OXFORD, Ohio - A
youthful and energetic Miami University hockey team pulled away from Western
Ontario for a 6-2 victory in its lone exhibition game of the 2012-13 season
Sunday afternoon at Steve Cady Arena.
The 9th-ranked RedHawks controlled the pace of the game from
the early going, as first-period scores from sophomore Austin Czarnik and
freshman Kevin Morris helped put the hosts up 2-1.
"We have an explosive team similar to teams we've had in the
past," head coach Enrico Blasi said. "When we get some momentum, we can put
some good shifts together."
Freshman forward Riley Barber opened the scoring, as he found
Czarnik in front of the net on a wraparound pass from the goal line 4:28 into
the first period. Sophomore forward Jimmy Mullin also assisted on the play.
Less than two minutes later, the Mustangs knocked in a loose
puck past freshman goaltender Jay Williams to even the score, but the RedHawks
quickly regained the lead.
Junior Bryon Paulazzo corralled a missed shot by freshman
defender Taylor Richart and connected with Morris, who swooped in front of the
net for the score at the 8:30 mark.
Miami outshot Western Ontario 16-4 in the first period and
49-14 for the game.
The Mustangs evened the score early in the second period on
the power play on another rebound put-back in front of the net, but it was off
to the races for the RedHawks after that.
Miami scored three goals in two minutes, starting at the
11:34 mark, as Paulazzo was the open man on a 3-on-1 advantage. Freshman
forward Alex Gacek passed to Morris, who found Paulazzo streaking through the
Mullin put the RedHawks up two just 39 seconds later,
scoring on a fancy between-the-legs wrist shot on a breakaway opportunity.
Barber, who assisted on the play, found the sophomore racing up the right
Czarnik tacked on another goal, his second of the game, on
the power play at the 13:33 mark. The sophomore scored on a quick wrist shot
from the left circle. Barber and sophomore forward Alex Wideman both picked up
assists on the play, giving Barber three helpers for the game.
"The freshmen really clicked in the second," Czarnik said.
"They were just a little nervous in the beginning, which they are going to be.
They ended up working hard. (Kevin) Morris had a great game and so did Barber,
so it was a team effort. They really showed up today."
Miami finished 2-for-7 on the power play, while Western
Ontario was 1-for-5.
Sophomore Blake Coleman rounded out the scoring in the third
period, taking advantage of a 5-minute major and 10-minute misconduct penalty
for hitting from behind. The forward took a slick feed from Wideman and found
the back of the net from the right circle.
The game had its fair share of penalties as the contest
became more chippy and physical during the third period. Miami finished with
eight penalties for 16 minutes and Western Ontario had 12 for 51 minutes,
including two 10-minute misconducts.
Miami's Williams finished with six saves in just more than
30 minutes of action, before giving way to classmate Ryan McKay, who had six
saves with no goals allowed.
"I like our goaltending," Blasi said. "They've done a real
good job of getting themselves ready to play and their preparation over the
course of the summer and the last five weeks has been pretty good."
The RedHawks open the regular season Friday, Oct. 12 against
Colgate at Steve Cady Arena. Puck drop is 7:35 p.m.