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Great series ends with Miami OT Victory

Miami takes a 4-3 overtime victory behind 3 points each from Czarnik and Barber.

Entering the night, Miami was already the only unbeaten CCHA team, as all 10 others have at least one loss. After the night’s play was over, the Providence Friars proved they are going to be a team to watch in Hockey East, but Miami came out with a hard-fought 4-3 overtime victory and remain the CCHA’s only unbeaten team.

Freshman Riley Barber had a goal and 2 assists and Austin Czarnik did him one better with 2 goals and an assist, including the game winner, to lead the RedHawks. Czarnik had 5 shots and was a +2 on the night. Throw in 4 blocked shots and he earned the #1 star of the night, without question.

Barber has now scored goals in 3 straight games, not to mention 3 assists in the exhibition against Western Ontario. He had one assist on Austin Czarnik’s 2nd period goal – Czarnik’s first of the year – as well as another helper on the overtime winner. He is very quickly becoming a formidable scoring touch on the top line and will be certain to get more and more looks all season. We’ll be looking for Barber in a certain CCHA weekly release around Monday morning.

The Friars proved to the Hockey East front runners that they are not to be taken lightly with a shootout loss and overtime loss in hostile Coach Cady Arena. They went down 1-0 after Barber’s goal in the first, and were also down 2-1 and 3-2 in the game. It has to be tough to think you came back 3 times in the game, held a lead on Friday night, and didn’t leave Oxford with even a split, rather just a loss and a tie. Providence Head Coach Nate Leaman agreed: “What hurt us was a slow start,” said Leaman. “We played from behind all night. I’m proud of the guys coming back in the third period to tie the game, but it’s tough to play on the road from behind.” (source: USCHO) Miami now holds a 4-3-1 lead in the all-time series against Providence after this weekend’s highly entertaining series.

Providence didn’t have a shot on goal until 12:08 in the first, and they made it count. John Gilmore put the first PC shot in the back of the net on a 3 on 2 rush in the first period, and had 3 shots and 2 blocks on the night. Frehman Jon Gillies looked good in net again tonight, blocking 26 of 30 shots, and was again bailed out by his teammates as he was last night. The Friars recorded 13 blocked shots on the night and many of his saves were of the routine variety.

Heading down the closing stretch of the game, Miami looked like they were playing in their shell and doing a great job of applying a little pressure at the right times to try and get an insurance goal. Until, that is, Blake Coleman was called for a 5 minute major penalty. Coleman was called for charging with just 5:52 left in regulation – a call that just about everyone in the building thought was a very clean, shoulder to chest check. It must be his size advantage that the hit was considered dangerous, and Coleman may have left his feet for maximum effect. In any event, the Hawks killed the 5 minutes, but only 4 seconds after the penalty expired, Noel Acciari scored his first collegiate goal for Providence and the game was tied once again. The goal – of the 6 on 5 variety – would send the game to overtime where Miami would tally the game winner on Gillies.

On the other end of the ice all night was Miami’s Jay Williams. The firecracker looked good all night and probably could have stopped 2 of the 3 goals if it weren’t for well-timed screens. From my point of view on my computer, he had a great game and looked stellar in recording his second win in as many games.

Defenseman Matthew Caito gets on the score sheet for his first point as a RedHawk. Caito made a LASER of a pass about 100 feet up the ice to a streaking Blake Coleman for a goal at 18:59 of the first. Caito is proving to be a more than worthy pair for Captain Steven Spinell, and has been showing some great vision on the blue line.

In addition to Barber and Caito’s strong play, another freshman Michael Mooney appeared in his first NCAA game tonight. He was paired with yet another freshman Chris Joyaux on the blue line. Joyaux and Mooney were the third defensive pairing on the night, but each played solid minutes and should grow into a solid pairing, if they continue to play together for up to 4 years. Mooney took Ben Paulides spot on the ice tonight. We’ll look for some information on Ben, but after taking 2 penalties last night, we wonder how that played into tonight’s benching.

In this weekend’s matchup, the “Hawks certainly got more than they bargained for, and it turned into a good test as they head to Michigan next weekend. We’ll certainly have more on next week’s matchup later in the week, and keep an eye out for the Sunday #SixPack on our twitter page.

Thanks for reading, RedHawks fans, and BEAT MICHIGAN.

Miami Box Score and Game Notes.

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#4 RedHawks set to host Providence College

The RedHawks entertain another school with a sweet logo
t
his weekend, as Providence comes to Oxford.

FINALLY! Again!

The RedHawks are back in action tonight and tomorrow, as the Providence Friars come into Coach Cady Arena. After several months off that we thought we couldn’t endure, we finally have hockey back. I don’t know about y’all, but to me it seemed like it was another couple of months since Miami’s sweep of undermanned Colgate just last weekend. Or maybe it’s just that I haven’t been inside The Goggin since the end of last season, but it feels like FOREVER since I’ve made the trek from Columbus to Oxford to see the RedHawks in action.

This week, the Friars come in after a split last weekend against two very different foes. In their season opener at home, Mark Jankowski and sophomore Stefan Demopoulos each scored two goals to lead this young squad to an 8-2 victory over Sacred Heart. Saturday, however, was a very different story, and Boston University took the Friars behind their barn and came out with a 4-2 whipping. Ross Mauermann is Providence’s leading returning point scorer (10G, 15A as a freshman last season), and the RedHawks will also be shadowing Junior Derek Army and Senior Captain Tim Schaller this weekend, as both were among the Friars top 5 scorers last season.

The Friars will be led by the freshman Jankowski, who was chosen by Calgary with the 21st pick in the NHL draft last April. Jon Gilles was picked 75th in the same draft, and will be in net for at least one of the 2 games this weekend. Last week, he was named Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week after posting a .936 save percentage while he stopped 14 shots against Sacred Heart (in 2 periods) and 30 of 34 shots against BU.  Several RedHawks will be seeing Gilles again, as they were teammates with the Indiana Ice over the last few years. John Doherty, Max Cook and Blake Coleman were all teammates of Gilles.

On the RedHawks side of things, Alex Wideman will not be appearing this weekend due to illness. As we reported on our twitter feed, Alex has been battling mono and will be out at least a couple weeks. Other than that, the RedHawks remain healthy.

And Young.

Don’t forget that 11 of the 26 RedHawks are Freshmen, and 3rd string goalie Anthony Jacaruso is also a rookie, although he has sophomore eligibility. Not to worry, however. 12 of the 21 points scored last weekend were from the super sophomore class (including 4 points from Blake Coleman), and 4 of the 13 total new faces appeared on the score sheet including Senior transfer Marc Hagel. Only 2 freshmen didn’t see action last weekend, and with Wideman out, we could see John Doherty see his first action this weekend. With all of the goal scoring leaving Oxford last season, Coach Blasi will need players like Coleman, Austin Czarnik and Jimmy Mullin to continue their progress and provide a much needed scoring touch. Save for maybe Bryon Paulazzo, the 8 upper classmen on the roster aren’t exactly known for their scoring touch, and Blasi will need more production from the new kids on the block.

In net, expect to see the “new” rotation of Ryan McKay (1-0-0, 1 shutout, 24 saves) and Jay Williams (1-0-0, .952 save percentage, 1.00 GAA) split the weekend once again until a clear front-runner emerges, if ever. Both goalies looked more than capable in last weekend’s sweep, and it will certainly be a fun few years in Oxford if they continue to play like they did last night. McKay recorded his first career shutout in his first start in Oxford, and also earned Miami’s first ever season-opening shutout as well. Right from the start, these two have put Connor Knapp, Cody Reichard and David Burleigh on notice that their old records are already in jeopardy with these 2 highly touted recruits tending the twine.

This week will pale in comparison to what we can expect next weekend, as Miami travels to #5 Michigan to take on Red Berenson’s hacks crew of misfits Wolverines. Miami must continue its strong special teams play – 13 for 13 on the penalty kill is 2nd in the nation, and 3 for 10 on the power play is also a very strong start.  They must still apply pressure on a physical Providence team and this weekend will be a success. Look for 2 tough grind-it-out type of victories: I’m predicting a solid “Paula Weston” finish for the weekend: 3-1 and 3-1 Miami.

Friday’s contest is a white out. For those of you joining me in Oxford, be sure to wear white to the game. Go RedHawks!