In a season of firsts for college hockey teams, the NCHC presents: The home-and-home doubleheader.
After traveling to Kalamazoo last weekend and earning a sweep of Western Michigan, Miami opens its seven-game home slate with a two-game series vs. the Broncos.
These will be the first home games for the RedHawks since Feb. 28-29, an unprecedented span of 313 days without a contest being hosted in Oxford.
WHO: Western Michigan Broncos (2-8-2) at Miami RedHawks (4-7-1).
WHERE: Cady Arena (0), Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Friday – 7:05 p.m.; Saturday – 5:05 p.m.
STREAMING: NCHC.tv ($).
NOTES: Overall, Miami played very well against Western Michigan in a typically-hostile arena en route to earning six points last weekend, and the RedHawks hope to capitalize on their momentum while playing on their home ice for the first time in 10 months.
The Broncos had pulled ahead in the teams’ all-time series, but Miami evened the slate at 70-70-12 with its sweep last weekend.
Ludvig Persson has been the main story for the RedHawks this season, as he is second in the NCAA in goals-against average (1.13) and save percentage (.963). Persson is 4-2-1 in his seven starts.
It will be interesting to see if coach Chris Bergeron starts Ben Kraws in one of these games, because he has been much improved over 2019-20 but has received almost no goal support.
Miami’s offense was held to an atrocious 1.50 goals per game in the Pod, but the RedHawks broke out for eight goals in their two tilts at Western Michigan.
The story for WMU to this point has also been its goaltending. Expected starter Brandon Bussi was injured the first game of the season and has not returned. Austin Cain has taken over starting duties but has a save percentage of .866.
It’s still unclear if and when the sophomore stud who went 18-12-4 with a 2.65 GAA and .910 save percentage Bussi will return to the Broncos, who are now six points behind the remaining seven NCHC teams.
Phil Knies has been the hottest Hawk offensively with six points in his last five games, and Matt Barry has five in that span.
Derek Daschke owns the team’s longest current points streak at three games.
These teams will meet for two more games to wrap up the regular season with a home-and-home.