By Harrison Schwarz, Staff Writer
After winning seven of its last nine games, the Miami University hockey team (12-13-3, 6-10-2-2 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) travels to Western Michigan University (7-18-3, 4-13-1-1 NCHC) for a two-game series this weekend.
The ’Hawks recent wins came against then-No. 19 Bowling Green State University last Friday and then-No.3 St. Cloud State University on Feb. 6.
MU played Western Michigan on Nov. 6 and 7 and won both games, 2-1.
“We expect the same type of game,” head coach Enrico Blasi said. “They’re a really good hockey team that plays hard. They’re well-coached and they’re always well-prepared. It’s a tough building to play in. We’re going to have to go out there and play our best and give ourselves an opportunity to be in the game and execute plays when they come up.”
The Broncos are winless (0-8-2) since Jan. 8, but all of their losses are against teams ranked in the top eight of the PairWise Rankings.
The Red and White’s players look to continue some hot streaks heading into Kalamazoo, Mich. Freshman forward Josh Melnick has put up a point in eight of his last nine games (two goals, six assists). Senior goalie Jay Williams has allowed two goals or fewer in seven of his last 10 starts. Senior forward and team captain Sean Kuraly has 13 points and is +9 in his last 12 games.
“I think it comes down to the will to win,” freshman defenseman Grant Hutton said. “We know that if we play for each other the results will happen on the ice, and I think that’s exactly what’s happening.”
Winning both games against WMU gives the RedHawks a higher chance at reaching the Frozen Four Playoffs.
“It’s a really big game,” freshman forward Jack Roslovic said. “We’ve won two straight now. One in the NCHC and one out of conference, and that’s big for us in the standings. We’re trying to do as well as we can in the standings. We know Miami hockey now, and bringing that into the NCHC playoffs is going to be scary.”
The RedHawks are 64-57-11 all-time against the Broncos. Miami is 7-1-1 in the last nine meetings, but is just 2-4-2 in its past eight games at the Lawson Ice Arena. MU’s last road sweep of WMU was Dec. 5 and 6, 2008.
Puck drop is 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday in Kalamazoo.