Games 29 and 30
Friday, Feb. 21 • 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22 • 7:05 p.m.
Steve Cady Arena • Oxford, Ohio
Miami RedHawks (10-15-3; 4-13-1-1 NCHC) vs. No. 4/4 St. Cloud State Huskies (17-6-5; 11-4-3-0 NCHC)
Television: CBS Sports Network (Friday)
Radio: All Contests Are Streamed at MURedHawks.com
The Miami University RedHawks play host to conference-leader St. Cloud State at Steve Cady Arena for a Friday/Saturday series this weekend. Friday’s game begins at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s is slated to start at 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 night’s matchup is a national telecast on CBS Sports Network (DirecTV channel 221, Dish Network channel 152, check local cable listings).
LAST TIME OUT
Miami traveled to No. 17/RV North Dakota over the weekend and came away with a pair of setbakds. UND scored the first three goals in Friday night’s contest, but goals by Cody Murphy and Sean Kuraly pulled MU within 3-2 in the final minute of play. The Red and White got no closer, falling by that same score. North Dakota tallied four-straight goals to start Saturday’s contest and eventually downed the RedHawks 9-2.
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 321-211-56 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.
Bob Motzko (St. Cloud State ‘87) begins his ninth season at the helm for St. Cloud State and has the Huskies in position for their second-straight conference title and first NCHC crown. Under Motzko, SCSU holds a 179-131-40 overall record and has made four NCAA Tournament appearances, including its first Frozen Four berth in program history in 2013.
• Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik each have a team-high 10 multi-point games this season. With 37 points apiece, the duo are tied for 10th nationally with 36 points (17g, 19a). His 17 goals are tied for 12th in the country.
• Austin Czarnik is on a five-game point streak with eight assists in that stretch, his next point will tie Bob Marshall and Marty Guerin (115) for 33rd on the school’s all-time scoring list.
• The RedHawks are 8-for-21 (38.1 percent) on the power play over their last five games.
• The Red and White are looking for their first Friday night series opening win since downing Wisconsin, 2-0, on Nov. 15.
• Sophomore Sean Kuraly has scored in consecutive games and is on a three-game point streak.
• The RedHawks are trying to snap their first four-game losing streak since dropping five straight from Oct. 15-28, 2011.
THE SERIES: Miami is 9-4-2 all-time against St. Cloud State. The RedHawks and Huskies haven’t played in Oxford since a two-game set Oct. 9-10, 2009, which Miami swept.
ABOUT ST. CLOUD STATE: The Huskies lead the NCHC with 33 points via its 17-6-5 overall record (11-4-3 in conference). SCSU went 3-0-1 in its most recent home stand against Denver and Minnesota Duluth. The Huskies are the nation’s second highest scoring team at 3.68 goals per game. SCSU’s attack is very balanced with four players posting 27 or more points and seven skaters with at least 19 points. Nic Dowd’s 30 points (16g, 14a) leads the way while Jonny Brodzinski (15 goals) and Kalle Kossila (12 goals) also have scored double digit goals. David Morley’s 19 assists leads the team. Ryan Faragher has earned the lion’s share of the starts in net, posting a 2.67 goals against average and a .908 save percentage in 25 appearances (24 starts).
LAST MEETING: Miami and St. Cloud State played a highly competitive and defensively grinding series Nov. 8-9. The RedHawks blanked the Huskies 2-0 in the series opener behind 31 Ryan McKay saves. Matt Joyaux scored his first collegiate goal 7:08 into the second period and Riley Barber added an insurance tally at the 8:42 mark of the third. Miami struck first again the next day with Max Cook scoring with 1:57 remaining in the first. However, the Huskies evened the score 1:34 into the second period and David Morley’s goal with 9:08 remaining gave SCSU a 2-1 win and a series split with MU.
DYNAMIC DUO: Miami’s Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik continue to rack up points together. The duo has combined for 74 points this year (37 apiece). That total represents 32.5 percent of MU’s scoring this year.
BACK TO BASICS: After a promising start to the year, Miami is trying to pull itself out of a slump that leaves it sitting below .500 overall (10-15-3) and eighth in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. A 2-0 win over Wisconsin on Nov. 15 improved MU to 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. 4/4) and Wisconsin (No. 8/8). Since then, MU is 3-12-2 and allowed three goals or more in 14 of 17 contests.
First 11 games (7-3-1): 3.5 goals/game, 2.0 goals allowed/game, 25.5% PP%, 85.2% PK%
Last 17 games (3-12-2): 2.6 goals/game, 3.8 goals allowed/game, 17.6% PP%, 78.2% PK%
NEEDED DEPTH: Miami has played its last 11 games without the services of junior forward Blake Coleman, who has not played since being injured against Denver on Dec. 6. At the time that he got hurt, Coleman was tied for the team lead with 10 goals, a total that still ranks second on the team. His 16 points ranked third on the team at the time. Miami scored three or more goals in nine of the 17 games Coleman played, but has done so just three times in the 11 games its played without him.
With Coleman (8-7-2): 3.3 goals/game, 2.6 goals allowed/game, 23.3% PP%, 82.5% PK%
Without Coleman (2-8-1): 2.5 goals/game, 3.8 goals allowed/game, 16.9% PP%, 78.8% PK%
RARELY SEEN: A 9-2 setback at North Dakota on Feb. 15 was something that literally hasn’t happened since Enrico Blasi took over on the Miami bench. The seven-goal margin of defeat was the largest under Blasi, the program’s all-time winningest head coach. In fact, you have to go back nearly a decade to find the last time the RedHawks yielded nine goals in a game, a 9-3 loss at Ohio State on Oct. 21, 2004.
CLIMBING THE RANKS: With three assists in a Feb. 14-15 series against Western Michigan, Austin Czarnik continued his ascent on Miami’s all-time scoring list. The junior captain is now tied for 35th in school history with 114 career points.
Miami Career Points
1. Steve Morris (1979-83), 202 points
2. Carter Camper (2007-11), 183
32. Tim Leahy (1994-98), 118
33. Bob Marshall (1990-94) & Marty Guerin (2003-07), 115
35. Austin Czarnik (2011-present), Andy Cozzi (1981-85) & Andy Greene (2002-06), 114