Defending Division I champion Denver dished out both kinds of punishment to Miami when these teams met in Oxford to open the NCHC slate 2 1/2 months ago: A drubbing and a heartbreaker.
The Pioneers opened the series with a dominating 4-0 win in then rallied from a one-goal deficit to score three late goals in the finale, giving them eight straight wins vs. Miami.
DU has won seven straight games against the RedHawks at Magnuss, including a 10-3 aggregate beatdown in the first round of last years’ NCHC Tournament.
A look at this weekend’s matchup:
WHO: Miami RedHawks (7-11-2) at No. 4 Denver Pioneers (17-5).
WHERE: Magnuss Arena (6,026), Denver, Colo.
WHEN: Friday – 9 p.m.; Saturday – 8 p.m.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Denver leads, 28-13-3.
TV: Saturday — Altitude 2 (DirecTV Ch. 681-1).
STREAMING: NCHC.tv ($).
MIAMI RADIO: Friday — WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.; Saturday — WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio.
DENVER RADIO: Both nights — KKFN-FM (104.3), Denver, Colo.
NOTES: Magnus Chrona will likely make his 100th collegiate start this weekend, and his goals-against averages for four seasons with Denver are 2.15, 2.47, 2.11, 2.29 with save percentages of .907 or better each campaign. He’s 64-30-5.
But Matt Davis — a goalie with a name Miami fans should appreciate (and amazingly DU’s third goalie is named Jack Caruso) — has been eating into Chrona’s time between the pipes, as the likely 2023-24 starter has a .918 save percentage and a 1.76 GAA.
We documented the Pioneers’ forward and defensemen prowess when they visited Oxford, and the trio of Massimo Rizzo, Carter Mazur and Casey Dornbach are all averaging at least a point a game.
Rizzo, a Carolina draftee, is 10-19-29 and is seven points clear of the Denver field in points.
Mazur carved up Miami in Oxford, and the Detroit selection is ranked second in Division I with 16 goals — including five at Cady Arena — and six assists.
Harvard transfer Dornbach also has 22 points, including nine tallies.
Matt Benning is Denver’s top threat on defense with a 7-15-22 line.
The Pioneers eked out a home win on a controversial call vs. Arizona State last month and lost, 3-1 to Alaska last weekend. Both games were at Magness, so Denver currently appears more vulnerable than usual on its mile-high home ice, where they’re 8-2 overall.
This series is half of a four-game road trip for the RedHawks, who will bus seven hours east to Omaha for a two-game set next weekend, a move facilitated by Miami’s J-term.