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Miami ties PC on late goals

In hockey, ties tend to be regarded negatively, but considering Miami’s situation with six minutes left in regulation, the RedHawks had to be thrilled to end up in the ‘T’ column.

Miami’s Gordie Green (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

No. 16 Miami scored twice late in the third period to salvage a 3-3 tie at No. 10 Providence’s Schneider Arena on Saturday.

And the tying goal, a snipe from the slot by Gordie Green, came 6-on-5 with just 42 seconds left in regulation. Green received the one-time feed from Josh Melnick, who earned his 100th career point with the assist.

Christian Mohs started the comeback by netting his first career goal with 5:21 left in regulation.

RECAP: Scott Conway gave Providence (12-4-4) the lead 5:35 into the first period when he batted a blue line pass from Spenser Young into the net on the power play.

The Friars extended their lead to two with another man-advantage goal, as a wrister by Ben Mirageas from just inside the blue line deflected off a Miami stick and in with 6:23 remaining in the middle stanza.

The RedHawks (9-7-4) trimmed the deficit to one when Jonathan Gruden threaded a pass through a pair of defenders across the slot to a wide-open Ryan Siroky at the side of the net, and he slammed it home with 14:02 to play in regulation.

That was also a power play goal, the sixth of the weekend for these teams.

Miami’s Christian Mohs (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Providence answered just 13 seconds later as Miami’s Bray Crowder tried to knock the puck away from Brandon Duhaime, but it ended up on the stick of Bryan Lemos in the slot for an easy score to make it 3-1, and it appeared that would wrap up a weekend sweep for the Friars.

But Mohs shot one from the top of the faceoff circle that hit a Providence sweater and found net with 5:21 left for his first career goal, and the RedHawks were again within one, 3-2.

With the extra attacker on, Melnick slid a pass from the wall through traffic to a wide-open Green in the slot, and his blast sent the game to overtime.

STATS: Lots to work with…

Miami’s Josh Melnick (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

— Melnick. He’s the 52nd player in Miami history to reach 100 points, with the last being Anthony Louis in 2017.

He also extended his points streak to seven games, notching three goals and five assists in that span. That’s the longest stretch of consecutive games with at least one point by a Miamian this season.

Miami’s Grant Hutton (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

— Siroky. He finished with a goal and an assist, setting three personal milestones. 1) It was the senior’s first career multi-point game, 2) it was the first time he had ever scored goals in consecutive contests, and 3) he is riding his first-ever three-game points streak, during which he is 2-2-4.

Grant Hutton. Hutton picked up two assists, giving him three points for the weekend. He had not notched a point in his previous eight games.

— Mohs. It was his first career goal, although he did create a nice build-up by scoring in the exhibition vs. Guelph last Sunday.

— Green. He had not scored in 10 games but is still tied with Melnick and Karch Bachman for the team lead with seven markers.

— Miami is actually winless in its last six games with an 0-4-2 record, but the RedHawks skated to draws vs. No. 1 St. Cloud State twice and adds this quality tie – if there is such a thing – to its 2018-19 resume.

Miami did not have any stalemates in its first 14 games but has tied four of its last six contests.

— Special teams. The good: Miami is 4-for-13 its last three games, or 30.8 percent. The bad: The RedHawks were 3 of 6 on the PK this weekend and are now just 57.1 percent dating back to the New Hampshire series.

THOUGHTS: This is yet another major step for this program in the ‘reenergize’ movement, as Coach Enrico Blasi called it before the season.

Though it wasn’t a win, this moved the needed significantly in the RedHawks’ desired direction.

Turning a two-goal deficit at a top-10 team into a tie with six minutes remaining is a rarity and speaks to how far Miami has come this season.

Flipping a team from a sub-.400 three-year winning percentage to a national contender in college sports is a long process that requires patience from coaches, student-athletes and fans.

Countless hours of work by the former two and others immediately surrounding the program are starting to pay tangible dividends, with this tie coming on the back of a pair of draws vs. the top-ranked program in Division I that saw Miami trail six times on the weekend and battle back to even the score on each occasion.

This is no last-place NCHC team, this is not a team deserving of zero votes in national polls. Now in the meat of their schedule, the RedHawks are proving the college hockey world wrong every night.

— Miami certainly can’t blame officiating for its 0-1-1 weekend. Power plays for the weekend were 11-7 in favor of the RedHawks, with PC assessed 40 penalty minutes compared to 20 for Miami.

— Despite having little room to operate against the super-tight Providence defense, wings Knies and Ben Lown seemed to pass across the width of the ice to each other at will.

A healthy Knies will hopefully result in more offensive production from that line.

— The cost to watch this series via the internet was $10, but it was a quality telecast.

The picture was actually a little better for the internet-only feed on Friday than on Saturday, which was broadcast on NBC Sports Boston.

Mike Logan is a veteran play-by-play man, extremely fair and gives excellent play descriptions.

He was solo on Friday and was joined by Sonny Watrous on Saturday, a PC women’s hockey standout last decade.

She is very knowledgeable about the game and the tandem work well together in the booth.

Both were very complimentary of the Miami program and agreed with the officials’ calls on almost every occasion, despite the penalty disparity.

— Didn’t know this, but Logan said on Friday that this is the last time these teams are scheduled to play each other for the foreseeable future.

Since 2011-12, Miami and Providence have faced each other every season, typically early in the season.

The only time during that span they didn’t meet in the regular season was 2014-15 when Miami was sent to the Providence bracket of the NCAA Tournament and lost, 7-5 in the first round just minutes from the PC campus.

Despite the travel and the Friars’ 8-1-3 record vs. the RedHawks in the last 12 meetings, this has been a great series over the years, as Providence is always a well-coached team with tons of skill.

Miami’s Andrew Sinard (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Hopefully Miami and PC renew the all-time series at some point.

LINEUP CHANGES: None. Blasi went the same 20 both nights and seems to like defenseman Andrew Sinard in that extra skater flex role.

UP NEXT: Sixteen games in nine weeks, all against NCHC foes.

Miami heads to Western Michigan next weekend, facing the Broncos for the first time this season.

WMU is second in the conference with 14 points and is ranked No. 17 in the USCHO poll, one spot below Miami.

Friday’s game will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports.

Then the RedHawks play four at Cady Arena – two vs. Minnesota-Duluth and a pair against Colorado College.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Miami Version 2018-19 further cemented its play-to-the-final-horn reputation, as the RedHawks have scored a tying goal in the third period in all of its recent QTs (quality ties).

Remember the comeback win against UMass-Lowell and the two clutch third-period goals against North Dakota that broke a tie.

One could see the RedHawks’ emotions as they gathered on the ice after the five-minute overtime, as this was certainly a bonding experience for the players.

That’s the type of experience that can only help Miami as it shifts back to conference play for the balance of the regular season.

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Miami lead slips away at Providence

Miami didn’t show any ill effects from its five-week holiday layoff in its first period of regular season hockey since Dec. 1.

The final 40 minutes, however, saw No. 10 Providence dominate the No. 16 RedHawks, as the Friars scored three unanswered goals in a 4-2 win over MU at Schneider Arena on Friday.

Miami’s Josh Melnick (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Providence (12-4-3) erased a one-goal deficit to record its fifth straight win while the RedHawks extended their winless streak to five.

Josh Melnick did record his 99th career point in the Miami loss on a late first period goal.

RECAP: Providence took the lead 4:22 into the first when Tyce Thompson wired home a one-time pass from the faceoff dot short side over the shoulder of RedHawks goalie Ryan Larkin off a feed from Brandon Duhaime.

Miami’s Ryan Siroky (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

But Miami (9-7-3) took advantage of its early power play chances, scoring twice in the first-period opportunities.

Ryan Siroky was left alone in the slot and rammed home a one-timer from Phil Knies 100 seconds later, tying the score.

Melnick scored on the man-advantage with 2:50 left in the opening frame, whipping a wrister from the top of the faceoff circle through Friars goalie Hayden Hawkey to give the RedHawks a 2-1 lead.

Scott Conway tied it at the 6:33 mark of the second period, knocking home a backdoor feed from Kasper Bjorkqvist on the power play.

The score remained 2-2 until Matt Koopman redirected a Josh Wilkins wrist shot midway through the final frame.

With 4:04 left, Greg Printz fed Vimal Sukumaran from along the boards to the top of the crease, and Sukumaran was able to bat one by Larkin to seal it.

STATS: Shots aren’t always an accurate gauge of team performance, but it’s pretty telling that Providence finished with a 42-15 edge in that category, including 30-7 the final two periods.

Derek Daschke led RedHawks skaters with two points on a pair of assists.

— Melnick is one point away from becoming the 52nd Miamian to record 100 career points. He also extended his points streak to six games with three goals and four assists in that stretch.

Miami’s Phil Knies (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Grant Hutton picked up the primary assist on that goal, his first point in nine games.

— Knies also earned a helper in his return from an upper-body injury that held him out of the RedHawks’ last six contests.

— Siroky’s marker was his fourth of the season, giving him a career high.

— Miami’s shot differential of minus-27 was its worst in 364 days. On Jan. 5, 2018, Denver outshot the RedHawks by 28 but MU won that game, 4-3.

THOUGHTS: The thought was that if Miami survived the first period it would be OK, but the last 40 minutes ended being its demise.

To be fair, Providence is one of the best defensive teams in Division I – the Friars blanked the RedHawks in Erie earlier this season – as PC allows fewer than 23 shots per game.

Miami finished with 15: Eight in the first period, three in the second and four in the third. That’s despite having four power plays vs. two for Providence.

And beyond just shots, the Friars seemed to control play almost the entire final 40 minutes. The RedHawks hung in, holding the lead until the 14th minute of the middle stanza and remained tied until midway through the third.

Obviously, this road matchup was going to be a difficult one for Miami, and while it certainly wasn’t a disaster, the RedHawks’ inability to do anything the last two-thirds of the game was disappointing.

— Not to pile on, but Hawkey, the Friars’ all-world goalie, probably should’ve stopped one or both of Miami’s goals.

Hawkey was in position to deny the Siroky shot but it slid under him, and Melnick’s wrister found a hole up high.

Miami’s Christian Mohs (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

LINEUP CHANGES: Larkin and Knies returned from injuries, meaning Jordan Uhelski – who led Miami to a pair of ties vs. St. Cloud State – was relegated to backup while Knies supplanted Carter Johnson, who had dressed in Miami’s previous four games.

Christian Mohs was in the lineup for the third straight contest, as he seems to be slightly ahead of Zach LaValle on the depth chart at this point. LaValle sat for the fourth straight game.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Basically, a good team lost to a very good team in the very good team’s rink.

Both of Miami’s goals were on the power play, so the RedHawks still have not scored at even strength this season against the Friars.

The good to take from this is that Miami came out ready to play in a hostile rink after a long layoff (Providence played on Dec. 7 and twice last weekend) and hopefully moving forward this game will have served as a proverbial character-building opportunity.

Photos: Miami at Ice Breaker Tournament

Images from Miami’s games in the Ice Breaker Tournament played at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa., on Oct. 12-13, 2018. All photos by Cathy Lachmann/BoB.

Providence early goals doom Miami

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.

Ryan Larkin (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

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.

Preview: Miami at Ice Breaker Tourney

WHO: Miami RedHawks (2-0) vs. No. 5 Providence Friars (1-0).

WHEN: Friday – 4 p.m.; Saturday – vs. Notre Dame/Mercyhurst 4 p.m./7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Erie Insurance Arena, Erie, Pa.

ALL-TIME SERIES: Providence leads, 9-5-3.

PROVIDENCE RADIO: WHJJ-FM (104.7), Providence, R.I.

NOTES: Miami dominated Alabama-Huntsville in a home sweep to open its season last weekend, but the RedHawks will face at least one top five team as they participate in their first Ice Breaker since 2006.

MU will face either host Mercyhurst or No. 2 Notre Dame on Saturday, depending on the outcome in the openers. The last time the RedHawks participated in an Ice Breaker was the weekend Cady Arena opened in October 2006.

Miami finished second that weekend, beating Denver but falling to Vermont.

The RedHawks and Providence have frequently met in October the past few seasons, but typically on one of the teams’ campuses. The last time they met at a neutral site was the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2015 when PC won 7-5 in Providence at a game hosted by Brown.

Hayden Hawkey was in net for all 24 Providence wins last season and is already 1-0 in 2018-19. He posted a 2.04 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage as he seeks his 50th career collegiate victory.

He is one of 17 returning members of the Friars, who have added three NHL draft picks including their fourth-ever first-round pick in Philadelphia Flyers selection forward Jay O’Brien.

Providence lost its top two points-producers from 2017-18 but has four of its double-digit goal scorers back, including Kasper Bjorkqvist, who tied for the team lead with 16 last season.

Josh Wilkins potted 15 and tallied 31 points, Scott Conway scored 13 times and is 1-1-2 already in 2018-19, and Vimal Sukumaran finished with 10 markers.

PC swept Miami last October at Cady Arena and beat American University, 3-1 in this season’s opener. Notre Dame is seeing its first regular season action this weekend, and Mercyhurst dropped an 8-2 decision vs. Bowling Green in its lone game last weekend.

Miami loses in final second

OXFORD, Ohio – Miami played in 11 overtime games in 2016-17.

And while the RedHawks avoided their first extra session of this season on Saturday, it’s only because they allowed the decisive goal with a second remaining.

The Friars’ Kasper Bjorkqvist poked the puck home with 0.9 seconds to play as No. 11 Providence completed the weekend sweep of Miami with a 3-2 win at Cady Arena on Saturday.

Just 26 seconds into the game, RedHawks forward Carson Meyer was assessed a major penalty, and the Friars scored twice on the ensuing five-minute power play.

Providence (2-0) opened the scoring when Tommy Davis’ wrister from the blue line was turned aside by Miami goalie Ryan Larkin, Jason O’Neill corralled the loose puck and slid it through the top of the crease to Vimal Sukumarin for the slam-dunk goal 4:31 into the first period.

Only 26 seconds later, Josh Wilkins centered a pass from along the boards to Erik Foley for a one-time wrister that beat Larkin.

But Miami (0-2) came back.

Miami’s Grant Hutton (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

A one-time rip by Grant Hutton off a feed by Scott Dornbrock found its way through traffic and in to make it 2-1 with 6:57 left in the second period.

Hutton skated the puck into the zone and behind the net before feeding Casey Gilling at the blue line. In similar fashion to Hutton’s goal, Gilling’s wrister snuck through multiple players and hit a Friars defender before hitting twine, tying the score with 13:31 left in regulation.

It was Gilling’s first career goal.

After all that work, Providence’s Ryan Tait deflected a pass in the slot, and after Larkin made the initial stop, Larkin knocked it under his pads to win it as time wound down.

Miami is 0-11-1 in its last 12 games, its longest winless streak since 1991. That skid 26 years ago was the longest in RedHawks history at 17 games.

In terms of chronology, this is now the program’s longest span without a win since its inception in 1978. Miami has not won since Jan. 28, which was 252 days ago.

The RedHawks head to Plymouth, Mich., for an exhibition vs. the Under-18 Team USA squad at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Miami resumes its NCAA schedule when it visits Maine on Oct. 20-21.

Miami loses opener to Providence

OXFORD, Ohio – Providence scored twice in a span of 1:56 – late in the second period and early in the third.

Those were the decisive goals as the Friars beat Miami, 3-1 in the teams’ season opener at Cady Arena on Friday.

Providence (1-0) opened the scoring 7:57 into the first period when Ryan Tait corralled a loose puck in the Miami faceoff circle and slipped it through RedHawks goals Ryan Larkin.

Miami’s Austin Alger (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Miami (0-1) tied it when freshman Austin Alger skated laterally into the slot and whipped one just under the crossbar with 2:43 left in the opening period.

Greg Printz slipped behind the RedHawks’ defense and beat Larkin late in the second period to put the Friars ahead for good.

Providence’s Josh Wilkins stole the puck from Phil Knies at the blue line and scored the final goal.

It was Alger’s first career goal, and a pair of fellow freshmen assisted on it for their first collegiate points – Knies and Casey Gilling.

Miami appeared to have cut the lead to one in the third period, but an apparent goal by Kiefer Sherwood was waved off after it was ruled he interfered with the goalie while slipping the puck past him.

The RedHawks’ Gordie Green was also denied a goal after a review when his breakaway shot hit the crossbar.

Larkin stopped 27 shots in the losing effort.

Miami’s winless streak was extended to 11 games, its longest since 1991. The RedHawks are 0-10-1 in that span and have not won since Jan. 28.

The teams will wrap up their weekend series at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.

Series preview: Providence

WHO: No. 11 Providence Friars (22-12-5) at Miami RedHawks (9-20-7)

WHEN: Friday–7:35 p.m.; Saturday–7:05 p.m.

WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.

TV: None.

NOTES: These teams split in Rhode Island last season, and Providence holds a 7-5-3 all-time edge.

And though it was 2½ years ago, the most memorable meeting between MU and PC came in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, when Providence held on for a 7-5 win, fending off Miami’s late comeback attempt.

Providence qualified for the NCAAs for the fourth straight season in 2016-17, a stretch that includes a national championship.

Six Friars have graduated from last season, and PC has eight freshmen.

Brian Pinho returns for his final season after leading the Friars in points with 40, including 28 assists. Junior Eric Foley, who scored 15 goals and dished for 19 assists, is also back for Providence.

Josh Wilkins is PC’s other returning skater with 30-plus points, as he went 13-18-31 in 2016-17.

Hayden Hawkey – could one pick a better name for a New England goaltender if one tried? – finished with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage.

Miami went 0-9-1 to finish last season in its second 10-game winless streak of the campaign.

The RedHawks were held to 42 shots in these teams’ weekend series to open 2016-17.

Providence split a good start for Miami

Miami’s first weekend of the season would have to be considered a success, as the RedHawks split at No. 10 Providence, losing the opener, 4-3 but winning the finale, 2-1.

Granted the Friars lost several key players from their dominant team of the past two seasons, but keep in mind that PC scored seven goals in Oxford last year in the first game when these teams met and Miami salvaged a tie in the Saturday contest.

Miami’s first weekend of the season would have to be considered a success, as the RedHawks split at No. 10 Providence, losing the opener, 4-3 but winning the finale, 2-1.

Granted the Friars lost several key players from their dominant team of the past two seasons, but keep in mind that PC scored seven goals in Oxford last year in the first game when these teams met and Miami salvaged a tie in the Saturday contest.

And not to be repetitive, but the 2015-16 edition of MU did not have 14 freshmen.

Especially with the win coming in the Saturday game, Miami has to have momentum heading into a five-game homestand, with very winnable games on tap.

The occasional disappointment is still expected this season as half of the team becomes acclimated to the physicality and speed of the Division I game, but a split in a hostile environment against a national power is a fine start and sets an outstanding tone heading into the rest of the season.

A look at how those position battles are shaking out…although unfortunately viewing this game was not in the cards on this end. BoB will get a much better look at everyone with five straight at Cady Arena in the next 15 days.

– Coaches are always going to say there are constantly positional battles for lineup spots, and based on Week 1 it looks like two defense slots are still being decided as well as one forward spot. Coach Enrico Blasi’s typical MO has been to let competitions play out the first half of the season and then solidify his lineup more in January.

Positional battles are healthy within a team, although the obvious downside is that qualified players sometimes sit. But here is a look at those competitions.

Forwards – Alex Alger and Willie Knierim both played one game at PC. Alger played on Friday and went minus-1 with no shots or points. Knierim dressed for Game 2 and did not have a shot or a point and took one minor penalty. Alger is more experienced and smaller while Knierim is a wide-bodied true freshman who is expected to get better as his Miami career progresses.

Returning forwards that played both games (7) were Josh Melnick, Kiefer Sherwood, Anthony Louis, Conor Lemirande, Justin Greenberg, Zach LaValle and Ryan Siroky.

Gordie Green (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Gordie Green (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

The four freshmen that were in the lineup for Friday and Saturday were Gordie Green (two assists), Carson Meyer (one goal), Carter Johnson (one assist) and Karch Bachman (Florida Panthers draft pick).

This team has only 14 forwards, so with Christian Mohs injured, Alger and Knierim will likely vie for that final lineup spot, although Colin Sullivan could move up from his traditional defense spot.

Defense – Jared Brandt is the lone freshman to hit the ice in both games last week, and he had a zero rating with one penalty and two SOG. Louie Belpedio, Scott Dornbrock and Grant Hutton, to no one’s surprise, were also dressed for both games.

Assuming Brandt will be a mainstay on the blue line, that leaves four defensemen for two spots. Grant Frederic, Bryce Hatten, Chaz Switzer and Sullivan all played one game opening weekend.

Frederic is one of the favorite to play each night although he went minus-3 with two penalties on Friday. Hatten is still working his way into game shape after an injury-plagued 2015-16 and took a major penalty in his start. Switzer went minus-1 and Sullivan, who is a senior and was solid for Miami last season, had a zero rating and did not go to the box.

Goaltending – We’ve seen Jeff & Eff, Cody & Connor and Jay & McKay, and since Jeff Zatkoff’s ridiculous junior season in 2007-08, the backup goalie has played at least 16 games. But Ryan Larkin logged all 119 minutes in the opening weekend, going 1-1-2.52 with a .906 save percentage.

At some point during this homestand it’s likely that we’ll see backup Chase Munroe, who posted a 2.22 GAA in the NAHL last season.

Preview: Miami at Providence

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WHO: Miami RedHawks (0-0-0) at No. 10 Providence Friars (0-0-0).

WHERE: Schneider Center, Providence, R.I.

WHEN: Friday–7:05 p.m.; Saturday–7:05 p.m.

TV: None.

PROVIDENCE RADIO: None.

MIAMI RADIO: None.

NOTES: Providence has had the better of Miami in recent years, with its NCAA Tournament-opening victory over the RedHawks in Dunkin Donuts Area up the street from this building in 2015 and a 1-0-1 mark in Oxford last season.

The Friars went on to win the NCAA championship two seasons ago and were eliminated by Minnesota-Duluth in double overtime in the first round of the NCAAs this spring.

Miami did salvage a tie in the series finale vs. PC last season after getting pounded by the Friars, 7-3 in the opener.

Overall, the RedHawks are 4-6-3 vs. Providence and 1-2-1 in this building, with their lone win coming in 1998. Their last visit to Schneider Arena was in 2013 and resulted in a loss and a tie.

The Friars’ top three scorers and four of their top five from 2015-16 are gone, and the top returning threats for PC are defenseman Jake Walman and forward Brian Pinho, both of whom finished with 28 points.

Pinho and Erik Foley are the lone 15-plus points producers back, so offense may not be a strength of this Providence team after multiple seasons of scoring dominance.

But the Friars are bringing in a pair of drafted forwards in Kasper Bjorkqvist, a second round pick of Pittsburgh, and Minnesota fourth rounder Brandon Duhaime.

On defense, in addition to Walman, Buffalo draftee Anthony Florentino and Josh Monk lead the list of returning starters. Monk had two goals and 11 assists and Florentino scored five times and notched seven helpers.

Steven Ruggiero – selected by Anaheim – also returns to the Providence blue line, and sophomore Vincent Desharnais was picked by Edmonton this past season.

In net, last season’s starter, Nick Ellis, turned pro after three seasons with PC, leaving the reins to Montreal draft pick sophomore Brandon Hawkey.

Possessing a fantastic hockey name, Hawkey played just five games in 2015-16 but went 2-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage.

Brandon Leahy is back between the pipes after playing one game last season, and Kris Carlson comes in as a freshman out of the NAHL.

With a huge freshman contingent, this will be a very tough road test for Miami, but long road trips can aid in the bonding process, and the team could be better off down the road because of it.