Miami Hockey Postgame Notes
Miami vs. Minnesota State
NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinals
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Toledo, Ohio – Huntington Center
With Miami’s 4-0 win over Minnesota State Saturday in the Midwest Regional Semifinal, the RedHawks earned their fifth NCAA regional final appearance in program history, last doing so in 2010 when the RedHawks won the Midwest Regional to advance to the Frozen Four. The victory was Miami’s first NCAA Tournament win since beating Michigan in double overtime in the Midwest Regional Final on March 28, 2010.
The RedHawks improved to 8-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with the win while making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. It was Miami’s eighth straight NCAA Tournament berth, which is the second-longest active streak in the country behind North Dakota (11). The RedHawks are now 8-8 in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Enrico Blasi.
Miami earned its first NCAA Tournament win as a No. 2 seed Saturday, improving to 1-2 all-time as a No. 2 seed in the tournament, also earning a No. 2 seed in 2006 and last year, when the RedHawks dropped an overtime contest to UMass Lowell. Miami also improved to 3-0 all-time in the Midwest Regional, winning both games in 2010, and 4-2 all-time against current WCHA teams in the NCAA Tournament, winning each of the last four meetings. Saturday was Miami’s first NCAA Tournament game against Minnesota State however, as the ‘Hawks are now 2-0-1 all-time against the Mavericks in program history.
The RedHawks’ four goals Saturday tied for the most goals Miami has scored in an NCAA Tournament game in program history. Miami also scored four goals March 29, 2009 in a 4-2 win over Denver and April 9, 2009 in a 4-1 victory over Bemidji State in the Frozen Four. The four-goal victory was Miami’s largest margin of victory in NCAA Tournament history.
By blanking Minnesota State, Miami earned its first shutout in NCAA Tournament history. It was the first time the Mavericks, who entered averaging 3.17 goals per game, had been shut out all season. The last time MSU was held scoreless prior to Saturday was March 3, 2012 vs. North Dakota.
The shutout was the RedHawks’ sixth shutout of the season, last doing so Feb. 9 at Western Michigan. Miami ranks second nationally allowing just 1.68 goals per game. The ‘Hawks have now held the opposition to two goals or less in 32 of 41 games this year, including 29 of their last 34 contests, and one goal or less in 21 of 41 games on the season.
Freshman goaltender Ryan McKay stopped all 20 shots he faced to earn his fourth shutout as a RedHawk. The four whitewashes tie for sixth nationally and first in the CCHA. McKay’s 1.30 goals-against average is tops in the nation while his .950 save percentage is second nationally. He started his eighth straight game Saturday and has now held opponents to a goal or less in 15 of his 22 starts this season.
By scoring four goals Saturday, Miami improved 20-0-1 when scoring three or more goals this year and 15-0-0 when topping the four-goal plateau.
Senior forward Curtis McKenzie scored the first goal of the game in the second period. The RedHawks improved to 21-2-1 when scoring first this year, having done so in 24 of 41 games this season. Miami also bounced back from a loss to move to 8-1-2 on the season following a defeat.
McKenzie now has goals in back-to-back games for the second time this year after scoring against Michigan March 23, as well. It was his second career NCAA Tournament goal but first since his freshman year, which also came in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Fort Wayne. He now has six career points in the NCAA Tournament, the most among any active RedHawk. It was his 11th goal on the year, which ties for third on the team, while his 24 points are also third on the squad. His goal was also the game-winner, his team-best fifth of the season, which ties for eighth nationally.
Sophomore forward Austin Czarnik dished out two assists Saturday. He is now riding a season-long four-game point streak and has seven points during that stretch (three multi-point games). The Hobey Baker finalist has a team-best seven points this postseason (3g, 4a). Czarnik’s 40 points on the year lead both the team and the CCHA while his 26 assists are tops on the team and tie for the CCHA lead. It was his ninth multi-assist game of the year and team-leading 13th multi-point game of the year.
Freshman forward Riley Barber assisted on Miami’s first goal of the game Saturday. He now has 39 points on the year, which is second on the team and in the CCHA. He leads all freshmen nationally with his 24 assists and 39 points this season.
Sophomore forward Blake Coleman also handed out two assists, which tied his career high. It was his first multi-assist game of the season and second of his career, also dishing out two helpers Jan. 28, 2012 vs. Northern Michigan. It was his fifth multi-point game of the season and 10th of his career with the two points tying his season high.
Sophomore forward Cody Murphy scored a goal and added an assist for a two-point night. It was his fifth multi-point game this year and sixth of his career. He now has 11 goals on the season, which ties for third on the team, while his 20 points are fifth on the team.
Junior forward Max Cook also tallied a goal and an assist with the goal coming in an empty net. The two points are a career high, marking his first career multi-point game.
Miami’s sophomores accounted for one goal and six of the RedHawks’ 11 points Saturday. The six second years have now totaled 44 of Miami’s 105 goals this season (41.9 percent) and 105 of the team’s 281 points on the year (37.4 percent). A sophomore has scored a goal in 25 of Miami’s 41 games this season.
Miami scored three goals in the third period Saturday tying for the most goals in a period this season. It was the sixth time this year the RedHawks tallied three goals in a stanza with five of those coming in the final frame.
After allowing a power play goal in each of Miami’s last three games, the RedHawks went a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill Saturday, denying Minnesota State on each of its power play chances. The Mavericks entered the game with an NCAA-best 44 power play goals this season. Miami’s 167 kills (in 189 chances) are the most in the country while the ‘Hawks rank sixth nationally with an 88.4 percent penalty kill.
The RedHawks blocked 28 shots Saturday, the second-most Miami has blocked all season. The ‘Hawks blocked 31 shots Oct. 20 vs. Providence. Freshman defenseman Matthew Caito and senior defenseman Garrett Kennedy led the way with five blocks each. Caito leads the team with 77 blocked shots this year while Kennedy is third with 67.
The RedHawks improved to 23-0-0 when leading after two periods this year as the RedHawks led MSU, 1-0, after 40 minutes Saturday.
Miami and Minnesota State played a scoreless first period. It was the 11th time this year that neither the RedHawks nor its opponent found the back of the net in the opening stanza. Miami is now 4-6-1 when the game is knotted at 0-0 after one period this season. It was the 19th time the ‘Hawks did not score in the opening 20 minutes but Miami improved to 7-10-2 when failing to do so. The RedHawks are also now 8-7-1 this year when tied after one period.
Senior defenseman Joe Hartman and senior forward Curtis McKenzie each played in their 157th career game Saturday, tying for the most on the team. They are now tied for eighth in school history in games played with Justin Mercier (2005-09).
Freshman forward John Doherty played in just his fourth game as a RedHawk Saturday. It was his first game since Dec. 29 against Robert Morris.
Miami will face No. 4 seed St. Cloud State in Sunday’s Midwest Regional Final. The Huskies beat fellow CCHA foe Notre Dame, 5-1, in Saturday’s first regional semifinal, making Miami the last CCHA team standing. Sunday’s game, which is set for 4 p.m., is a battle of regular-season champions as Miami won the CCHA and St. Cloud State won the WCHA. The two will play in the same conference next year when the National Collegiate Hockey Conference debuts.