Wait what? 3 games against Ohio State?
Well, let’s lump them all in together. Miami plays this weekend at Ohio State in what could be the last games in Columbus in a good while, and follows that up with a game in between Christmas and New Years in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh against the same team. That makes 3 in a row. And I want to throw up now.
In the effort of having our lunches remain inside of us for now, I’ll spare you the gruesome pictures of Ohio State’s uniform choices in the past, but remind you that they are hideous. We’ll see enough of that on the ice in the next 35 hours or so. Let’s jump in with some comparisons, shall we?
Brady Hjelle will be in net for Ohio State, most likely for both games this weekend. He is 5-3-3 on the season with a 1.46 GAA. Not to shabby until you look at Miami’s Fab Freshmen Ryan McKay and Jay Williams. McKay has still only allowed 2 goals in his 4 starts (2-1-1) and Williams is a stellar 8-2-2 on the season, having filled in for McKay for a stretch. On the other hand, Hjelle has started 40 games already in his career, while Miami’s duo is still at only 16 combined games. There will be rubber flying around the rink the next 2 nights, but it may not tickle the twine too often for either side.
Where Miami MUST be strong this weekend is on special teams. Last weekend against Lake Superior State, all three goals the Lakers scored were on the power play, and LSSU was 3 for 7 overall. On the season, Miami’s scoring pretty well on their own power play at 15%, but are operating at just 86.2% efficience on the kill. That’s quite the low number compared to years past from the RedHawks under Head Coach Enrico Blasi. On paper, Miami shouldn’t have to deal with too much on the Ohio State side of special teams. OSU is scoring just 11.4% of the time on the power play and is a paltry 85.7% on the kill. Austin Czarnik will look to cheat the penalty kill and get another SHG – he currently leads the NCAA with 3 shorties so far this season.
Ohio State is also in the midst of possibly playing the same team three times in a short span. They had a home and home series against Robert Morris last weekend, and came away 0-1-1.
Everyone A team like Ohio State should be able to roll over RMU easily. Instead, OSU lost at home to them 3-2, and then tied them 2-2 in Pittsburgh.
As we know, Miami’s young core of talent leads the way, and only 2 returning upperclassmen are in the team’s top 10 in scoring (Curtis McKenzie is 4-6–10 and Bryon Paulazzo is 2-2–4, Senior Marc Hagel has 2-3–5 in his first season in Oxford). Ohio State is led by Ryan Dzingel
berry, who has 6 goals and 8 assists on the season. He is undoubtedly the Ohio State leader and is often seen skating all out and hustling on every play. Stopping him will be another key to the extended series.
Tonight’s game will will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network. They are also the first games of the Ohio Cup series for Miami among the 3 Ohio teams (Ohio State won and BGSU won a shootout in their series earlier this year). Wouldn’t it be nice to deal a crushing blow to Ohio State on their network? I think so too. Hawks tonight. Other guys tomorrow for the split.
If you are travelling to Columbus or are attending with the Miami group, be sure to say hi and drive safely! Enjoy the games, and Happy Holidays everyone!
I have to believe Peter Venkman was thinking of what would happen to the world should Ohio State ever put forth a competitive hockey club when he uttered the famous line, “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”
Thankfully, all was right with the world, for at least one night, as the up-and-down Miami RedHawks (9-8-3, 5-6-2-1 CCHA) hit an “up” as they defeated Ohio State (12-4-1, 9-3-1-1 CCHA) 5-3 at Cheap Furniture Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Miami received goals from freshmen Jimmy Mullin, Blake Coleman and Austin Czarnik and sophomore Bryon Paulazzo and senior Matt Tomassoni (shorthanded) also lit the lamp for the RedHawks.
On the night, Miami outshot Ohio State 38-30 as senior netminder Connor Knapp won his third game of the season against four defeats.
We’ll have more on tonight’s game as well as Saturday’s series finale in Oxford later this weekend.
– Miami broke Ohio State’s nine game winning streak and eleven game unbeaten streak
– The victory was the 600th in school history and head coach Enrico Blasi’s first against OSU’s second-year coach, Mark Osiecki. Ohio State swept Miami last year in Columbus.
– Miami won for the first time in the last four games in Columbus (1-2-1)
– With the victory, Miami is currently 17th in the Pairwise and 15th in KRACH having played the 7th most difficult schedule in the country.
– Miami is now 3-0-1 vs. Top 10 opponents. The talent is there, now it’s time for consistency.