#15 Miami at #17 St. Lawrence
This weekend, Miami (2-1-1) heads out for a long road trip (they bussed this weekend so Waddell’s rear end will be sore) to Canton, New York to take on the Saints, of course, of St. Lawrence University (3-1-0). These two teams are no strangers as Miami returns the favor from last season when the Saints visited Oxford. The two teams split a pair of one-goal games last year with the Saints winning 5-4 on Friday before Miami earned a hard fought 2-1 win in OT on Saturday night.
Last weekend, Miami swept duhOSU while the Saints split a pair of road games defeating New Hampshire 3-2 on Friday before falling to Merrimack 3-1 Saturday.
Last year the Saints snuck up on the teams in the ECAC. Predicted to finish 11th in the preseason poll, St. Lawrence defied expectations earning a 2nd place finish in the regular season standings. Sophomore goaltender Kyle Hayton was a big reason
for that as he single handedly carried the Saints, especially early in the season. Hayton set program records for in GAA (1.97), save percentage (.937) and shutouts (5) so obviously SLU is counting on him to maintain that form in 2015-16.
At ECAC media day, SLU head coach Greg Carvel noted how important his goaltender was last season, especially early.
“Expectations this year will be much different than last year,” Saints coach Greg Carvel said. “I think we were able to sneak up on some teams. That won’t be the case this year.”
Carvel added that he felt Hayton’s play helped cover up some of the mistakes made by SLU’s young team but he felt that changed as the season went along.
“I think if we play as a team the way we are capable of, scoring chances should be way down,” he said.
Top returning offensive threats for the Saints include MIke Marnell (11-6-17), Tommy Thompson (9-14-23) and Brian Ward (9-17-26) along with freshman Jacob Pritchard. So, it’s not exactly an offensive juggernaut but they will play tight defense and have some nice returning defensemen to assist in front of Hayton.
Miami continues to be paced by freshmen with Jack Roslovic earning NCHC Rookie of the Week honors, fantastic play from Josh Melnick and Zach LaValle, who earned his first career goal in the weekend sweep of OSU. Ryan McKay notched two
victories in net last weekend as he is making an early play to seize control of the Miami net as Jay Williams was unimpressive in his only start of the year, a 7-3 drubbing at the hands of Providence on opening night.
This is a LONG road trip for Miami, about 12 hours on the bus, and the first real roadie of the year. Miami will need to get production from its veterans this weekend to help the freshmen understand life on the road. I don’t feel great about the weekend, but I’ll pick a split in two tight 2-1 or 3-2 type games.