Miami plays its first game in 29 days on Sunday, an exhibition against Guelph of the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport), which is Canada’s equivalent of the NCAA.
This contest comes at a good time for the RedHawks, who can shake off any holiday rust before heading to top-10 Providence followed by eight straight series vs. NCHC foes.
The Gryphons have won three of their last four and have added some mid-season talent, including a skater who was with the Cincinnati Cyclones early this campaign.
BoB takes a look at the upcoming game between these teams:
WHO: University of Guelph (Ont.) (6-10) at Miami RedHawks (9-6-3).
WHERE: Cady Arena (3,642), Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Sunday – 4 p.m.
NOTES: The Gryphons are 0-3 vs. NCAA competition this season, losing to Colgate, Cornell and Clarkson.
Cody Thompson leads Guelph in scoring with seven goals and six assists. Fifth-year Gryphon Scott Simmonds and fellow small forward Todd Winder have 12 points each.
Marc Stevens is also a significant offensive contributor for Guelph, going 5-5-10.
The Gryphons have been without one of their top scorers, Connor Bramwell, since Oct. 26. He has nine points in six games.
Guelph does not get much production from its defense, as Zach McFadden and Jesse Saban are tied for the team lead in blueliner points with five apiece.
Evan Cormier, who began this season with AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, is the Gryphons’ primary goalie, logging 740 minutes and posting a .926 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against average.
Guelph’s backup is Andrew Masters, who was on Miami’s roster during the 2016-17 season but did not see game action.
The Gryphons did add three players during the holiday break, including former Cincinnati Cyclone Justin Lemcke. The captain of OHL Hamilton last season, the 6-feet-2 defenseman went 0-1-1 in three games with the ECHL team earlier this season.
Along with Lemcke, ex-OHL veteran Ryan Valentini is expected to make his Guelph debut on Sunday. He spent the past two-plus seasons with Sudbury, where he racked up 74 points.