No. 3/3 Miami RedHawks (3-1-0; 1-1-0 NCHC) vs.
No. 8/8 Providence (3-0-0; 0-0-0 Hockey East)
Radio: All Contests Are Streamed at MURedHawks.com
The Miami University RedHawks, coming off a historical weekend, will travel to Providence, R.I. to square-off with the No. 8 Providence Friars on Oct. 25-26. Friday’s contest will start at 5:20 p.m., while Saturday’s game will begin at 7 p.m. Both games will be played at the Schneider Arena.
WAYS TO LISTEN/WATCH
Miami hockey can be heard live all weekend at MURedHawks.com or can be viewed for free at http://coxsportsonline.com/live-steaming
Miami opened National Collegiate Hockey Conference play this past weekend, earning a split with No. 6 North Dakota. In fact, last Friday’s game was the first in the history of the NCHC. In game one, the RedHawks dropped a 4-2 decision, despite out-shooting UND by a total of 37-25. The following night those shots got through, as they walked away with a 6-2 victory inside Steve Cady Arena.
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 314-197-53 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.
IN THE POLLS
Miami will enter this weekend ranked No. 3 in the USCHO.com poll, while Providence is ranked No. 8 in the same poll.
• Miami dropped to No. 3 in both national polls after a weekend split versus No. 6 North Dakota. The RedHawks were the No. 1 team in the land entering last week’s action.
• Riley Barber currently ranks tied for third in the country in scoring (5g, 3a). Four of his five goals this season came in a single contest, recording four goals on Saturday, Oct. 12 in a 6-3 win versus Ohio State. Barber is also tied for first in the country with two game-winning goals.
• Miami is third in the country in scoring (5.00/game). Through four games this season the RedHawks have scored at least six goals in three contests.
THE SERIES: Miami holds a slight 4-3-1 all-time series advantage over Providence in a series that began during the 1990-91 campaign. These two teams played last season in Oxford, Ohio with the RedHawks picking up a 4-3 win in game two after a 1-1 tie to open the weekend. The last time these two teams played in Rhode Island was a single contest on Oct. 20, 2000 in which the Friars won 5-0.
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.
1. Kevin Roy and Mike Szmatula (Northeastern) 17 points
2. Sam Warning and Hudson Fasching (Minnesota) 15 points
3. Kevin Sullivan and Michael Pontarelli (Union) 15 points
4. Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik (Miami 14 points
TRICKY, TRICKY: Through just four 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: The RedHawks have only dressed 22 different players (not counting goalies) this season and 17 of those players have already recorded a point. In fact 13 different players have recorded multiple points in 2013-14.
INSTANT IMPACT: Devin Loe, seeing action for the first time in his college career, recorded two assists in Miami’s 6-2 win over North Dakota last Saturday. The freshman sat out the first three games as a healthy scratch.
OUCH!: Last season Miami blocked 630 shots compared to 609 for its opponents. Through four games this season Miami holds a 66-45 advantage in the blocked shot category. Leading the team in blocks this season are Taylor Richart (7), Chris Joyaux (7), Matthew Caito (5) and Max Cook (5).
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 both Friday games and has a 1-1-0 record with a 3.05 goals against average and a .887 save percentage, while Ryan McKay has started both Saturday games and has a 2-0-0 record with a 2.50 GAA and a .935 save percentage.
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.