Hockey Returns to the Ice at St. Cloud State

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Feb. 8, 2017

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NCHC.tv (Saturday Only)
Live Stats
Live Audio: Friday | Saturday

Games 27 & 28
Friday, Feb. 10 • 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11 • 8:07 p.m.
Herb Brooks National Hockey Center (5,159) • St. Cloud, Minn.

Miami RedHawks (9-11-6, 5-7-4-2 NCHC) at St. Cloud State Huskies (13-14-1, 7-10-1-0 NCHC)
TV/Stream: CBSSN (Friday) (DirecTV Ch. 221, DISH Ch. 158, check cable listings); FCS & FS North (Saturday)/NCHC.tv
Friday: Ben Holden (PBP), Dave Starman (Color), Shireen Saski (rinkside)
Radio: TuneIn App/1490 WKBV-AM
Play-by-Play: Greg Waddell

THIS WEEKEND
Following its bye week, Miami begins its home stretch of the season with a trip to St. Cloud State this weekend.
THE SERIES: The RedHawks notched their first weekend series sweep of the season to begin January when they downed the Huskies (3-2 [OT], 4-1) in Oxford to improve them to 16-10-2 in the all-time series.

PUCK POINTS
Anthony Louis has put up at least one point in 20 of his last 24 games and leads the team with 31 points (13g, 18a) this season, surpassing last year's team-leading total (26).

• Louis now has 118 career points (t-34th all-time), two behind Chris Bergeron, Derek Edwardson, Greg Hogeboom and Matt Christie.

• After recording just one multi-point game last season, Kiefer Sherwood has a team-high 10 this year and has already passed last year's total of 18 points. Sherwood has 20 goals and 44 points in his last 49 games dating back to midway through last season.

• The RedHawks have fallen behind at some point in eight of their last 10 games (6-3-1).

• Since getting pulled on Nov. 11, Ryan Larkin has a 2.26 goals against average and a .927 save percentage over his last 14 starts.

Louie Belpedio led all NCHC defensemen and was second in overall league scoring with nine points in January, one behind teammate Anthony Louis.

• Miami's 42 multi-point games in 26 contests already surpass its 36-game total last season of 39. MU's eight multi-goal performances are also more than its two from a year ago.

LAST TIME OUT
The RedHawks hosted long-time rival Western Michigan to close out January. While Louie Belpedio's second period shorthanded goal tied the score in the series opener, Hugh McGing scored with just over eight mintues left in the second period to deal Miami a 2-1 loss in the opener. On Saturday, Grant Hutton opened the scoring with a power play goal early while Josh Melnick netted a power play goal and converted a penalty shot to put MU in front by a couple goals early in the second period. Willie Knierim made it a 4-1 contest with just 4:59 gone by in the second period and Miami withstood a furious Western Michigan rally the rest of the way. The Broncos scored twice in the first six and a half minutes of the third, but Ryan Larkin's 44 saves helped salvage a weekend split in a 4-3 RedHawk victory.

COACH BLASI
Enrico Blasi (Miami '94) is in his 18th season behind the RedHawk bench. He is a five-time CCHA Coach of the Year and was named National Coach of the Year in 2005-06. He stands 375-259-66 at his alma mater, where he has led Miami to 10 NCAA Tournaments, including two Frozen Four berths, a National Championship game appearance, a trio of CCHA regular-season titles and two conference tournament titles (2011 CCHA & 2015 NCHC). Blasi is the the winningest coach in school history.

ABOUT ST CLOUD STATE: Since getting swept in Oxford at the beginning of January, the Huskies have split their last four weekend series with seven of their eight games being decided by a single goal. Those have featured splits against first-place Minnesota Duluth, second-place Denver and third-place North Dakota and a runner-up finish in the North Star Cup after dropping another 2-1 decision to UMD. SCSU is the least penalized team in the country but have a power play (19th) and penalty kill (20th) in the top 20 nationally. Mikey Eyssimont and Blake Winiecki have each netted 11 goals while 18 of Patrick Newell's 21 points are assists. Freshman blue liner Jack Ahcan also has 19 points in 24 games. Jeff Smith is beginning to see the lion's share of the playing time in net and has a 2.55 goals against average with a .912 save percentage. He has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his last eight starts.

GETTING BACK INTO IT: After missing the entire month of November due to injury, it took captain Louie Belpedio some time to get back in the swing of things. While he did play every December game, the junior blue liner went scoreless for the month. That all changed in January as his nine points (3g, 6a) in eight games ranked second among all NCHC skaters. He now has 15 points (6g, 9a) in 20 games, which is tied for eighth among NCHC blue liners despite the missed time.

KEEPING BUSY: The RedHawks have relied heavily on freshman goaltender Ryan Larkin in net and he has responded with solid play. Larkin has started 24 of Miami's 26 games in the crease and owns a 2.53 goals against average along with a .916 save percentage. Larkin has clocked 1446:58 of a possible 1595:02 in the crease (90.7 percent), the most one goalie has played at MU since David Burleigh saw 2333:39 of a possible 2481:54 manning the net (94 percent) during the 2002-03 season. Some of Larkin's highlights include a 33-save shutout against Maine on Oct. 22 and a 49-save performance in a 2-2 tie at then-No. 1 Denver on Nov. 19, the most saves a Miami goalie has made since Connor Knapp stopped 55 shots in a 3-2 double overtime win over Michigan in the NCAA Midwest Regional Final on March 28, 2010.

TIGHT GAMES: The RedHawks have gone down to the wire in the vast majority of their games as all but seven of their 26 contests have been decided by two goals or less (including ties). MU's contests have been progressively tighter since mid November as 13 of its last 15 games have been two goal games or less in since Nov. 18.

WORKING EXTRA: Miami is well versed with playing in overtime this year as nine of its 26 games have gone to the extra session. The Red and White have tied six times and their three overtime victories are tied for the most in the country.

ONE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Junior defenseman Louie Belpedio was named team captain for his leadership both on and off the ice this season. The RedHawks were without Belpedio for six games due to injury earlier this season and the difference was quite pronounced.

With Belpedio Without Belpedio
Record 9-7-4 0-4-2
G/Gm 2.7 2.3
GA/Gm 2.2 4.3
PP% 18.0% 16.1%
PK% 90.8% 69.7%
Shot Diff./Gm -0.9 -11.5

SHAKING IT OFF: Freshman goaltender Ryan Larkin endured a rough stretch that began with a 4-1 loss to Bowling Green and culminated in getting pulled against Omaha on Nov. 11 as Miami saw a 4-1 second period lead turn into a 6-4 defeat. Larkin has shown tremendous resilience since then, posting a 2.26 goals against average and a .927 save percentage in his past 14 starts.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: Senior forward Anthony Louis has shown tremendous offensive ability to post 118 points in his career and at times has put together incredible streaks of production. Louis has become known for his big second-half surges, but he enjoyed the best first half of a season in his Miami career this year. He leads the team with 31 points (13g, 18a) and led all NCHC players in scoring with 10 points in January.
Louis Oct.-Dec. Louis Jan.-March
2013-14 16 GP, 4g, 4a, 8p 20 GP, 8g, 9a, 17p
2014-15 16 GP, 3g, 11a, 14p 21 GP, 6g, 16a, 22p
2015-16 16 GP, 3g, 7a, 10p 20 GP, 8g, 8a, 16p
2016-17 18 GP, 10g, 11a, 21p 8 GP, 3g, 7a, 10p
Total 66 GP, 20g, 33a, 53p 69 GP, 25g, 39a, 65p

COMEBACK KIDS: Third period deficits have posed no problem during Miami's resurgence. Four times this year, the RedHawks' have began the third period behind only to storm back for a victory. They turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 overtime win over Colorado College on Dec. 10, netted four goals in the third period to erase a 3-2 deficit and top Ohio State 6-3 on Dec. 31, came back from two separate deficits after trailing 1-0 when the third began to down St. Cloud State 3-2 in overtime and exploded for five unanswered goals to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 victory at North Dakota. Such performances have been historically rare for the Red and White as this is the first season they have won more than one game when trailing after two periods since they did it four times in the 2007-08 campaign (Nov. 3, 2007 at Northern Michigan, Dec. 15, 2007 at RPI, Dec. 29, 2007 vs. St. Cloud State and March 29, 2008 vs. Air Force).

BETTER ALREADY: While the RedHawks' 2.58 goals per game is only marginally ahead of their 2.43 figure from last year, the improvements have been noticeable at the top of the scoring charts. Last season, Anthony Louis and Kiefer Sherwood tied for the team lead with 11 goals while Louis tied Jack Roslovic in overall scoring with 26 points. This year, Louis already has 13 goals (career high) and 31 points while Sherwood has 10 goals and 28 points.

BREAKOUT PERFORMANCES: A part of Miami's scoring problems a year ago were due to a lack of big individual performances within its games. In 36 games in 2015-16, MU combined for just 39 multi-point games with only two multi-goal performances. That has not been the case this year as RedHawk skaters have already notched 42 multi-point and eight multi-goal games in 26 contests this year. Kiefer Sherwood leads the Red and White with 10 such performances after recording just one multi-point game last year.

SHOPPING AT MEYER: In his first half season on campus, Carson Meyer has already taken his scoring touch to the college game. The Powell, Ohio native is fourth on the team with 21 points (7g, 14a) in 22 games. Meyer has notched five multi-point games, posted at least one point in 15 of his 22 outings and strung together a six-game point streak after missing four games in November.

CLIMBING THE LADDER: Anthony Louis joined Miami's 100-point club on Nov. 11 amidst a three-point night against Omaha. The senior forward is beginning to climb up the program's scoring charts as his 118 points is tied for 34th all-time. He is two points from tying Chris Bergeron, Derek Edwardson, Greg Hogeboom and Matt Christie.

`SHER'HANDED PROGRESSION: While it took some time to get his feet wet, Kiefer Sherwood progressed well in his freshman season to become quite a weapon for the Red and White as the season wore on. After putting up just two points in his first 11 collegiate games, Sherwood has taken a step forward that has continued this year. With 10 goals and 18 assists this season, he has passed last year's total (18 points) with 28 points and now has 20 goals and 44 points in his last 49 games dating back to last year.
THE LAST MEETING
No. 20/RV St. Cloud State1
Miami4
January 7, 2017
Oxford, Ohio
Special Teams Dominance Delivers RedHawks Sweep Over Huskies
OXFORD, Ohio – A brilliant special teams performance by the Miami hockey team secured its first weekend series sweep of the season as it topped No. 20/RV St. Cloud State 4-1 on Saturday night.