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2016-17 season schedule primer

Miami opens its 39th varsity season on Oct. 8 at Providence, and for the first time since Enrico Blasi’s first campaign in 1999-2000, the RedHawks will play a pair of road games to open the season.

NON-CONFERENCE FOES: Miami will play Providence, Ohio State, Maine, Bowling Green, Cornell. The Friars went 1-0-1 at Cady Arena to open last season, and Miami swept the Buckeyes and Falcons in a home-and-home series. MU did not play Cornell or Maine in 2015-16.

LONG HOMESTAND: Miami plays five straight home games Oct. 15-29. The RedHawks host OSU in the first game and weekend series vs. Maine and BGSU.

EXTENDED LAYOFF: Miami has typically taken several weeks off around the holidays, but this season it on has two consecutive weekends off, followed by a road game at OSU on New Year’s Eve.

FOUR STRAIGHT ON THE ROAD TWICE: Miami plays four consecutive road series twice, including Jan. 13-21 when the RedHawks play back-to-back road weekends at North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha. The first time Miami has a weekend off between series, facing Denver on Nov. 18-19 and Cornell on Dec. 2-3.

BRUTAL FINAL EIGHT: Miami faces the top four teams in the conference from 2015-16 to wrap up its regular season schedule, capped off by a home series against defending national champion North Dakota. Following a weekend off, the RedHawks travel to St. Cloud State on Feb. 10-11, host Denver, face Minn.-Duluth on the road before taking on UND at Cady Arena.

TOURNAMENT SITES: The NCHC Frozen Faceoff will be at the Target Center in Minneapolis for the fourth straight season. Cincinnati hosts the NCAA regionals for the third time in four years, but Miami hasn’t made the tournament the first two times it was held at U.S. Bank Area. It’s the 70th Frozen Four but the first to be played in Illinois.

A link to Miami’s 2016-17 schedule can be found here.

NCHC Quarters: (5) MIAMI at (4) UMD

Duluth Skyline

Beautiful Duluth, Minnesota and the UMD Bulldogs await Miami in the quarterfinals of the NCHC Tournament

Well folks, that was fast.

Another regular season has come and gone. Frankly, I’m glad to see this one go because it goes without saying that in this rebuilding year, Miami (15-16-3) was about as mediocre as it gets.

Now, that’s not to say this season wasn’t exciting. As we wrote a few weeks back, a movie could have most definitely be made about the season.

Consider the drama…a senior goaltender being summarily dispatched after an on-ice incident. A horrible first half of the season made mediocre with a solid second half. A senior captain, burdened by the ‘C’ struggling to regain his form. A Miami team that faces a formidable foe this weekend struggling to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes afloat.

A lot of drama.

This weekend, Miami has to find a way to win two of three games against a squad they have not beaten this season. Though Miami is 1-0 all-time (in Minnesota even) against Minnesota-Duluth (15-14-5) in the postseason, the RedHawks went 0-3-1 against them this season including dropping two in suffering an awful sweep last weekend when they were playing to host this series in Oxford. The RedHawks were outscored 8-1 and were never really in either game. Jay Williams was pulled on Friday and the team didn’t play well in front of him either night. On the bright side, freshman netminder Evan McCarthy saw his first collegiate action in the Miami net – so there’s that.

If Miami cannot rally this weekend, and frankly next (in all likelihood, they’re going to have defend their NCHC Frozen Faceoff title in order to qualify for the NCAA Tournament), it will mean that Miami will have missed the Tournament in two of the past three years. What’s worse is that like in the 2013-14 season, they were supposed to host one of the regional brackets in, yep, Cincinnati. At some point, you begin to wonder if this program has plateaued? Have we seen all that it has to give?

But that’s something we’ll consider in greater depth if the team fails to advance this weekend or next.

Duluth is built from the net out led by sophomore netminder Kasimir Kaskisuo who merely led the conference with a 1.69 GAA in conference play while ranking second with a .932 save percentage. The Bulldogs are also blessed with four solid defenders including Willie Raskob, Neal Pionk, Carson Soucy and Andy Welinski who make it hard on opposing forwards in front of Kaskisuo. Up front, UMD has a stable of solid forwards including Kyle Osterberg, Dominic Toninato, Alex Iafallo and Karson Kuhlman. It’s a deep roster that maybe won’t wow you with statistics, but one that has a threat on every line. It will be a challenge for Miami to contain UMD, something they obviously did not do last weekend.

But, I told our friend and UMD PXP man Bruce Ciskie before last weekend that I felt whichever squad won last weekend’s series, and as such home ice, would lose the following weekend when it really counts – at least for Miami.

And, as we wrote after last weekend’s sweep, Miami has over the past few seasons, found a way to make a run through the NCHC Tournament reaching the championship game in the league’s first two seasons of existence. Two years ago they went on the road after finishing dead last in the regular season and upset Penrose Cup champ St. Cloud in Minnesota and defeated North Dakota in Minneapolis before falling by a goal to Denver in the title game. That Miami squad also needed to capture the Frozen Faceoff title to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Miami finished second in the regular season and then breezed to a Frozen Faceoff championship. In doing so, the RedHawks lost their top two goal scorers, Riley Barber and Blake Coleman to injury and suspension, respectively, in the title match against St. Cloud. One thing is certain, St. Cloud wants no part of Miami in this tournament.

So, Miami can do this and they’re going to have to again. And, despite the record against UMD this year, I have a strange feeling they will find their way to Minneapolis again. And, the gang at USCHO sees this series as incredibly tough to pick as well.

Love and Honor,

Miami advances.

Blue line is Caito’s institute

OXFORD, Ohio – A successful career in college athletics has always been in Matthew Caito’s pedigree.

Several members of the senior defenseman’s family have competed for Division I schools.

But not in hockey, a seemingly unlikely sport of choice for a 22-year-old raised in Southern California.

His parents, both college athletes originally from New England, encouraged the 5-feet-11, 187-pound Caito to choose hockey, and it was a natural fit.

“They just really started getting me into it, and I really liked it,” Caito said. “Got my first stick when I was really little and I fell in love with it.”

Caito’s father and grandfather both played football for Boston University, and he had uncles that suited up for the Boston College and University of Pittsburgh football teams.

Matthew Caito confronting a Notre Dame player as a freshman (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Matthew Caito confronting a Notre Dame player as a freshman (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

His aunts played field hockey, and his mother was a collegiate gymnast.

The increasingly-violent nature of football is why Caito was steered away from the gridiron. However, rinks are rare in the San Diego suburb of Coto de Caza, where he hails from.

With limited local practice facilities, Caito spent of lot of time traveling in search of ice.

“It’s tough – the minimum ride is probably 30 minutes with no traffic, and with traffic it’s probably an hour-plus,” Caito said. “My parents were always good about getting me there, so I really thank them for all of the time and effort that they put into that – getting me to practices every day.”

Caito’s hockey talent was obvious, so during his high school years he was sent across the country to the Salisbury prep school in Connecticut, where he joined current teammate Kevin Morris.

“That’s where you kind of gauge yourself when you’re younger,” Caito said. “Obviously you’ve got to realize you’ve got time to develop, so going back east where it’s easier (to be discovered), that was really the gauging point where maybe I could do something with this.”

Following two years in prep school, Caito spent one season in juniors, playing for Dubuque, where he was second in defenseman points (26) and first among blueliners in assists (19). He finished that campaign with the second-best plus-minus on the team at plus-16.

Matthew Caito as a freshman (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Matthew Caito as a freshman (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

During his prep school years, Caito participated an evaluation camp in Oxford with former RedHawk Riley Barber while current MU assistant coach Brent Brekke was in attendance, setting the stage for Caito’s Miami career.

Caito fell in love with the campus as soon as he saw it. Knowing that friends and classmates Jay Williams and Alex Gacek, who were also in east-coast prep schools, were both committed to Miami helped seal his decision.

“I’m like, if there’s more kids like these that are coming in with my class these are going to be a great four years, and it’s been that way,” Caito said.

A goal of Caito’s was to come to Oxford as a true freshman, and after just one season in the USHL, he dressed for Miami on opening night in October of 2012.

Matthew Caito at the outdoor game at Soldier Field in 2013 (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Matthew Caito at the outdoor game at Soldier Field in 2013 (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

“He’s obviously pretty offensive-minded at times, but he’s very dependable, pretty good defensively,” RedHawks coach Enrico Blasi said. “We just felt like he would be an all-around player for us on the D-side of things.”

All he did his rookie season was lead the RedHawks in defensemen goals, assists and points (5-6-21).

“Obviously he’s tremendously talented and he’s got the work ethic and the right mindset and the good head on his shoulders,” Williams said. “He comes to work every day to make the most of it. Pretty much from Day 1 he’s been first D-pair for us and played 30 minutes a night. Just the experience and the attitude he brings is invaluable to the team.”

He was the lone freshman to play every game in 2012-13, led Miami with 81 blocked shots and he tied for third with a plus-12 rating on a team that advanced to the NCAA regional final in Toledo.

“He just has a knack for seeing the ice,” senior defenseman Taylor Richart said. “Stretch plays that will open up, and he’ll know it’s going to open up before that even happens. I think that’s just having the hockey IQ that he has and just studying the game – he’s always watching video, stuff like that – I think knowing the players and being around the game so much, he knows what’s going to happen before it actually happens.”

Matthew Caito as a sophomore (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Matthew Caito as a sophomore (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Sophomore season was a disappointing one for the RedHawks overall, the lone campaign in the last 10 years they did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament, but Caito led the team in blocks again with 73.

Matthew Caito as a junior (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Matthew Caito as a junior (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

He also topped the defense corps in assists (13) and points (16), finishing with more helpers than the second- and third-best D-men combined in that category.

It was another solid season for Caito as a junior, as he went 4-20-24 – again posting Miami defensemen highs in the latter two – and he led the team with a plus-19 rating and in blocked shots with 64. That includes a goal and an assist in the RedHawks’ NCAA Tournament loss to Providence.

“Matty’s decision-making has gotten a lot better at times,” Blasi said. “When he’s playing well he keeps things simple he makes smart plays in the defensive zone and the offensive zone.”

This season, Caito has three goals and six assists for nine points and 32 blocks. All of his goals have come on the power play, and he netted the game winner at Nebraska-Omaha on Jan. 22 in a 3-1 win over the seventh-ranked Mavericks.

That’s a total of 250 blocked shots. In 3½ seasons, Caito has recorded 15 goals and 55 assists for 70 points. He currently ranks ninth in school history in defenseman assists and points and is tied for eighth in markers.

Matthew Caito and Taylor Richart celebrate after winning the NCHC championship in 2015 (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Matthew Caito and Taylor Richart celebrate after winning the NCHC championship in 2015 (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

“For the most part he’s been really dependable and reliable back there for us,” Blasi said. “He’s played a lot of minutes and a lot of games for us, and that’s what we thought we saw in the future when we were recruiting him. I would say he’s done everything that we expected him to do.”

In the Cady Arena era, Alec Martinez is the only defenseman with more goals than Caito, and Martinez has won a pair of Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings.

And then there’s Caito’s durablility. He has missed one game in his career at Miami, and that was the opener in 2014-15. He has played in 142 games and is just 16 shy of cracking the top 10 in team history.

For that to happen, the RedHawks need to play three postseason games, and they are guaranteed two in the best-of-3 first-round series under the NCHC format. Curtis McKenzie and Joe Hartman are currently tied for ninth all-time with 158 games played.

The statistics don’t always do responsible defensemen justice, but Caito has improved in his play across the board, from clearing pucks on the penalty kill to becoming more physical and knocking forwards entering the offensive zone around.

“I’m happy, it’s all like the simple plays and consistency is the big thing I’ve learned since being a freshman and coming in and all that,” Caito said. “Really, playing sound in my own end and making good decisions with the puck is a huge thing. And then offensively, working with Coach Blasi and Coach (Nick) Petraglia and Coach Brekke, just working on finding lanes to the net and finding guys’ sticks – simple stuff that helps you statistically over the years.”

Richart is one of his best friends on the team, and the two have been friends since coming to Oxford. The duo is nicknamed the Rock Brothers because they are so close, and both are similarly solid on defense.

“I knew (Caito) a little bit playing against him in juniors…and when I met him my visit freshman year I knew he was going to be one of the hard workers,” Richart said. “Kind of had his head on straight, and I looked up to him right when I first got here because I knew he was a good defenseman. He knew what he was talking about – defensive partner to (Steve) Spinell – so comes to the rink, works hard every day. He’s a great kid.”

Richart has seen Caito’s improvement first hand over the past four years.

“I think his all-around game defensively, always closing guys off, being tough to play against, a tough-nosed defenseman,” Richart said. “He has that offensive side to him, too, where his shot is great. He knows when to step up into the play, and he knows when to stay back, and I think (his) reading the situation has gotten a lot better with him.”

Matthew Caito as a senior (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Matthew Caito as a senior (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

And Caito has made Williams’ life much easier in front of him with his tough defensive play.

“He’s so smart with the puck and he’s so steady, and his consistency – you know what you’re going to get,” Williams said. “Good day, bad day, whatever, he’s real steady, real even-keeled. He keeps his emotions in check, and he’s just a tremendous player.”

Caito is set to graduate this spring with a 3.0 grade-point average in sports management with a minor in economics.

His professional future appears bright. Any AHL team would be lucky to have a two-way defenseman with Caito’s talent.

But for the next couple of months, Caito is focused on completing his degree and his senior season, and he reflected on his time at Miami.

“It’s meant so much,” Caito said. “I have my best friends here – I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Just to share it with these guys is awesome. The school is beautiful, everyone around it is great, great community, great experience, and it’s something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”

RedHawks swept by lowly CC

We’ll have more later, but it’s fairly easy to admit this is one of the worst Miami hockey weekends in recent memory. Consider CC entered the weekend with a 1-13 record having just notched their first win of the season last weekend against Air Force. But, this weekend they were the better club defeating Miami in a pair of one-goal games 2-1 and 3-2 giving the Tigers their first two league conquests of the 2015-16 season.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Miami was the better team tonight.

They outshot the Tigers 36-23 but as I mentioned earlier this evening, they simply do not have enough finish whereas CC buried chances when they got them — especially on rushes. While Ryan McKay was good this weekend, he did not have a great weekend coming up with saves one-on-one. The best goaltenders do, but you can’t blame McKay for what transpired this weekend.

You can make all the excuses you want to support the play of this team, but they did not get much help from the officials tonight who missed some blatant calls, especially one late in the third period in the offensive zone when Melnick was hauled down. That non-call lead directly to the game winner off a 2-on-1 rush with Hunter Fejes ultimately walking in alone to McKay’s left. And, it led to a rather heated exchange between Miami coaches Enrico Blasi, Brent Brekke and the hapless NCHC officiating pair of Brian Aaron and Todd Anderson as the teams left the playing surface.

Overall, this is simply a rebuilding season for the RedHawks. They lack punch and we’re seeing that the Kuraly’s and Louis’ of the world simply aren’t what they were while playing with the Barber’s, Czarnik’s and Coleman’s of years past. To reflect for a moment, it’s really unfortunate those ultra-talented, but dysfunctional at times, Miami teams did not accomplish more in the NCAA tournament while those top-end guys were here. But, it is what it is.

With the freshmen talent that’s getting valuable experience this year, Miami will be fine with the rock solid recruiting class that’s a year away. While I’m not saying, ok I’m saying, this season is lost, if we assume that Roslovic and Louis return for another year plus Melnick, Sherwood and Siroky, and what they’ll be bringing in, Miami should be primed to return to the top of the NCHC in a year or two. But, this team? This is not a good team and they will struggle to stay ahead of CC. Seventh place in the league is looking likely with only Western Michigan playing worse hockey than the RedHawks right now.

 

2-2 after 2 …

Well after seeing just three goals last night and just one in the first period, we get three in the second as CC and Miami are about as close as two teams can be. It’s 2-2 after two. Some quick notes:

  • The CC powerplay goal was just the 3rd PPG Miami has allowed this year. However, it may have come after a missed offside by the linesman. The officials reviewed the play but according to others in the press box, the angle was not conducive to overturning the on-ice call.
  • Miami definitely misses a big time scoring touch this year. Guys are making smart plays and passes but there just isn’t enough finish out of the forwards. We have been used to seeing guys bury Grade A chances, but this year, it’s simply not happening — throughout the lineup. Miami could easily have four or five goals already.
  • Miami has seemed to let up on both nights playing with the 1-0 lead. Gotta continue to play hard for that next goal. Obviously, entering the 3rd period tied means they need to get the next one to have a chance to win.
  • Puck possession is something we are lacking. Typical Rico Blasi teams treat the puck like a prized possession, but this group is far more lax and is content to dump and chase. Again, we have less talent than we are used to, but guys have to be patient and know they have the ability to carry the puck into the zone.
  • Whenever Louis, Melnick and Roslovic are on the ice together, you have to pay attention. Lots of skill and speed. Assuming they’re all back next year, this will be a terrific line.

Time to get one and get home. 2-2 after two in the Springs.

1-0 Miami after 1 in the Springs…

Quick first period thoughts from the press box here at World Arena.

  • Sean Kuraly seems much more involved tonight as he has been skating the puck with confidence and gave a rousing fist pump after his first period goal, just his second of the season, that gave Miami the early 1-0 lead.
  • Grant Hutton is a nice add to this team. The freshman is tied for fourth in the conference in blocked shots with 16 on the season and just looks like he belongs. Size, good head and seems to be in position.
  • Conor Lemirande really looks good this weekend. Using his body and his reach to effectively win puck battles and is actively calling for the puck as he moves without it.
  • Miami has made an adjustment to CC’s transition game on the big ice and is not surrendering the blueline as easily as they did last night when the Tigers skated through the neutral zone at will. At least in the first period, they made it much harder for CC to enter the offensive zone.
  • Colin Sullivan was listed on an offensive line as a spot-filler only. Miami is rolling 7 defensemen tonight in an effort to give coach Enrico Blasi more options. Last night, the defensemen were fairly brutal, especially in the third period. Perhaps he could also be accounting for conditioning of his defensemen here at altitude.
  • Overall, Miami carried the majority of the play with Jack Roslovic and Anthony Louis impressively carrying the puck at times and Sean Kuraly looking more disruptive with his speed.

1-0 Miami after one. Let’s add to the lead unlike last night and get out of here with a W.

Miami at Colorado College

 

colorado-springs-450

With Pikes Peak as a backdrop, Miami takes on Colorado College this weekend.

After a week off, Miami travels west this weekend to Colorado Springs, Colo. to face the hapless Tigers of Colorado College.

The bye and trip to the mountains comes at a particularly good time for the RedHawks (5-7-2, 2-5-1-1, 6th NCHC) who play for the first time since tying and dropping an overtime match two weeks ago against 6th ranked Omaha in Oxford. Miami will not play again until after the holiday break when they open the second half of the season at home against RPI on January 2-3.

Needless to say, this is a critically important NCHC series for Miami as they currently sit in 6th place having played at least two more league games than any other conference school. Conceivably, Miami could end the weekend as high as third place in the league with a sweep of CC (1-13, 0-6, 8th NCHC).

Last weekend, the Tigers finally recorded their first W of the season defeating in-town rival Air Force at World Arena — the same venue where Miami swept the Tigers a season ago.

CC’s top point producers Trey Bradley (5-3-8) and defenseman Teemu Kivihalme (2-5-7) are underclassmen and after having seen the Tigers in person a few weeks back in the Gold Pan series against Denver, it’s clear this is not a very talented team. Head coach Mike Haviland has 14 freshmen on the roster and is still trying to fill the skates of defensemen Jaccob Slavin who left with two seasons of eligibility remaining to sign a pro contract in the offseason.

In net, the Tigers have rotated between their two goaltenders frequently with Tyler Marble and Jacob Nehama splitting the first 14 games.

Neither has impressive numbers with Marble sporting a pedestrian 3.65/.891 line and Nehama showing a grotesque 4.12/.885 line but he does have the Tigers lone win on the year.

Last season, Miami swept CC in Colorado Springs by 3-1 and 2-1 scores. I do recall Miami looking tired on Saturday night playing on Olympic sized ice at 6,035 feet or 5,107 feet higher than Steve Cady Arena in Oxford. So, we’ll be watching to see how Miami handles the arid climate, high elevation, big ice and Mountain time zone this weekend.

Overall, this should be an opportunity for Miami to make up some ground in the NCHC as they head into the holiday break. Anything less than six points this weekend would be unacceptable. I’ll be live Tweeting from World Arena this weekend, but you can find the game on the American Sports Network as well as NCHC.tv. Greg Waddell will have the Miami radio call this weekend across the Miami Sports Network.

Analysis: Expect more low-scoring games

After opening night, Miami’s last four games have been low scoring and close.

A suggestion for fans: Get used to it.

The RedHawks won its third straight game, 1-0 at St. Lawrence on Friday, thanks to 26 saves from goalie Ryan McKay and the fourth goal in five games for freshman forward Jack Roslovic.

Miami is averaging 2.40 goals per game, tied for 33rd out of 59 teams in the NCAA. While the RedHawks will develop better chemistry, and its offense should evolve, a brutal NCHC schedule – starting next week – will counter much of that progress.

Nothing against Miami at all. The freshmen forwards have been outstanding, and Sean Kuraly and Anthony Louis will hit their strides, hopefully sooner than later. But this team lost a ton of incredibly talented players up front, and its calling card this season will be its experienced defensemen and goaltenders.

Despite giving up seven goals in its opener, Miami is tied for 22nd in college hockey with 2.40 goals against per game. The forwards are playing solid defense. The defenseman, at least the last few games, are playing very well in their own end. McKay is in the zone and has the ability to steal games on his own.

This is a good team right now, and it could be a great team. RedHawks fans should be excited for the upcoming conference schedule.

But this team isn’t going to put up a lot of six-, seven- and eight-goal games. Not to worry: 3-1 wins count just as much as 5-3 victories.

Other thoughts:

– Holy cow was Friday a tightly-called game. The St. Lawrence PxP guy was complaining about calls against both teams. Seven power plays for both teams in a not-more-physical-than-usual game is a ton. Miami made the most of it: The RedHawks went 1-for-7 and SLU went 0-for-7, and the final was 1-0.

– Hard to tell from a computer screen, but the ice looked awful from 700 miles away. It looked like the puck was hopping all over the place. It bounced over sticks and it wouldn’t stay flat, squelching scoring chances for both teams. That would explain one total goal in the game.

– Miami did a great job of shutting down shooting lanes on the penalty kill. NCHC teams do this to the RedHawks all the time. There were a lot of reasons MU was perfect on the PK, and that was a big one. Penalty killing forwards Josh Melnick, Alex Gacek and Kevin Morris have been absolutely pests, and Justin Greenberg was put in that role as well in his first game of the season last night, so hopefully he can replicate the others’ success.

Miami's Jack Roslovic (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Miami’s Jack Roslovic (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

– Roslovic has been a stud since Game 1, but it’s really amazing how much better he’s gotten in just a couple of weeks. He looks more comfortable now and does so much more than just score goals. He was clearly the best skater for either team last night, and not just because he notched the lone marker.

Miami defenseman Taylor Richart (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Miami defenseman Taylor Richart (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

– This game was called so tightly that defenseman Taylor Richart was actually whistled for a minor. The stay-at-home defense role is often overlooked in hockey, so some context on the senior: That is just his fifth minor since the beginning of his sophomore year, spanning 64 games. For someone who is in the trenches every night, that’s nearly unheard of.

– McKay has won three straight games for the first time since Miami’s NCHC Tournament run in 2013-14. It was his first shutout since the Frozen Faceoff semifinal vs. North Dakota on March 21, 2014. His save percentage is now .954. He deserves a lot of credit for stopping 14 shots in the third period, including some excellent scoring chances after seeing just two shots in the second frame.

Miami goalie Ryan McKay (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Miami goalie Ryan McKay (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

– In the strange stats department: How about consistency in Miami’s shots allowed? In their five games, the RedHawks have allowed 26, 26, 27, 28 and 26 SOG.

LINEUP CHANGES: Greenberg, who was banged up the first two weeks, played in his first game of the season on Friday. Scratched up front were sophomore Conor Lemirande for the first time this season and senior Michael Mooney for the second time. The odd man out on defense was junior Colin Sullivan, who has now not dressed twice this campaign. It was the fourth straight start for McKay in net.

Miami, McKay shut out St. Lawrence

In its first four games, Miami’s goals against totals were seven, two, two and one. The natural progression was a shutout.

Miami goalie Ryan McKay (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Miami goalie Ryan McKay (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Senior Ryan McKay stopped 26 shots, including 14 in the third period as the RedHawks blanked St. Lawrence, 1-0 at Appleton Arena on Friday.

It was the third straight win for No. 15 Miami, and it extends the team’s unbeaten streak to four games.

After a scoreless first period, RedHawks freshman forward Jack Roslovic whipped a backhand pass from senior forward Sean Kuraly into the net 4:52 into the middle frame for the game’s only goal on the power play.

Miami (3-1-1) held the Saints (3-2) to just two shots in that stanza.

The RedHawks had to kill five penalties in the third period, including over a minute of 5-on-3 time.

The shutout for McKay was the ninth of his career, as he ranks fourth all-time at Miami for his career. He has allowed just five goals in four starts this season.

Roslovic has four goals in five games to open his tenure in Oxford, and he has all three of the RedHawks’ game winners. The assist for Kuraly was his first point of 2015-16.

Miami improves to 2-0 on the road this season, with both wins coming by a goal.

Both teams had seven power plays. The RedHawks were 1-for-7, giving them three goals on the man advantage in two games. St. Lawrence was 0-for-7, as Miami has gone three consecutive games without allowing a PPG.

The RedHawks have killed all 14 man-advantage chances during their winning streak and are 22 of 23 for the season.

The teams finish their two-game series at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

#18 Miami v. Ohio State

#18 Miami should expect a ruckus crowd of dozens of duhOSU fans and several hundred Miami faithful Friday in Columbus. (OSU/Schottenstein Center)

Quick preview this weekend as #18 Miami (0-1-1) travels to take on duhOSU (0-2-0) tonight at Cheap Furniture Arena in Cowtown and hosts the Buckeyes tomorrow at beautiful Steve Cady Arena in Oxford. Game times are 7 PM EST tonight and 7:05 PM EST Saturday night.

Last time out for Miami, it was an opening weekend against a familiar and formidable opponent as the defending national champion Providence Friars came to Oxford. Little was known about Miami’s youngsters but highly touted Jack Roslovic did not disappoint with a 1-1-2 line on the weekend while classmate Josh Melnick really impressed with his speed and all-around game also notching 1-1-2 including Miami’s first 3×3 OT goal in Saturday’s 2-2 tie. Senior Alex Gacek contributed four assists on the weekend as he and senior captain Sean Kuraly will be counted upon to lead the RedHawks offensively this season.

For duhOSU, well they started by being swept by #10 Bowling Green including a shutout defeat on Saturday night. Really, there’s not much to say about Ohio State. They aren’t very good, and they play in a weak conference. But perhaps that could be a testament to how good BG is though they were routed 4-1 on Tuesday night in Kalamazoo by Western Michigan, a team that’s expected to compete for the basement of the uber competitive NCHC.

This weekend, MIami should get right and should sweep the Buckeyes in the now annual home-and-home series between the two former CCHA rivals. Expect the Miami fans to nearly outnumber duhOSU “fans” tonight. We expect to hear the sieve chant loud and proud!

Per MURedHawks.com, coverage of the weekend can be found at:

TV/Stream: Buckeye Vision (Friday), NCHC.tv (Saturday)

Radio: 1450 WMOH-AM (Saturday) (Greg Waddell/pxp, Drew Davis/color)