Karch Bachman scored on a breakaway 29 seconds in, Ryan Siroky and Phil Knies added insurance goals in the second period and Ryan Larkin stopped 21 shots to earn the shutout.
That 3-0 Miami win on Oct. 13, 2018 was the only-ever meeting between these teams, and that was technically on neutral ice, as it was part of the Ice Breaker Tournament played at Erie Insurance Arena – the home of the OHL Erie Otters.
The Lakers have lost their last three but have only dropped one home decision in five games during an early-season schedule that was extremely road-centric.
A look at this weekend’s matchup:
WHO: Miami RedHawks (3-12-1) at Mercyhurst Lakers (4-8-4).
WHERE: Mercyhurst Ice Center, Erie, Pa. (1,500).
WHEN: Sunday – 3:05 p.m.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Miami leads, 1-0.
STREAMING: Flohockey.tv ($).
MIAMI RADIO: WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio.
NOTES: Mercyhurst has struggled to keep the puck out of its own net.
The Lakers have given up 59 goals in 16 games (a rate of 3.7) and have allowed at least two tallies in every contest this season.
Goalies Kyle McClellan and Hank Johnson have split time in net this season, and McClellan has the better numbers with a 3.46 goals-against average and a save percentage of .907. Johnson’s GAA is 3.81 and he has a .889 save percentage.
Mercyhurst has a veteran D-corps anchored by four seniors – Owen Norton, Josh McDougall, Michael Bevilacqua and Devon Daniels – all of whom have at least 80 games of Division I experience.
Norton leads all Lakers defensemen in points with nine, including eight assists.
Junior Cade Townsend leads Mercyhurst blueliners in goals with three, and no other Mercyhurst skater has generated more than four points from the back end.
Up front, Austin Heidemann leads the team with 14 points, and Carson Briere is one back at 13 points. Both have eight goals.
Dante Sheriff has a team-high nine assists in addition to his two goals, and Jonathan Redford also has 11 points (3-8-11).
— One of Miami’s biggest keys in these two games is putting the puck on net. The Lakers are tenth-last in the NCAA in shots allowed (579) despite having played fewer games than any of the nine teams ahead of them. They are giving up an average of 37.1 shots.
The RedHawks are putting up a paltry 22.0 shots per game and just 19.1 in their last 11 games. However, they did fire 52 in two games vs. a loaded Western Michigan team last weekend.
— It will be interesting to see how Miami handles its goaltending situation in these games. Ludvig Persson left a game two weeks ago with an injury and Logan Neaton played one excellent game and one so-so game in his absence.
Persson was average in his first game back last weekend.
Neaton has the higher save percentage at .896 vs. .884 for Persson.
— Miami was actually scheduled to host Mercyhurst in 2020-21 but the Lakers canceled the series because of an alleged recruiting violation by the RedHawks at the 2018 Ice Breaker under the previous coaching regime.
But obviously any issues between the programs have been resolved, as these teams will again hook up in Oxford right after the new year to complete their first-ever home-and-home series.
— The Lakers have taken seven major penalties and eight game misconducts. Their 15.2 PIM-per-game clip is the fifth-highest in Division I.