Miami facing rejuvenated WMU
Miami has lost its last three games, all on the road, including its last two at St. Cloud State in its NCHC opening series.
The RedHawks scored just one goal at SCSU.
Miami (3-4-1) is back home this weekend and will face a Western Michigan team it eliminated from the NCHC Tournament last season in a best-of-3 series at Cady Arena.
The Broncos (4-2-1) swept Omaha to open NCHC play last weekend and has not suffered a similar offensive impotence, scoring 10 goals in the weekend series.
WMU’s top points producer to this point is Colt Conrad, a freshman who has a goal and six assists in six games.
Griffen Molino and Sheldon Dries have posted six points each, both having two goals and four helpers. Molino is also a freshman.
Kyle Novak is having a breakout season, going 3-2-5 after tallying just 10 points in 2014-15. Nolan LaPorte is another offensive threat for WMU, with four points in five games and 57 for his career.
The Broncos have a very young defense corps, with two freshmen, three sophomores and no seniors.
Both Western Michigan goalies have been solid, with Lukas Hafner notching a .932 save percentage and a 2.21 goals-against average, and Collin Olsen going .926 and 2.34.
WMU’s special teams have been outstanding, as the team is 24.1 percent on the power play, 14th in NCAA, and the Broncos’ penalty killing is 86.5 percent.
And Western Michigan has had a lot of practice on the PK, as the team is averaging over 12 penalty minutes per game.
WMU finished seventh in the eight-team NCHC last season, but it looks like it has a solid freshman class and should be a lot more competitive in conference play.
While the Broncos have had success early this season, they have yet to prove themselves on the road. While they are 4-0 at home, they have an 0-2-1 record outside of Kalamazoo.