No. 5/6 Miami RedHawks (3-2-1; 1-1-0-0 NCHC) vs. Canisius Golden Griffins (1-2-0; 0-2-0 Atlantic Hockey)
Radio: All Contests Are Streamed at MURedHawks.com
The Miami University RedHawks will host Canisius on Nov. 1-2. Friday’s contest will start at 7:35 p.m., while Saturday’s game will begin at 7:05 p.m. Both games will take place at Steve Cady Arena.
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.
Miami went 0-1-1 over the weekend versus Providence College, nearly coming from behind in both contests. Trailing 2-0 entering the third period Miami got the game to overtime, only to allow a 5-on-3 power play goal during the extra time. On Saturday, Miami scored twice in the third period to knot the game at 4-4, a contest that would end in a tie.
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 314-198-54 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.
Dave Smith enters his ninth season at the helm of Canisius after leading the Golden Griffins to their most successful campaign in school history a year ago. He guided CC to its first Atlantic Hockey Conference title and the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012-13. That team finished 19th in the final USCHO poll.
IN THE POLLS
Miami will enter this weekend ranked No. 5 in the USA Today/Hockey Magazine poll and No. 6 in the USCHO.com poll. Canisius is not ranked in any major poll.
• Miami began the season No. 2 in the country, but swept Ohio State to move to No. 1. For the second consecutive week the Red and White have dropped in the national polls. After a weekend split with No. 6 North Dakota, Miami dropped to No. 3 and are now ranked No. 6 after a 0-1-1 weekend at Providence.
• Riley Barber currently is tied for first in the nation in scoring with 12 points (8g, 4a). His eight goals rank second in the country and his two short-handed goals are tied for the most nationally. He also ranks second in the NCAA with two game-winning goals.
• Line mate Austin Czarnik is tied for fourth nationally with 11 points (3g, 8a). He is coming off a weekend in which he assisted on five of Miami’s six goals and was named NCHC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
• Miami is 4-0-0 all-time versus Canisius and is 11-5-0 versus current members of Atlantic Hockey.
THE SERIES: Miami is a perfect 4-0 all-time against Canisius with all four meetings coming at Steve Cady Arena. The RedHawks swept the Golden Griffins in their first meeting during the 2006-07 season, winning 5-1 and 3-1 in the second series of the year. Canisius swung by again the very next season, with MU winning by a combined score of 15-1 (4-0 and 11-1).
REDHAWKS TO OPEN FIRST SEASON IN NCHC: Miami hockey embarks on a new era as the RedHawks open the inaugural season of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, of which Miami is a founding member. The NCHC is an eight-team hockey-only league consisting of Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Omaha, North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan, along with Miami. The conference boasts a combined 17 NCAA Championships, 50 Frozen Four berths, 12 Hobey Baker Award winners, including SCSU’s Drew LeBlanc this past year and 266 All-Americans. The teams have also produced 295 players that went on to play in the NHL. The new league will reward fans every weekend with fast, exciting, action-packed hockey that pits several of the top teams in the country against each other. The NCHC also has agreed to a television deal with CBS Sports Network, assuring at least 18 league games will be broadcast to a national audience this coming season.
REDHAWKS PICKED TO FINISH FIRST IN NCHC POLL: In the inaugural National Collegiate Hockey Conference preseason poll, Miami University was picked to win the conference. The poll was voted on by a total of 16 media members who regularly cover NCHC teams, two from each institution’s market. The RedHawks finished the preseason poll with 115 points, followed by North Dakota (109), St. Cloud State (99), Denver (66), Western Michigan (61), Minnesota-Duluth (43), Colorado College (42) and Nebraska-Omaha (41). Miami also led the preseason poll with seven first-place votes.
DYNAMIC DUO: Miami’s Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik have combined for 23 points this season, tied with Northeastern’s Kevin Roy and Mike Szmatula for the highest scoring duo in the country.
1. Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik (Miami) 23 points
Kevin Roy and Mike Szmatula (Northeastern) 23 points
3. Sam Warning and Justin Kloos (Minnesota) 21 points
4. Kevin Sullivan and Michael Pontarelli (Union) 16 points
TRICKY, TRICKY: Through just six games Miami has already recorded a pair of hat tricks. Riley Barber scored four goals in a 6-3 win versus Ohio State on Oct. 12 and Blake Coleman snuck three past the goaltender in the second period versus North Dakota a week later in a 6-2 win on Oct. 19.
DEEP TROUBLE: Through six games, the RedHawks have dressed 24 skaters (not including goalies) who have lengthed their attack. A total of 19 players have notched at least one point this season, 11 of whom have three points or more. All that has contributed to the sixth-best scoring offense (4.33 goals/game) in the nation.
MORE POWER TO YOU: Miami’s power play was a real weapon in last weekend’s trip to then-No. 8 Providence. Four of the RedHawks’ six goals came with the man advantage. MU went 4-for-11 (36.4 percent) on the power play over the weekend after finishing 0-for-7 against North Dakota the week prior.
WHO NEEDS FULL STRENGTH: Riley Barber scored his second short-handed goal of the season in last Saturday’s 4-4 tie at Providence. His goal helped change the tide as the Friars built a 2-0 lead just 15 seconds before Barber’s tally. The sophomore forward is one of only two players in the country with two short-handed goals, joining St. Cloud State’s Nic Dowd.
OUCH!: Last season Miami blocked 630 shots compared to 609 for its opponents. Through six games this season Miami holds a 99-75 advantage in the blocked shot category. Leading the team in blocks this season are Taylor Richart (11), Chris Joyaux (10), Matthew Caito (10) and captain Austin Czarnik (9).
NEED BETTER STARTS: Miami has had a tough time getting going early in games the past two weeks. That and a pair of top-10 opponents has contributed to the RedHawks going 1-2-1 in their last four contests. In most instances, MU has found its legs as the game has gone on and even erased multi-goal deficits. Still, list below details how important a fast start is to the RedHawks.
Oct. 11 at Ohio State: Led 2-0 (won 6-2)
Oct. 12 vs. Ohio State: Led 2-0 (won 6-3)
Oct. 19 vs. North Dakota: Led 5-0 (won 6-2)
In all other decisions
Oct. 18 vs. North Dakota: Trailed 3-0 (lost 4-2)
Oct. 25 at Providence: Trailed 2-0 (lost 3-2 in overtime)
Oct. 26 at Providence: Trailed 2-0 (tied 4-4)
WHO’S IN NET: So far this season, the RedHawks and head coach Enrico Blasi have rotated goaltenders, something that has been fairly common over the years. Jay Williams has started each Friday game and has a 1-2-0 record with a 3.00 goals against average and a .901 save percentage, while Ryan McKay has started on each Saturday and has a 2-0-1 record with a 2.93 GAA and a .914 save percentage. Williams stopped 35 of 37 shots in last Friday’s overtime loss at Providence while McKay followed up by making 24 saves in Saturday’s 4-4 tie with the Friars.
BUY YOUR TICKETS EARLY: Miami has announced three straight sell outs to begin the 2013-14 hockey season, the first time in school history that has been accomplished. All three games have been listed as 3,642 (capacity sell out). Since Steve Cady Arena has opened Miami has had 66 sell outs.