eight of nine contests.
First 11 games (7-3-1): 3.5 goals/game, 2.0 goals allowed/game, 25.5% PP%, 85.2% PK%
Last nine games (2-6-1): 3.0 goals/game, 3.6 goals allowed/game, 14.9% PP%, 80.5% PK%
BARBER HEATS UP: While sophomore Riley Barber is already in the midst of a strong campaign, he has been particularly effective of late. Barber is riding a career-high six-game point streak, during which he has 13 points on five goals and eight assists. He has four multi-point games, all in the past five games, including three-straight games with two or more points during this torrid stretch.
STEPPING UP: Sophomore forward Sean Kuraly is catching fire at a time that the RedHawks are needing some secondary scoring. Kuraly has recorded at least one point in five of Miami’s last six games, posting seven points (3g, 4a) in that span. He has a pair of multi-point games in that stretch in the form of a two-assist game at Bemidji State on Nov. 29 and a two-goal outing at Western Michigan on Jan. 10.