WHO: Colgate Raiders (2-1) at Miami RedHawks (4-2).
WHEN: Friday – 7:35 p.m.; Saturday – 5 p.m.
WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Miami leads, 4-2.
COLGATE RADIO: Both nights – WKXZ-FM (93.9), Hamilton, N.Y.
NOTES: After this weekend, Miami will have faced off against two of the most tenured coaches in Division I.
Don Vaughn is in his 26th season at Colgate’s helm, and last season he became the 24th coach in NCAA hockey history to win 400 games.
Rick Gotkin is in season 31 behind the bench for Mercyhurst.
Colgate’s apex in recent history was the middle part of this decade, when the Raiders ran off 20-plus wins in 2013-14 and 2014-15, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 2014.
But each of past three seasons, Colgate has failed to finish above .500 or advance past the quarterfinal round of the ECAC Tournament.
The Raiders won their first two games of 2018-19 – home victories over New Hampshire – by identical 2-1 scores.
Colgate struggled in its lone road contest vs. RIT last weekend, falling 6-1.
Forwards Bobby McMann, Tyler Jeanson and Adam Dauda all have a goal and an assist to tie for the team lead at two points. McMann and Dauda were 1-2 in scoring for the Raiders last season with 30 and 19 points, respectively.
Jared Cockrell and Tyler Penner have both found the net for Colgate among the forward corps.
The Raiders are hoping for more output from this group, as the team has scored just five times or 1.67 goals per contest, and the defensemen have contributed just three points, all on assists.
Defenseman Jacob Panetta has a pair of assists and Trevor Cosgrove has picked up one helper. Cosgrove finished with five goals and 12 assists in 2017-18.
Nick Austin led Colgate in defenseman points with 18 last season but he has not played in any of the first three games.
Goalie Mitch Benson has started all three games for the Raiders, but he was pulled after allowing five goals on 19 shots last week vs. RIT.
Despite being pulled after two periods in that outing, he is 2-1 with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.
All three Colgate netminders are freshmen.
Andrew Farrier stopped turned aside six shots and allowed one goal in relief of Benson last weekend in his collegiate debut. Will Friend is the third goalie for the Raiders.
The RedHawks have struggled offensively as well, as they have scored just five times in their last four games.
Miami is ranked No. 46 on the power play at 9.7 percent but sixth on the penalty kill (90.5 percent).
These teams last met at Cady Arena in 2012, a series in which the RedHawks outscored Colgate, 8-1 in a weekend sweep.
OXFORD, Ohio – Miami saw its scoreless streak reach 120 minutes after two periods on Saturday.
But the RedHawks finally broke through early in the third period, completely swinging the momentum their way as they eventually won, 2-1 over UMass-Lowell at Cady Arena.
Ben Lown scored the tying goal 1:05 into the final stanza of the weekend after Miami (4-2) had been shut out the first five periods.
Derek Daschke found the net for the game winner less than eight minutes later and the RedHawks survived a late Riverhawks surge.
RECAP: Both teams managed just five shots in a scoreless first period.
UMass-Lowell (2-2) finally broke through with 5:49 left in the middle frame when a Miami pass hit a teammate’s skate and was intercepted by Connor Wilson, who skated in and fired one past RedHawks goalie Ryan Larkin from the high slot.
Miami tied it when Ben Lown roofed a backhander after Karch Bachman surged into the zone and handcuffed goalie with a point-blank wrister 65 seconds into the third period.
On a 4-on-3, Daschke’s initial shot was blocked, but he corralled his own rebound and swept it just inside the far post with 11:02 remaining.
Ryan Larkin shut down a wide-open, point-blank chance by diving across his crease, and another high-quality chance hit the post down the stretch as Miami preserved the win.
STATS: Daschke is the first RedHawks defenseman to record his second goal this season, and Lown snapped an 11-goal skid without a marker.
Bachman remains tops on the team in points with five as he earned one in this game with an assist.
Larkin has allowed just four goals in four starts this season as he lowered his goals-against average to 1.00 and raised his save percentage to .956.
Miami snapped an 0-for-20 power play slump with Daschke’s game winner in the third period. The RedHawks scored on their last chance in their season opener vs. UAH and had not tallied a PPG since.
Also on special teams, this was the fourth time Miami did not allow a power play goal as its penalty killing rate improved to 90.5 percent. The RedHawks were 4-for-4 on Saturday.
THOUGHTS: It’s amazing that coaches and players can put in thousands of hours of recruiting, game planning, practices and workouts in preparation for games and yet Miami was pretty much flat all weekend until that tying goal.
Then, somehow, it clicked for the RedHawks and they were a completely different team.
They played with tons of energy and controlled play, ultimately leading to UML goalie Tyler Wall tripped Josh Melnick on a 4-on-4, setting up a Miami power play and Daschke’s decisive goal.
Then the RedHawks were really tested: A quality Hockey East team trailing by one threw all it had at Miami in an attempt to tie it.
Running out the clock was facilitated by a pair of undisciplined Riverhawks penalties in the final minutes.
MU didn’t play perfect hockey during UML’s surge but was good enough to survive its first close game of the season. And that experience is invaluable as the RedHawks – with 11 new members – form a cohesive unit.
No disrespect intended to Alabama-Huntsville or Mercyhurst, but Miami went 3-0 against those teams and should’ve gone 3-0 against those teams.
On multiple levels, this was the first quality win of the season for the RedHawks. Hopefully many more will follow.
– Miami kept its head during some rather chippy moments. If UML’s goal was to bait the RedHawks into penalties, it backfired because the Riverhawks spent most of the final five minutes in the box as they tried to tie the score.
– Bachman gave an example of what speed can bring to the game when he surged through the UML defense and fired a shot that resulted in Lown’s rebound goal. Brayden Crowder deserves credit for his outlet pass on that play as well.
– On that note, the Bachman-Lown-Casey Gilling line played well together. Like the chemistry of those three with their collective skills.
FORWARDS – C. Didn’t do a whole lot the first two periods and obviously this corps was much better in the third. Lown scored at a tough angle and Bachman made it happen with his speed. Melnick stood out and was 16-6 on faceoffs.
DEFENSEMEN – B. Again, this corps kept the Grade-A chances by opponents below that of the past couple of seasons. Daschke scored the winning goal and Grant Hutton picked up an assist on it.
GOALTENDING – B+. Larkin probably conceded a little more ground on the stick side than he should have on the UML goal, but it was an absolute snipe so it might not have mattered. He juggled a very easy chance in the first period but for the most part was extremely solid all night.
LINEUP CHANGES: After Jordan Uhelski started in net on Friday, it was Larkin between the pipes in this one. Larkin has now played in four games, Uhelski two.
Defenseman Grant Frederic dressed for the first time and was slotted in that “flex” spot, so every skater on the Miami roster has now played in at least one game. Forward Zach LaValle was also back on the ice.
Out were Fs Christian Mohs and Carter Johnson.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Can’t emphasize how big this split is.
As it stood through two periods, Miami was looking at a 3-3 record having played zero true road games with an 0-3 record against teams in the top 70 percentile of the NCAA if that score held.
This win showed Miami can not only play with good teams but can beat them.
A similar mid-range team in Colgate heads to Oxford next weekend, giving the RedHawks another chance to step forward.
OXFORD, Ohio – Through four games, Miami had been on either the giving or receiving end of a shutout three times.
On Friday, the RedHawks made that 4-for-5, and unfortunately for them they came out on the losing end, 3-0 vs. UMass-Lowell at Cady Arena.
Miami has held two opponents off the scoresheet and has been blanked twice this season. All of its 2018-19 contests have been decided by at least three goals.
RECAP: UMass-Lowell could not score on a 28-second 5-on-3, but after Miami returned one to the ice, Sam Knoblauch slipped a shot through the five hole of RedHawks goalie Jordan Uhelski with 2:20 left in the first period.
The Riverhawks extended their lead to two when Connor Wilson backhanded a shot just inside the far post on a 3-on-1 with 5:05 remaining in the middle stanza.
UMass-Lowell capped off the scoring when Connor Sodergren stole the puck from Uhelski behind the Miami net and fed Kenny Hausinger for a shorthanded tap-in.
STATS: Despite the lopsided loss, the RedHawks outshot UML, 36-22.
Special teams were a killer for Miami, which was 0-for-5 on the power play and allowed a shorthanded goal. UMass-Lowell also scored once on three chances with the man-advantage.
THOUGHTS: No offense to Alabama-Huntsville and Mercyhurst, but the RedHawks are better than those teams and won all three games against them, as they should have.
Providence is a top-5 team and Miami fell short.
This was an opponent that would be a true litmus test for Miami, a mid-level Hockey East school, and this series is in Oxford.
At least in the opener, Miami fell well short of expectations. The RedHawks’ passing was sub-standard and communication seemed poor at times as passes were thrown to no one in particular or sometimes right at Riverhawks skaters.
And despite outshooting UML by a wide margin, many of those shots were from the outside with no traffic in front, making for easy saves. To be fair to Wall, he made several outstanding saves and was deserving of first-star status.
It was kind of mind-boggling that with the power play struggling, the RedHawks went with a stay-at-home defenseman in Bray Crowder at the point in their first chance, although Miami is obviously still experimenting with combinations and seeing what works and what doesn’t. And right now the man-advantage clearly doesn’t.
FORWARDS – D-. Pass completion percentage among this corps was poor and the top players didn’t impress, although Josh Melnick did steal a puck and draw a penalty and Ben Lown skated with a lot of energy. Another positive is Monte Graham’s faceoff ability. He was 9-1 and is extremely innovative in earning draw wins.
DEFENSEMEN – B-. Grant Hutton was so-so and Rourke Russell lost the puck after pinching, which resulted in a 3-on-1 and the second UML goal. Other than that no one really stood out positively or negatively.
GOALTENDING – D. The first goal was on a nice power play shot through the five hole. The second was on a backhander to the far post. Uhelski probably should’ve come up with one of those two. He lost the puck behind his own net for an easy tap-in, which squarely falls on him. Uhelski made a couple of solid saves, flashing a quick pad to deny a shot in the first period and covering the post to prevent a goal.
LINEUP CHANGES: The biggest one was Uhelski is net for Larkin after Larkin had shut out Mercyhurst last Saturday, playing his best game in some time. Larkin did warm up and did not appear to be suffering from any injury. One of Uhelski’s roles is to push Larkin, so perhaps that’s why he got the start.
Carter Johnson returned after taking a devastating head shot in the season opener and was the extra skater.
On defense, River Rymsha was back on the ice after sitting vs. Mercyhurst. Andrew Sinard and Chaz Switzer were both a scratches.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s still a process of course, but at some point it will become a concern if Miami can’t score against mid- and high-level opponents. Against Providence and UML the RedHawks have zero goals in 120 minutes.
As for the power play, even though Miami has generated good chances during its drought — especially against Mercyhurst — lack of success may be getting into players’ heads.
Salvaging a split with a win on Saturday could be a real boost for this team, which seeks its first quality win of 2018-19.
WHO: UMass-Lowell Riverhawks (1-1) at Miami RedHawks (3-1).
WHEN: Friday – 7:35 p.m.; Saturday – 7:05 p.m.
WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.
ALL-TIME SERIES: UMass-Lowell leads, 1-0-1.
UMASS-LOWELL RADIO: Both nights – WCAP-AM (980), Lowell, Mass.
NOTES: Funny that this will be the first-ever meeting between these teams on one of their campuses.
They’ve met twice: Once in the Frontier Classic in Anchorage in the fall of 2003, a game that ended tied, 4-4, and again in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
The latter was a skate-to-the-throat 4-3 overtime loss that saw the RedHawks rally from three down to tie it only to surrender a goal in the extra session.
So in two all-time meetings, both games have gone past 60 minutes.
Miami might welcome a close contest, as each of its four games this season have been decided by three or four goals.
The RedHawks are coming off a third-place finish in the four-team Ice Breaker in Erie, Pa., that saw them drop a 4-0 decision to No. 5 Providence but handle host Mercyhurst, 3-0 in the consolation game.
The week before Miami swept an unimpressive Alabama-Huntsville team, outscoring the Chargers, 9-1.
The Riverhawks split their season-opening series vs. RIT, with both of those games decided by a goal. They won the opener, 2-1 but lost 4-3 in the finale.
Senior forwards Ryan Dmowski and Connor Wilson both went 1-2-3 the opening weekend and lead the team in points. Dmowski went 11-11-22 in 2017-18, leading the team in goals.
Kenny Hausinger scored twice vs. RIT. He scored 10 goals and set up 10 more last season.
Tampa Bay selection Ryan Lohin is the returning team leader in assists (16) and points (25), and freshmen Sam Knoblauch and Reid Stefanson have both scored in the team’s first two games.
Mass.-Lowell had three defensemen total at least 17 points last season but all were seniors. Croix Evingson and freshman Seth Barton have dished for two assists each, and Mattias Goransson has one helper.
Evingson was drafted by Winnipeg and Barton was taken by Detroit.
In net, Christoffer Hernberg was a stud last year with a 2.07 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. Ty Wall struggled in 12 games as his backup.
But last weekend Wall – a New York Rangers draftee – was 25-for-26 in a win while Hernberg suffered the loss, allowing five goals on 30 shots.
Oct. 11 was a memorable night for Miami hockey alumni.
On that date, a pair of former RedHawks reached NHL career milestones, as Las Vegas forward Reilly Smith scored career goal No. 100 and Los Angeles defenseman Alec Martinez dressed for his 500th game.
Smith found the net in the third period of a 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh. It was his second goal in as many games and he is currently third on the Golden Knights in points with four.
Martinez entered the season with 496 games played, and in his fourth contest of 2018-19, he picked up an assist and went plus-3 in the Kings’ 3-0 win over Montréal.
BoB takes a look at past Miamians’ noteworthy achievements in the pro ranks early this season:
NHL: A torn hamstring ended Ottawa defenseman Chris Wideman’s 2017-18 season after just 16 games, but he scored twice including the game winner in a 5-1 win over Los Angeles on Oct. 13.
Wideman gave the Senators a 2-0 lead midway through the first period of that win, and he also sealed it by netting Ottawa’s final goal of the game with eight minutes remaining.
Kiefer Sherwood made the Anaheim Ducks out of training camp and has recorded a goal and two assists in his first six games. Sherwood left Miami this spring following his junior year and entered this season with just 11 games of AHL experience with San Diego late last season.
His first NHL goal came late in Dallas on Oct. 13. His tally made it 2-0 late in the first period but Anaheim would eventually lose, 5-3.
Forwards and former classmates Austin Czarnik and Blake Coleman are off to hot starts.
Czarnik has three points in five games for Calgary after spending the majority of 2017-18 in the AHL and playing just 10 games for Boston.
Coleman has racked up a pair of markers in four games with New Jersey. He finished with 13 goals and 12 assists last season.
AHL: Despite a monster playoff season that saw him record 20 postseason points on Texas’ Calder Cup finalist team, Curtis McKenzie did not make the Vegas Golden Knights’ roster to open this season.
But he is tearing up the AHL.
Playing for Chicago, McKenzie is tied for 10th-best in the league in points (7) and fifth in helpers (6) while playing just four games.
When McKenzie is called up, he will join former Reilly Smith, his Miami roommate and fellow Dallas Stars draftee.
Toronto defenseman Vincent LoVerde tallied his 100th AHL assist on Oct. 6. He picked up the helper on the Marlies’ fifth goal in the third period of a 7-5 loss at Binghamton as Toronto’s comeback attempt fell short.
LoVerde has played in 369 AHL games – not counting 65 playoff contests – scoring 42 goals and picking up 142 points.
Carter Camper is Miami’s reigning AHL ironman, as he has played 447 games in that league with eight different teams.
He already has a goal and an assist with Grand Rapids this season.
ECHL: Justin Vaive scored in his first game of the season with Cincinnati. Alex Wideman also made the Cyclones but did not dress for the opener.
Taylor Richart opened his third season with Utah by picking up an assist after going 17-24-41 with the Grizzlies in 2017-18.
Jimmy Mullin also returns to Kalamazoo for his second pro campaign. He scored 21 goals and set up 24 more in his rookie season with the K-Wings.
Europe: Matthew Caito is enjoying Europe so far, as he has notched seven goals and five assists in nine games with Graz of the Austrian League.
Several other former Miamians have jumped the pond to play in Europe, including Pat Cannone, Chris Joyaux, Kevin Morris, Colin Sullivan and Jeff Zatkoff.
Cannone is 1-6-7 with Inglestadt of the German League DEL. Zatkoff is also in the DEL, tending net with Straubing where he’s 7-2.
Joyaux and Morris are teammates with EIHL (English League) Coventry while Tyler Biggs is playing for league rival Nottingham.
Sullivan joined Chamonix-Morzine of the French League.
Will Weber (Fischtown – DEL) and Tommy Wingels (Geneva – Swiss A) also jumped the Atlantic this off-season and are rookies with their new European teams.
Andy Miele joined the Russian KHL this season, and he is already 5-5-10 in 16 contests.
Here are the current statistics for former RedHawks playing round around the world, and you can check them on our site at any time at this link: https://blogofbrotherhood.com/redhawks-in-the-pros/stats-for-miamians-in-the-pros/.
|Reilly Smith||Vegas Golden Knights||F||7||2||2||4||3||0|
|Austin Czarnik||Calgary Flames||F||5||1||2||3||2||0|
|Kiefer Sherwood||Anaheim Ducks||F||6||1||2||3||4||0|
|Chris Wideman||Ottawa Senators||D||6||2||0||2||-2||4|
|Blake Coleman||New Jersey Devils||F||4||2||0||2||5||0|
|Sean Kuraly||Boston Bruins||F||5||1||1||2||2||9|
|Alec Martinez||Los Angeles Kings||D||6||0||2||2||0||2|
|Jack Roslovic||Winnipeg Jets||F||6||0||1||1||1||0|
|Andy Greene||New Jersey Devils||D||4||0||1||1||4||2|
|Carter Camper||Grand Rapids||F||4||1||1||2||-2||0|
|Trevor Hamilton||Grand Rapids||F||4||0||0||0||-4||4|
|Matthew Caito||Graz (EBEL)||D||9||7||5||12||4||4|
|Andy Miele||Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)||F||16||5||5||10||-4||36|
|Pat Cannone||Inglestadt (DEL)||F||11||1||6||7||1||2|
|Marc Hagel||Esbjerg (Denmark)||F||9||2||4||6||-4||4|
|Tyler Biggs||Nottingham (EIHL)||F||11||2||3||5||-5||28|
|Kevin Morris||Coventry (EIHL)||F||8||1||4||5||3||20|
|Will Weber||Fischtown (DEL)||D||9||1||3||4||0||36||Chris Joyaux||Coventry (EIHL)||D||8||1||2||3||1||4|
|Colin Sullivan||Chamonix-Morzine (France)||D||8||0||2||2||7||8|
|Cody Murphy||Bjorkloven (Allsvenskan)||F||8||0||1||1||-3||8|
|Ryan Jones||Cologne (DEL)||F||10||0||0||0||1||2|
|Matt Tomassoni||Bolzano (EBEL)||F||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Tommy Wingels||Geneva (Swiss-A)||F||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jeff Zatkoff||Straubing (DEL)||9||540||7||2||2.00||.900||1|
ERIE, Pa. – Through four games, Miami has beaten the teams it should’ve beaten and lost to the team ranked in the top five of the national polls.
The RedHawks sit at 3-1 two weeks into the season, having swept Alabama-Huntsville twice at home and shut out Mercyhurst in the third-place game of the Ice Breaker on Saturday. Their blemish is a 4-0 loss to No. 5 Providence in Friday’s semifinal round here.
Miami outscored UAH and Mercyhurst, 12-1, an encouraging sign that the RedHawks have blown out those teams since MU has 11 new players on its roster.
And really Miami played better than the final score indicated in the loss to the Friars.
Considering how the RedHawks’ off-season began, this quote-unquote rebuild could’ve been a whole lot worse.
Miami will get plenty of true litmus tests against teams of its caliber, but its start has been encouraging.
— 6-feet-7 defenseman Andrew Sinard made his collegiate debut on Saturday, and he handled his start well. He was listed as the seventh defenseman on Miami’s lineup card and appeared cool when the puck ended up on his stick while holding his own on D.
He threaded a pass to Jonathan Gruden that nearly resulted in a goal as well.
“He handled himself pretty well,” Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. “He’s a big boy, he’s got good reach and he made a nice play on the back door to Gruds that just kind of got away from Gruds a little bit, otherwise it was a tap-in, but he saw some limited ice but I thought he did a good job.”
— Sinard and Chaz Switzer made their 2018-19 debuts on Saturday as Miami dressed seven defensemen. River Rymsha sat for the first time this season. Switzer was banged up in preseason but logged 55 games his freshman and sophomore campaigns.
— After this weekend, eight blueliners have dressed in four games – Grant Hutton, Alec Mahalak, Rourke Russell, Brayden Crowder, Derek Daschke, Rymsha, Switzer and Sinard. The first five have skated in all four games, Rymsha has played in three games, Switzer and Sinard made their 2018-19 debuts on Saturday.
The fact Miami has trouble getting some of these guys in the lineup speaks to its depth.
“We’re pleased with that, and obviously we’ve got to keep going and keep pushing guys to get better,” Blasi said. “We want our guys to play their best every night, I think the depth and everyone buying into that helps.”
— Karch Bachman leads the team with three goals, including a breakaway tally and eventual game winner in the first minute on Saturday.
He forfeited some of his gold star when he took a spearing major and was assessed a game misconduct in the second period, but the Florida Panthers draftee has clearly found another gear early this season.
Finishing chances was an issue at times in 2017-18 but his shooting percentage is .200 in a small sample size this season.
Asked whether his improved play was a product of confidence, Blasi said “you let me know if you figure it out.”
— So playing the Canadian and U.S. anthems prior to games is apparently a thing for Mercyhurst, so we heard both each night at Erie Insurance Arena.
— Somehow missed this in the off-season but teams are allowed to dress a 19th skater this season. On Saturday it was Sinard, on Friday it was forward Noah Jordan. That was extremely helpful for Miami on Saturday since Bachman was sent to the dressing room early, and the RedHawks also benefitted in their opener when Carter Johnson was cheap-shotted.
— If there was a penalty killing first star for the weekend, it would go to Brian Hawkinson. The freshman is proving himself quite an agitator and is earning tons of PK time with his defensive ability.
— Attendance was listed at 2,387 for Saturday, but there were fewer than 500 for each of Miami’s games, including the third-place game against Mercyhurst, which is located in Erie. As many MU grads as there are living in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, there should’ve been more RedHawks fans in the seats.
ERIE, Pa. – Miami couldn’t get a single shot past Providence on Friday.
But it took just 29 seconds for Karch Bachman to generate a goal for the RedHawks on Saturday as they beat Mercyhurst, 3-0 in the third-place game of the Ice Breaker Tournament at Erie Insurance Arena.
“That’s huge,” Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. “You’ve got to score first – that’s one thing that you want to try to do in a game because all in the sudden now you’re playing on your toes and not your heels.”
Bachman accelerated through a pair of Lakers defenders, went in alone and buried a forehand shot on the glove side in the opening minute to open the scoring.
That was all the offense Miami (3-1) needed, as goalie Ryan Larkin turned 21 shots aside to earn his second shutout in three starts this season, which is already a career high. The junior now has four perfect sheets for his career, with one each his freshman and sophomore years.
Ahead by one, Ryan Siroky carried the puck around the back of the Mercyhurst net and stuffed the wraparound into the net to make it 2-0 with 13:51 left in the second period.
In the final minute of the middle stanza, Phil Knies stole the puck from a Mercyhurst (0-2-1) skater at center ice, went in alone and slid a backhander through the five hole of goalie Stefano Cantali.
“I would say maybe a little undisciplined today, so we had to kill some penalties, still trying to understand how to manage the game in certain areas,” Blasi said. “I think that comes with some youth – but I thought for the most part our effort and our structure was pretty good.”
Historically, Bachman and Siroky have not been huge goal scorers but both are off to hot starts.
Bachman, a junior, netted two goals as a freshman and six last season, but his breakaway tally was his team-leading third marker of 2018-19. Siroky is second on the team behind Bachman with two tallies in four games this campaign after the senior found the net just seven times his first three seasons.
Despite scoring three times, Miami was credited with just one assist, with Christian Mohs notching his first point of the season on Siroky’s goal. Bachman and Knies both scored unassisted.
Larkin has made 61 saves on 64 shots (.953), an encouraging sign after last season when his save percentage was just .886.
“I thought he struggled with a couple shots (vs. Providence) – or at least one for sure – but he made good saves today,” Blasi said. “Top of his crease was solid, and he played the puck well. It’s there, he just has to make sure he stays focused.”
The RedHawks were 0-for-4 on the power play and finished the weekend without a man-advantage goal despite 11 opportunities. After netting a pair of PPGs in its opener, MU has failed to cash on in 14 chances over the last three games.
Conversely, Miami’s penalty kill was 6-for-6 and has allowed just one power play goal this season. Bachman took a spearing major in the second period and was ejected.
“We had a lot of good chances on the power play, but right now it’s just not going in for us,” Blasi said. “But our PK did a great job and sometimes you’re going to have to play games like that.”
This is the first time the RedHawks have won three of their first four games since 2014-15, and Blasi said he is pleased with the start overall.
“You take four-game segments like that, they start to add up,” Blasi said.
Miami opens a four-game homestand with a two-game series vs. UMass-Lowell next weekend. Colgate comes to Oxford for a pair of contests on Oct. 26-27.
MIAMI U. 1-2-0 – 3
MERCYHURST 0-0-0 – 0
First period: 1. Mia., Bachman 3, uag, 0:29.
Second period: 2. Mia., Siroky 2 (Mohs), 6:09; 3. Mia., Knies 1, shg, 19:11.
Third period: None.
Shots on goal: Miami U. 8-18-5 – 31; Mercyhurst 7-6-8 – 21. Power plays: Miami U. 0-for-4; Mercyhurst 0-for-6. Goalies: Miami U., Larkin (21 of 21 saved); Mercyhurst, Cantali (28 of 31). Referees: Ryan Sweeney, Eugene Binda. Linesmen: Brendan Lewis, Joe Lewis. Time: 2:20. Attendance: 2,387.
ERIE, Pa. – Turnaround shot had a double meaning in the first period of the Ice Breaker Tournament opener.
After Miami dominated No. 5 Providence for eight minutes, a spin move followed by a wrister from the high slot beat RedHawks goalie Ryan Larkin to give the Friars the lead.
That marker completely swung the momentum toward PC, which won 4-0 over Miami at Erie Insurance Arena on Friday.
That shot by Greg Printz at the 8:45 mark was the first of the game for Providence (2-0) after the RedHawks had fired six.
The Friars’ second shot found twine as well just 1:48 later. Vincent Desharnais whipped one through traffic and past Larkin with 9:47 left in the first period.
“Obviously the better team won tonight – I didn’t think we generated enough chances to make a good push,” Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. “I thought our guys worked hard, but after they got the first two goals I thought we got a little bit off our game and weren’t able to generate anything.”
The score remained 2-0 until Spenser Young corralled a pass from Jack Dugan just inside the near faceoff circle and fired it into the back of the net with 6:09 left in regulation.
Young sealed it with time winding down by launching a puck down the ice and into the open net.
“We’ve got to generate a lot more second chances, and we didn’t do that,” Blasi said.
These teams meet regularly but Providence had only shut Miami out once prior to this game, and that was on Oct. 20, 2000. The RedHawks (2-1) were blanked four times overall last season.
MU was limited to 22 shots overall and just 13 after the opening 20 minutes despite seven power play chances. The last time the RedHawks went 0-for-7 or more on the man advantage was opening night 2017-18 vs. this PC team when they had nine opportunities squelched.
Despite allowing goals on the first two shots, Larkin stopped 29 of 32 overall. In the very small sample size, his goals-against average and save percentage are both substantially better than last season.
Miami will play the loser of the late Notre Dame vs. host Mercyhurst contest in the consolation game at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
“We’ve got to learn from how we reacted to certain situations and we’ve got to get better,” Blasi said. “The plan is still to get better – there’s lot of effort in our locker room but we’ve got to make sure that we play the game the right way.”
In addition to this meeting, Miami will face Providence in a traditional weekend series in Rhode Island on Jan. 4-5. The RedHawks have struggled to score in their last few meetings vs. the Friars, netting just five goals in their last four games.
“(Providence) did a great job defending and they’re a program that they are for a reason,” Blasi said. “Their entire team’s bought into what they do, and we’ve got to learn from that.”
PROVIDENCE 2-0-2 – 4
MIAMI U. 0-0-0 – 0
First period: 1. PC, Printz 2, 8:45; 2. PC, Desharnais 1 (Bryson, Tait) 10:13.
Second period: None.
Third period: 3. PC, Young 1, ppg, 13:09; 4. PC, Young 2 (Dugan), eng, 18:16.
Shots on goal: Providence 9-12-12 – 33; Miami U., 9-5-8 – 22. Power plays: Providence 1-for-3; Miami U. 0-for-7. Goalies: Providence, Hawkey (22 of 22 saved); Miami U., Larkin (29 of 32). Referees: Chris Ciamaga, Mike Schubert. Linesmen: Adam Tobias, Matt Terreri.