Games 33 and 34
Friday, March 7 • 9:37 p.m.
Saturday, March 8 • 9:07 p.m.
Magness Arena • Denver, Colo.
Miami RedHawks (11-18-3; 5-16-1-1 NCHC) at Denver Pioneers (15-13-6; 9-10-3-2 NCHC)
Radio: All Contests Are Streamed at MURedHawks.com
The Miami University RedHawks finish their regular season with a conference series at Denver on Friday (9:37 p.m. ET) and Saturday (9:07 p.m. ET).
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.
LAST TIME OUT
Miami dropped a pair of one-goal decisions in its final home games of the season against Minnesota Duluth. Anthony Louis and Blake Coleman scored two goals apiece on Friday night, but the Bulldogs erased a 2-0 deficit by scoring four times in the second period before Adam Krause’s shorthanded goal broke a 4-4 tie as the RedHawks fell 5-4 in the series opener. On Saturday, Ryan McKay stopped 29 of 30 shots, but UMD’s Kyle Osterberg scored midway through the second period and Aaron Crandall stopped all 30 of MU’s shots in a 1-0 setback.
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 322-214-56 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.
Jim Montgomery (Maine ‘93) was named Denver’s head coach on April 15, 2013 and has the Pioneers 15-13-6 in his first season. He spent the previous three years coaching the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL.
• Austin Czarnik has 40 points (11g, 29a), tying him for 11th most in the country. His 29 assists rank sixth nationally.
• Czarnik needs one more point to tie Tim Leahy (118) for 32nd on Miami’s all-time scoring list.
• Ryan McKay steered aside 29 of 30 shots in his start against Minnesota Duluth on Saturday. It was his first start since shutting out Wisconsin on Nov. 15 that he allowed less than two goals in a start.
• Anthony Louis has 12 points (4g, 8a) in his last 15 games after posting only seven (4g, 3a) in his first 15.
THE SERIES: Tied 5-5 (Miami has won four of the last five meetings).
ABOUT DENVER: The Pioneers have dropped three of their last four games and went 2-4-1 in February. DU boasts some of the best special teams in the country, ranking third in penalty killing (88.3 percent) and 12th on the power play (21.5 percent). Trevor Moore (28 points) and Quentin Shore (25) are the Pioneers’ top scorers, though eight DU skaters have tallied at least 18 points this season. Senior goalie Sam Brittain has started all but three games in net and holds a 2.09 goals against average, a .931 save percentage and has posted four shutouts.
LAST MEETING: The RedHawks and Pioneers split a series at Steve Cady Arena back on Dec. 6-7, 2013. Miami outshot Denver 34-12 in the opener, but Ty Loney and Trevor Moore scored 53 seconds apart late in the first period and Sam Brittain stopped 33 shots as DU took the first game 3-1. The next night, Riley Barber (1g, 2a) and Austin Czarnik (2g, 1a) each recorded three-point nights and Jay Williams turned aside 19 Pioneer shots in a 4-2 RedHawk win that closed the 2013 portion of the schedule.
DYNAMIC DUO: Miami’s Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik continue to rack up points together. The duo has combined for 78 points this year (40 for Czarnik and 38 for Barber). That total represents 31.2 percent of MU’s scoring this year.
POSTSEASON SCENARIOS: Miami will open up next week’s NCHC Tournament as the No. 8 seed for its best-of-three playoff series on March 14-16. The RedHawks will play on the road at an opponent to be determined. If the tournament started today, MU would travel to North Dakota, which is tied for first in the league standings with 42 points and holds the tiebreaker with St. Cloud State by virtue of 14 conference victories. Miami could also travel to St. Cloud State or Nebraska Omaha, both of whom can mathematically still pass North Dakota in the final regular season weekend.
LOUIE, LOUIE: Freshman forward Anthony Louis has made blossomed over the second half of Miami’s season. After beginning his career with only seven points in his first 15 games, Louis has 12 points (4g, 8a) over his last 15 games. That total is third on the RedHawks in that span, trailing only Austin Czarnik (15 points) and Riley Barber (13). The Winfield, Ill., native matched a season high with three points on two goals and an assist against Minnesota Duluth on Feb. 28, the first multi-goal game of the freshman’s career.
CLIMBING THE RANKS: Austin Czarnik continues his ascent on Miami’s all-time scoring list. The junior captain is 33rd in school history with 116 career points.
Miami Career Points
1. Steve Morris (79-83), 202 points
2. Carter Camper (07-11), 183
28. Chris Bergeron (89-93), Derek Edwardson (00-04), Greg Hogeboom (00-04) & Matt Christie (03-07), 120
32. Tim Leahy (94-98), 118
33. Austin Czarnik (11-present), 117