McKay, #8 Miami blank Colgate in Season Opener
Photo: Ryan McKay courtesy MURedHawks.com
Looking completely “as advertised,” Miami freshman netminder Ryan McKay made 24 saves and Blake Coleman added two goals as Miami shutout Colgate 3-0 at Steve Cady Arena on Friday night.
Wearing 90s throwbacks, and the number 35, McKay could have been confused for former Miami goaltender Mark Michaud for those old enough to remember, as he efficiently turned away each Raider chance. McKay comes to Miami with an incredible resume. Playing the last three seasons with Green Bay of the USHL, McKay backstopped the Gamblers to the Clark Cup title in 2011-12 as Green Bay notched a league record 98 points last season. During his time in along the shores of Lake Superior, McKay’s “worst” goals against average was 2.20 and “worst” save percentage was .909 as he was named the recipient of the Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year by USA Hockey and the USHL’s Co-Goaltender of the Year sharing the honor with the Fargo Force’s Zane Gothberg – now with North Dakota. McKay helped the Gamblers reach the Clark Cup finals each year he was on the team winning twice.
Sadly, my review is woefully incomplete because Miami’s new internet partner through IMG Sports’ partnership with Neulion was interweb inept.
The video feed was so terrible that it was unwatchable. For the entire first two periods the feed “skipped” and at that point, I would have settled for the past’s awful quality just to listen to Dave Allen and at least be able to see the action. Hockey is the most important sport on campus. Get it fixed and now because Mike Commodore, and others, pay real American dollars for this stuff.
As for the game, Miami’s many new faces will undoubtedly need time to gel, it’s expected the team will be led by the back end and McKay. But, the offense found a spark from sophomore Blake Coleman who opened the scoring at the 13:02 mark of the first period with assists from senior transfer Marc Hagel and sophomore Alex Wideman. Coleman’s goal was the only one tallied in the first period as Miami took a 1-0 lead into the locker room.
Miami added two goals in the second period as junior Bryon Paulazzo notched his first on an assist from sophomore Austin Czarnik and Coleman would add his second of the night, unassisted, with just 1:15 left in the second to effectively seal the deal.
Typically, Miami was whistled for a game-high nine penalties but killed all eight Colgate powerplay chances. The Raiders did lose freshman forward Mike Borkowski to a game misconduct for contact to the head in the second period but the RedHawks were unable to convert on the ensuing 5-minute major penalty. Miami was 0-for-4 with the man-advantage on the night.
McKay made 12 of his 24 saves in the third period as the Raiders pressed to get back into the game and had this to say about his performance, “I’ll take it any way I can get it, but definitely starting out with a shutout is a nice way to do it. I felt like as a team we played well enough to deserve a shutout tonight,” McKay said. “A lot of these guys I played with along the way when I played in the USHL with Green Bay. That definitely helps the transition part. Our coaching staff also prepared us well for the season.” source: MURedHawks.com
It was the first time in program history that Miami opened a season winning in shutout fashion. Not a bad start for the youngster from Palatine, Ill.
Tonight, the RedHawks look to improve to 2-0 and again host the Colgate Raiders at 7:05pm. Let’s hope Miami IMG and Neulion figure out the interwebs for the betterment of all mankind.
Rachel Lewis of Triple Deke Photography has a game photo gallery that can be found HERE.
McKay’s shutout was certainly the first ever for a Miami goaltender in an opener, but I need to do a little more research to determine if it’s the first time a goaltender has made his Miami debut and finished with a shutout.
Blake Coleman now has 14 goals in his first 40 games as a RedHawk.
Junior Bryon Paulazzo’s contribution to the evening is huge. If Miami can get scoring from the California native, that should ease some of the pressure off the sophomores and freshmen.
The RedHawks started nine new-to-the program players including senior transfer Marc Hagel, three freshman defensemen and a freshman goaltender. Wow.
Senior forward Curtis McKenzie was strangely absent from Friday’s lineup.