No. 12/12 Miami RedHawks (8-6-2; 2-4-0-0 NCHC) vs. Denver Pioneers (7-5-2; 3-2-1-1 NCHC)
Radio: All Contests Are Streamed at MURedHawks.com
The Miami University RedHawks close out the regular season portion of their 2013 calendar year when they host NCHC foe Denver on Friday (7:35 p.m.) and Saturday (7:05 p.m.).
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. Friday’s game can be heard live on WKBV (1490-AM) and both WKBV and WMOH (1450-AM) will air Saturday’s contest. Additionally, Friday’s game is carried locally on Time Warner Cable (channels 311 and 1311 [HD]).
The RedHawks’ offense erupted for 10 goals in their two-game series at Bemidji State. Two-goal games by Alex Gacek and Blake Coleman staked Miami to a 4-1 lead through two periods on Friday night, but BSU rallied with three-unanswered goals in the third to force a 4-4 tie. Sean Kuraly and Max Cook also recorded multi-point nights, with each notching two assists. The next night, Austin Czarnik dished out a career-high five assists and became the 48th member of Miami’s 100-point club in a 6-3 victory. Freshman Devin Loe scored his first two collegiate goals with the first coming 11 seconds into the contest. Riley Barber (1g, 3a), Coleman (1g, 1a) and Alex Wideman (2g) also had multi-point nights to help MU snap a four-game winless streak (0-3-1).
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 319-202-55 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 was named Denver’s head coach on April 15, 2013 and has the Pioneers 7-5-2 in his first season. He spent the previous three years coaching the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL.
IN THE POLLS
Miami enters this weekend ranked 12th nationally in both major polls while Denver is not ranked in either the USCHO.com or the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
• Miami is coming off its third unbeaten weekend of the season, going 1-0-1 at Bemidji State.
• Ryan McKay is tied for the national lead with three shutouts this season.
• Blake Coleman has three goals in his last four games and is tied for the team lead with 10 goals (t-eighth nationally).
THE SERIES: This weekend’s conference series will be the second time the teams have met since the 2009 NCAA Tournament, a 4-2 Miami victory. The all-time series is tied 4-4, with two of the eight meetings coming in the NCAA Tournament. MU has won the last three meetings in the series.
ABOUT DENVER: After a slow 3-5 start, the Pioneers are 4-0-2 in their last six games. Denver boasts the fourth-best scoring defense (1.86 goals against per game) in the nation with goaltender Sam Brittain tying for the national lead with three shutouts while ranking fourth with a 1.66 goals against average and a .945 save percentage. DU averages 2.43 goals per game, the second lowest figure in the NCHC. Joey LaLeggia (6g, 6a) and Trevor Moore (5g, 7a) lead the Pioneers with 12 points apiece.
DYNAMIC DUO: Miami’s Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik continue to rack up points together. The duo has combined for 48 points this year (24 apiece), making them the highest scoring pair in the nation.
1. Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik (Miami) 48 points
Greg Carey and Matt Carey (St. Lawrence) 48 points
3. Johnny Gaudreau and Kevin Hayes (Boston College) 46 points
Sam Anas and Kellen Jones (Quinnipiac) 46 points
101 WAYS TO SCORE: Junior forward Austin Czarnik etched his name into the Miami record books with a career night on Nov. 30. Czarnik dished out a career-high five assists in the RedHawks’ 6-3 win, which made him the 48th player in school history to eclipse 100 career points. He sits at 101 points for his career, tied with Pat Neahy and Mitch Ganzak for 46th on the school’s all-time scoring list.
LET’S DO THAT AGAIN!: Four Miami players posted multi-goal games and the RedHawks totaled nine multi-point performances in their two-game set at Bemidji State last weekend. Alex Gacek and Blake Coleman tallied two goals apiece in Friday’s 4-4 tie while Devin Loe and Alex Wideman did the same in Saturday’s 6-3 victory. MU also got multi-point performances from Sean Kuraly and Max Cook (two assists each) on Friday night with Austin Czarnik (five assists), Riley Barber (1g, 3a) and Coleman (1g, 1a) doing so on Saturday.
THAT NEVER HAPPENS: A difficult third period on Friday night saw a 4-1 lead slip away from Miami in a 4-4 tie, something that has not been seen in over a decade. The RedHawks had won 142-straight games when taking a three-goal lead at any point, a streak that dates back to the 2003-04 season. The last time MU took a lead of at least three goals and did not win was on Nov. 1, 2003, when Bowling Green forced a 4-4 tie after Miami took a 4-0 lead. Since Enrico Blasi took over as head coach (1999-2000 season), the RedHawks are an amazing 181-0-2 when leading by at least three goals in a game.
COLEMAN’S COOKING: Junior Blake Coleman was very consistent at Bemidji State last weekend, notching four points with a pair of multi-point games. His three goals on the weekend gave him 10 on the year, tying Riley Barber for the team lead. It is also tied for the eighth most in the country.
HOW “LOE” CAN YOU GO: Freshman Devin Loe is getting used to providing a spark when inserted into the RedHawks’ lineup at Bemidji State on Nov. 30. Loe scored his first two collegiate goals, the first of which came a school-record 11 seconds into the game. The outing marked his second-multi point game of the year in just his third game. Loe has four points (2g, 2a) and is +5 in the three games he has played. On Oct. 19, Loe was inserted into MU’s lineup following its first loss of the season and the freshman responded with two assists in a 6-2 win over North Dakota.
FOUR SCORES: Four goals has been Miami’s good luck charm this season. The RedHawks are an unbeaten 5-0-2 in the seven contests that they have scored at least four times, but sit just 3-6 when they score less than that. That mark includes a 2-5 record when Miami scores less than three goals in a contest.