Games 31 and 32
Friday, Feb. 28 • 7:35 p.m.
Saturday, March 1 • 7:05 p.m.
Steve Cady Arena • Oxford, Ohio
Miami RedHawks (11-16-3; 5-14-1-1 NCHC) vs. Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (13-13-4; 8-10-2-2 NCHC)
Television: Time Warner Cable (Friday)
Radio: All Contests Are Streamed at MURedHawks.com
The Miami University RedHawks host Minnesota Duluth for its final home series of the season 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. Saturday’s contest is televised locally on Time Warner Cable (channels 311 and 1311 [HD]).
LAST TIME OUT
The RedHawks are coming off a split of their home series against conference leader St. Cloud State (currently ranked fifth nationally) over the weekend. Miami welcomed Blake Coleman back to the lineup for his first game since Dec. 6 on Friday. The junior forward provided an instant jolt, scoring two goals, including the game-winning tally during a 4-3 victory on Friday night. Early goals by SCSU’s Jimmy Murray and David Morley staked the Huskies to a 2-0 lead and they rode 33 Ryan Faragher saves to a 3-0 win in Saturday’s series finale.
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 322-212-56 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.
Scott Sandelin (North Dakota ‘86) is coaching Minnesota Duluth for his 13th season. UMD has a 244-242-65 record under Sandelin and guided the Bulldogs to their first national championship in program history in 2011. UMD has made four NCAA Tournaments and two Frozen Four Apperances under Sandelin.
• Austin Czarnik posted his team-best 11th multi-point game last Friday night with a goal and an assist. His 39 points (11g, 28a) are tied for the 10th most in the country while his 28 assists ranks sixth nationally.
• Czarnik needs two more points to tie Tim Leahy (118) for 32nd on Miami’s all-time scoring list.
• Junior forward Blake Coleman has three multi-goal games this season, the second most on the team. He has tallied 12 goals in only 19 games, the second most on the RedHawks.
• Miami’s power play went 0-for-4 last Saturday, snapping a six-game streak with at least one power play goal. MU went 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) in that stretch.
• The Red and White have allowed three goals or more in 16 of their last 19 games, going 4-13-2 in that stretch.
THE SERIES: Miami is 1-0 all-time against Minnesota Duluth.
ABOUT MINNESOTA DULUTH: The Bulldogs have dropped four straight over the last two weeks, with all of those losses coming to conference co-leaders North Dakota and St. Cloud State. Twelve UMD players have posted 10 or more points this season, led by Caleb Herbert’s 26 (9g, 17a). Meanwhile, Kyle Osterberg (12 goals), Alex Iafallo (11) and Justin Crandall (10) all have double digit goals. The majority of the reps in goal have gone to Aaron Crandall, who has a 2.77 goals against average and a .903 save percentage in 25 appearances (23 starts).
LAST MEETING: In their only prior meeting, Miami and Minnesota Duluth played in Minneapolis for the West Regional Championship. Justin Mercier scored two goals in the second period and Cody Reichard stopped 25 of 26 shots to send the RedHawks to their first Frozen Four in school history via 2-1 win over the Bulldogs (Recap).
SENIOR NIGHT: The RedHawks will honor their two seniors, Max Cook and Bryon Paulazzo, prior to Saturday night’s game. Cook and Paulazzo are playing their final home games at Steve Cady Arena this weekend and have combined to play 205 games in their careers. As freshmen, the pair were part of the RedHawks’ first Mason Cup title for winning the CCHA Tournament. A year ago they played a role in the RedHawks claiming the final CCHA regular season title.
DYNAMIC DUO: Miami’s Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik continue to rack up points together. The duo has combined for 77 points this year (39 for Czarnik and 38 for Barber). That total represents 32.4 percent of MU’s scoring this year.
A RARE SEASON: While Saturday’s setback against St. Cloud State dropped Miami to 11-16-3 overall and eighth in the conference standings at 5-14-1-1, RedHawk fans can take some solace in the fact that this type of season is the exception and not the rule under head coach Enrico Blasi. MU posted a winning overall record in 11 of Blasi’s first 14 seasons behind the bench, including each of the last eight seasons and and 10 of the previous 11 campaigns. In fact, the Red and White’s last losing season (2004-05) was followed by the raised standard of Miami hockey with eight-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, two Frozen Four appearances and a berth in the 2009 National Championship game. The eight-straight tournament appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, trailing only North Dakota’s 11.
DEPTH SCORING: One of the more reliable scorers beyond Barber and Czarnik has been sophomore Sean Kuraly. The Dublin, Ohio native sits third on the team with 21 points (9g, 12a), a marked improvement from a freshman campaign that saw him post just 12 points (6g, 6a). After posting only nine points in his first 36 games as a freshman, Kuraly has 24 points (12g, 12a) over his last 34 games dating back to last season.
WELCOME ADDITION: Miami saw Blake Coleman return to the lineup with a bang against St. Cloud State on Feb. 21. After missing 11 games due to injury, Coleman scored two goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-3 win over the Huskies. When Coleman was injured on Dec. 6, Coleman was tied for the team lead with 10 goals. His 12 goals in only 19 games ranks second on the RedHawks. Miami has scored three or more goals in 10 of the 19 games Coleman played, but has done so just three times in the 11 games its played without him.
With Coleman (9-8-2): 3.2 goals/game, 2.6 goals allowed/game, 22.5% PP%
Without Coleman (2-8-1): 2.5 goals/game, 3.8 goals allowed/game, 16.9% PP%