THE GAME
No. 4/4 Miami  (2-0-0) continues its season-opening four-game homestand hosting Providence (1-1-0, 0-1-0 Hockey East) Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19-20 in a two-game non-conference series at Steve Cady Arena. Friday's contest begins at 7:35 p.m. while Saturday's game starts at 7:05 p.m.

The RedHawks opened the season with a sweep of Colgate Oct. 12-13, topping the Raiders 3-0 in the first game of the year before downing Colgate, 5-1, the next night. Sophomore forward Blake Coleman led the offense with a four-point weekend, scoring two goals in the opener while tallying a goal and an assist Saturday. Junior forward Bryon Paulazzo had a goal in each game as well while sophomore forward Cody Murphy dished out three assists in Saturday's victory, when Miami scored five unanswered goals after giving up its only goal of the year. A pair freshmen goaltenders earned their first collegiate wins with Ryan McKay pitching a shutout in his first start Friday while Jay Williams picked up the win in net Saturday. McKay led Miami to its first season-opening shutout in program history while a total of nine freshmen saw their first action.

The Friars opened their season with an 8-2 victory over Sacred Heart last Friday at home, blowing the game open with a four-goal second period. Sophomore Stefan Demopoulos and freshman Mark Jankowski each tallied two goals in the win. The next night, Providence fell in its Hockey East opener at Boston University, 4-2, as BU scored three goals in the final 24 minutes to erase a 2-1 Friars lead. Providence has a total of 12 freshmen on the team this year, including goalie Jon Gillies, who has a 1.80 GAA and .936 save percentage in two starts.

THE SERIES
Miami is 3-3-0 all-time against the Friars, including a 6-2 victory over Providence on neutral ice in Denver last year. The RedHawks are 1-2-0 against Providence in Oxford, with the teams last splitting a series in Oxford in 1999-2000. Head coach Enrico Blasi is 2-2 against the Friars.

THE COACHES

Enrico Blasi (Miami '94) is in his 14th season at Miami. He is a four-time CCHA Coach of the Year and was named National Coach of the Year in 2005-06. He stands 288-184-48 in 14 seasons at his alma mater, where he has led Miami to eight NCAA Tournaments, including two Frozen Four berths, a National Championship game appearance, a pair of CCHA regular-season titles and the school's first ever Mason Cup in 2011. Blasi is the the winningest coach in school history.

Nate Leaman (SUNY Cortland '97) is in his second season at Providence after an eight-year stint at Union College, where he compiled a record of 138-127-35. In his first year at Providence, he led the Friars to a 14-20-4 record and a berth in the Hockey East semifinals. While at Union, he led them to their first NCAA Tournament in school history in 2010-11 and the ECAC regular-season title. He also won National Coach of the Year in 2010-11 and is a two-time ECAC Coach of the Year.

QUICK HITS
  • Sophomore forward Blake Coleman earned his first career CCHA Offensive Player of the Week award after a four-point series against Colgate. He totaled three goals and recorded an assist as he notched back-to-back multi-point games for the first time in his career. He is tied for first in the country in goals (1.50 gpg) and third in the NCAA in points (2.00 ppg).
  • Miami leads the country defensively, allowing just 0.50 goals per game after giving up only one goal to Colgate. The RedHawks are also tied for tops in the NCAA on the penalty kill after going 13-for-13 against the Raiders. The 13 kills are second-most in the country.
  • Freshman goaltender Ryan McKay is one of just two goalies in the country to have not given up a goal this season as his 0.00 GAA ties for first in the NCAA. He became the first Miami goalie in program history to record a whitewash in his first start last Friday.
  • Miami's sophomore class accounted for four of Miami's eight goals and 12 of the squad's 21 points (57.1 percent) on opening weekend against Colgate.

UP NEXT
Miami hits the road for the first time in 2012-13 as the RedHawks begin their 32nd and final season in the CCHA with a two-game series at No. 5/6 Michigan Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27. Both games start at 7:35 p.m. at Yost Ice Arena.

MEDIA COVERAGE
Both games this weekend will be streamed live on MURedHawks.com in HD through the Miami All-Access subscription package with Dave Allen calling the play-by-play. The games will not be televised but both contests will air on radio on WKBV-AM 1490 out of Richmond, Ind. with the Voice of Miami Hockey, Greg Waddell, calling the action. Saturday's game will also be on WMOH-AM 1450 out of Hamilton, Ohio.

NEW IN NET, NOT A PROBLEM: Miami used both of its freshmen goaltenders on opening weekend against Colgate and both had strong performances.

  • Ryan McKay got the nod on opening night and pitched a 24-save shutout, becoming the first Miami goalie to record a whitewash in his first career game.
  • The shutout was Miami's first season-opening shutout in program history.
  • McKay is one of just two goalies nationally to have not allowed a goal this year as his 0.00 GAA is tied for tops in the country. He is one of only five goalies to have recorded a shutout so far this year.
  • Jay Williams started Oct. 13 and earned his first career win, giving up just one goal while making 20 saves.

The freshmen duo is the first freshmen goalies to play since Connor Knapp and Cody Reichard did so as freshmen in 2008-09. Williams and McKay have big shoes to fill as Knapp and Reichard shared the starting goaltender position all four years and both finished in Miami's career top four in goals-against average, save percentage, wins and shutouts with Knapp setting the career GAA and shutouts records.

DOMINANT DEFENSE: Although the RedHawks are tied for ninth nationally on offense, the defense was the story against Colgate Oct. 12-13, allowing just one goal all weekend. Miami leads the NCAA by itself, allowing just 0.50 goals per game, which helped the RedHawks record their first season-opening sweep since 2009-10. Miami's penalty kill was a big reason for the defense's success, going a perfect 13-for-13 on the PK against Colgate, including 8-for-8 in the season opener Oct. 12. Miami's 100 percent penalty kill ties for first nationally while the 13 kills are second in the country.

BLAKE MAKES IT AND TAKES IT: Sophomore forward Blake Coleman captured his first career CCHA Offensive Player of the Week honor Oct. 15 after a three-goal, four-point weekend against Colgate Oct. 12-13.

  • Coleman tied a career high with two goals Oct. 12, his third-career multi-goal game.
  • He then added a goal and an assist the next night giving him back-to-back multi-point games for the first time in his career. He now has seven multi-point games as a RedHawk.
  • Although early in the year, Coleman is tied for first in the country in goals (1.50 gpg) and third in the NCAA in points (2.00 ppg).
  • He is Miami's leading returning goal scorer after scoring 12 goals last year.

FRESH FACES: Of the 11 freshmen on Miami's 2012-13 roster, nine of them saw their first collegiate action Oct. 12-13 against Colgate (forwards Riley Barber, Alex Gacek, Sean Kuraly and Kevin Morris and defensemen Matthew Caito, Chris Joyaux and Taylor Richart). Goaltenders Ryan McKay and Jay Williams both started once as well and each earned their first win. Four newcomers also notched their first collegiate point:

  • Morris scored his first point on a goal Oct. 13 vs. Colgate in the second period, which turned out to be the game-winner.
  • Barber also scored a goal Oct. 13 vs. Colgate on the power play in the third period for his first point.
  • Joyaux had an assist on Miami's final goal Oct. 13 for his first career point.
  • Senior Marc Hagel, a transfer from Princeton, notched his first point as a RedHawk with an assist on Miami's first goal of the season Oct. 12 vs. Colgate.

SUPER SOPHOMORES: Miami's sophomore class has picked up where they left off as freshmen, as the six second years accounted for four of Miami's eight goals and 12 of the squad's 21 points (57.1 percent) on opening weekend against Colgate Oct. 12-13. Blake Coleman has three goals and four points on the year, Alex Wideman has a goal and three points and Cody Murphy tallied a career-high three assists Oct. 13 while Austin Czarnik and Jimmy Mullin each have an assist. Last year as freshmen they scored 40.2 percent of the team's goals (49 of 122) while at least one freshman scored a goal in 27 of Miami's 41 games in 2011-12. Last year's newcomers also accounted for 122 of Miami's 323 points, or 37.8 percent. The entire class returns except for forward Tyler Biggs, who had nine goals and 17 points before deciding to turn pro. The seven returners on the team who aren't sophomores combined for just 15 goals and 52 points in 2011-12.

POLLING AROUND: The RedHawks moved up four spots to fourth in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and the USCHO.com Poll for week two after ranking eighth last week. The RedHawks started the year No. 9 in both the USCHO and USA Today Preseason Polls. The No. 4 ranking is Miami's highest since being No. 4 the second week of the season last year (Oct. 10, 2011). The complete national polls can be found on page 4.

CZARNIK EARNS PRESEASON HONOR: After a stellar freshman campaign, sophomore forward Austin Czarnik was named to the Preseason All-CCHA Second Team. He was a CCHA All-Rookie Team member last year when he led all CCHA freshmen with 37 points, which was second on the team, while his 27 assists were first for Miami. Czarnik is the second-leading returning scorer in the CCHA behind Notre Dame's T.J. Tynan, who had 41 points a year ago. He was also named among USCHO.com's 10 forwards to watch in 2012-13.

CLASSY SENIORS: Miami's senior class has compiled 78 career wins, which already ranks ninth in program history. The class has been a part of a Frozen Four team as freshmen when they also won a CCHA regular-season title and helped the RedHawks win their first ever Mason Cup (CCHA Tournament title) as sophomores. The class of Joe Hartman, Garrett Kennedy, Steve Mason, Curtis McKenzie and Steven Spinell has been to the NCAA Tournament all three years, as well.
Winningest Classes in Program History
1. 2009-10    109
2. 2010-11    108
3. 2008-09    106
4. 2011-12    99
5. 1997-08    98
6. 2006-07    88
    2005-06    88
8. 1994-95    84
9. 2012-13    78

CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN: Senior defenseman Steven Spinell was named Miami’s captain on Sept. 13. He is the only RedHawk to wear a letter this year after Miami lost all three of its tri-captains (Alden Hirschfeld, Reilly Smith and Will Weber) from last season. Spinell was one of just three RedHawks to play in all 41 games last year and has played in 111 games in his career, which is third among active RedHawks. He blocked a team-high 70 shots last year while totaling a career-high 12 points, including 11 assists.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON:
Miami’s lone freshman from Ohio is Sean Kuraly, the son of Rick Kuraly, who is Miami’s all-time leading goal scorer with 101 goals from 1979-83 and ranks third in career points (179). Sean is the first son of a former Miami player to suit up for the RedHawks. The younger Kuraly was taken in the fifth round (133rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks and promises to be a key contributor on offense for the Red and White this season.

--MURedHawks.com--