Hockey Postgame Notes
Miami vs. Notre Dame
Friday, February 15, 2013
Steve Cady Arena - Oxford, Ohio
Miami defeated Notre Dame, 3-1, Friday night, in the first half of their CCHA weekend series. With the win, the RedHawks clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming CCHA Tournament and also secured home ice for the second round of the CCHA Playoffs. Miami currently sits in first place in the CCHA, two points ahead of Western Michigan entering Saturday night's competition.
With Friday's win and Ferris State's loss to Bowling Green, Miami assured itself of a top-four finish in the final CCHA standings. In doing so, the RedHawks will finish in the top four of the CCHA standings for the eighth straight year, something no other team in the league has done. During that stretch, Miami has won two regular-season titles, earned runner-up once, finished third three times and was fourth last year.
Miami held Notre Dame to just one goal Friday, marking the seventh time in the RedHawks' last nine games that Miami has limited the opposition to a goal or less. The RedHawks, who rank first nationally giving up just 1.48 goals per game, have allowed two goals or less in nine straight games now and 23 of their last 24 contests. Miami has given up more than two goals just five times in 31 games this season.
Freshman goaltender Ryan McKay was in net Friday as he made 20 saves to pick up his fifth straight win and eighth of the season. He made his first start on a Friday night since Oct. 26 at Michigan, as he had been starting Saturday nights since returning from an injury while rotating with classmate Jay Williams in net. McKay leads the country with both a 0.98 GAA and a .963 save percentage. He has allowed just a goal or less in 11 of his 13 starts this year.
With Friday's win against No. 12 Notre Dame, Miami improved to 7-3-1 against ranked competition this season. The RedHawks have won four of their last five matchups against ranked foes.
Senior defenseman and captain Steven Spinell scored his first goal of the season Friday, which was also Miami's first goal of the game. It was just his fourth career goal, as he has one each season, while the goal came on the power play, his first career power play tally. Spinell's last goal prior to Friday was Dec. 2, 2011 against Northern Michigan.
By scoring three goals in Friday's win, Miami improved to 15-0-1 this year when scoring three or more goals. The RedHawks have topped the three-goal mark in five of their last six games. Miami also scored first Friday, something it has also done in five of its last six contests as the RedHawks improved to 16-2-1 when scoring the first goal of the game. Miami has scored first in 19 of its 31 games this season.
Freshman forward Riley Barber and sophomore forward Austin Czarnik each assisted on Miami's empty-net goal late in the third period. They continue to be tied for the CCHA lead in points as both have 31 on the season. Czarnik's 20 assists lead the team and are second in the CCHA while Barber is third with 19 helpers. Barber leads the team with 12 goals, which ties for sixth in the CCHA, while his 31 points are second among all rookies nationally.
Miami went a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill Friday, including 3-for-3 in the first period. The RedHawks have now killed 14 straight opponent power plays dating back to Feb. 8 at Western Michigan (three games). Miami ranks first in the CCHA and fifth nationally with an 89.6 percent penalty kill. Miami's 129 kills (in 144 chances) are the most in the country. The RedHawks have been perfect on the penalty kill in 19 of 31 games this year.
Sophomore forward Blake Coleman scored Miami's second goal Friday, which was the game-winner. After scoring four goals in his first four games of the season, it was just his third goal in his last 26 games. The game-winner was his third of the year, which ties for second on the team. With his goal, Miami's five sophomores with a goal this year have accounted for 35 of the team's 79 goals this season (44.3 percent).
Redshirt senior forward Marc Hagel scored an empty-net goal Friday, giving him goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his RedHawk career. He has just four goals all season with his other two coming Dec. 1 at Alaska.
Junior forward Max Cook dished out an assist on Coleman's goal Friday, giving him points in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, as he scored a goal Feb. 9 at Western Michigan. He now has two goals, three assists and five points on the year, all of which are career bests. He also has tallied three of his five points this year in his last four games.
Miami was held to a season-low 22 shots on goal Friday. Miami was also limited to 22 shots on goal Feb. 1 vs. Alaska, both of which Miami won. The RedHawks are 7-2-3 this year when taking less than 30 shots and 6-2-1 when being outshot.