Miami Hockey Postgame Notes
Miami vs. Michigan State
Sunday, March 17, 2013 - CCHA Quarterfinals
Steve Cady Arena - Oxford, Ohio
- Miami defeated Michigan State, 4-1, Sunday night in the deciding Game 3 of the CCHA Quarterfinals, sending the RedHawks onto the CCHA Semifinals next Saturday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The elimination game on Sunday night was the fifth time in program history that Miami has needed all three games in a CCHA Playoff series. The win improved the RedHawks' record to 3-2 all-time in Game 3 of a best-of-three playoff series.
- Miami advances to the CCHA Semifinal Round for the fourth consecutive year, making this year's seniors the first ever class to play at Joe Louis Arena during all four of their collegiate seasons. The win Sunday night improved Miami's all-time CCHA Tournament record to 35-37, including 4-10 against Michigan State. Miami is also now 25-12 all-time at home in the CCHA Playoffs and 10-5 as a No. 1 seed while the RedHawks have made it to the CCHA Semifinals all four times they have been a No. 1 seed.
- Freshman goaltender Ryan McKay, who started all three games in the series, has now started a career-high five consecutive games and has gotten the nod in goal for eight of Miami's last nine games. McKay leads the country with a 1.20 goals-against-average and a .954 save percentage. After allowing just one goal both Saturday and Sunday, he has limited the opposition to one goal or less in 14 of his 20 starts this season.
- Miami's defense continued to be strong, allowing just one goal for the second straight night. The RedHawks have limited the opposition to two goals or less in 28 of their last 32 games and one goal or less in 20 of 39 games on the year (51.3 percent of its games). Miami ranks second nationally giving up just 1.62 goals per game.
- Freshman forward Kevin Morris started things off for the RedHawks Sunday night with a short-handed goal 4:57 into the first period. Morris' last goal before Sunday night came in the RedHawks only other Sunday game of the season, when Morris scored Miami's lone goal in the Hockey City Classic played outdoors at Soldier Field in Chicago. Morris now ranks third among RedHawk freshmen with 12 points on the season (7 goals and 5 assists).
- Morris' first-frame goal was the RedHawks' second short-handed goal in two nights and Morris' first career shorty. Miami ranks second nationally with eight short-handed goals this year, trailing Robert Morris, who leads the NCAA with nine.
- Miami added another goal when freshman forward Sean Kuraly scored with 2:07 remaining in the first period. The goal was Kuraly's first since Dec. 7 against Lake Superior State. Kuraly added another goal in the third period on the power play, thus tallying his first ever multi-goal game and matching his previous career high of two points in a single game (Jan. 26 vs. BGSU). Of his five goals this year, three have come on the man advantage.
- Keeping in stride with the theme of the season, the Miami underclassmen paved the way for the RedHawks. The first three goals Sunday night came from freshmen while sophomore forward Austin Czarnik netted the empty-netter to seal the win. RedHawk freshmen and sophomores accounted for six of the team's nine points (66.6 percent) Sunday night and 15-of-19 (78.9 percent) during the series. The underclassmen account for 193 of the RedHawks' 265 points (72.8 percent) on the season.
- Miami converted one of its five power plays and went 6-of-7 on the penalty kill Sunday, with five of those Miami kills coming in the second period. Miami killed one of its 5-on-3 opportunities, while the Spartans netted their only goal of the game on the other 5-on-3 situation. Miami's penalty kill unit ranks sixth among all NCAA teams, having converted 157 of 178 penalty kill opportunities (88.2 percent).
- Senior defenseman Steven Spinell added assists on both of Kuraly's goals. Spinell now has 12 points (1 goal and 11assists) this year, tying his career-high single-season point total, when he also tallied 12 points off one goal and 11 assists during the 2011-12 campaign. The two points tied Spinell's career high, his fifth career multi-assist and multi-point game, including second this season.
- Sophomore forward Cody Murphy tallied an assist on Kuraly's second goal, bringing his series point total to three. It's just the second time Murphy has notched a trio of points in two nights, the only other time coming on Oct. 13 when he tallied three points in a single game against Colgate.
- Sophomore forward Austin Czarnik sealed the victory with an empty-net strike with 24 seconds remaining in the game, his third goal in the last two games. This is the third time this season that Czarnik has three goals during a two-game span. Czarnik is second on the team with 14 goals and 36 points while he now has four empty-net goals this season.
- The RedHawks improved to 19-0-1 when scoring three or more goals this year and 14-0-0 when topping the four-goal mark. Miami is now 14-0-1 when leading after the first period and 22-0-0 when leading after the second frame this year as the RedHawks led at each intermission Sunday.
- Miami finished the home portion of its schedule with Sunday's game, finishing the year 14-3-3 at Steve Cady Arena while outscoring its competition, 57-30, in Oxford this season.
- For the first time all series, Miami scored first on Sunday on Morris' goal, as the RedHawks have scored first in 23 of 39 games this season and are now 20-2-1 when doing so.
- Miami faces off against seventh-seeded Michigan in the CCHA Semifinals at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Semifinal game times are 1:05 p.m. and 4:35 p.m. on Saturday with the winners advancing to the championship game at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday. No. 2 seed Notre Dame plays No. 4 seed Ohio State in the other semifinal.