RedHawks ready for Raiders
Published: Friday, October 12, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 16:10
Following a 6-2 exhibition victory over Western Ontario Sunday, the Miami University men's hockey team hopes to continue its offensive success in Friday’s season opener against Colgate University. The RedHawks also enter ranked eighth in the country according to both the USCHO.com poll and the USA Today poll, moving up one spot in both from the previous week.
Nine separate Miami skaters notched a point against Western Ontario and senior captain Steven Spinell thinks making a statement this past weekend was the perfect way to lead into the regular season.
“Having that confidence, having that game under our belt is going to carry into next week,” Spinell said. “Everyone’s feeling good and the attitude around the locker room is upbeat.”
Freshman forward Riley Barber, who chalked up three assists against the Mustangs Sunday, agreed that the locker room atmosphere is positive and the young players are feeling more confident.
“The mood is very energetic,” Barber said. “We want to get the year started off really well with a sweep, and Colgate’s a good team. The game this weekend I think helped with the jitters a little bit, but everyone's excited to play real games and really get after it.”
Despite the team’s early success, Miami was plagued Sunday by mistimed passing and unforced turnovers, especially in the first period. However, Head Coach Enrico Blasi knows the team needs to progress each week.
“There's a lot of things [to improve on]; we’ve had so little time,” Blasi said. “Now that we have a regular routine, we can … continue to get better. We’ll pick a few things at a time and try to get as close to perfection on those things and we’ll just keep adding on from week to week.”
In the meantime, the RedHawks are focused on the task at hand. Barber is confident the young ’Hawks will be successful if they play Miami style hockey.
“If we just stick to the game plan that the coaches enforce I think we’ll be fine because we have a lot of speed and a lot of talent,” he said. “If we do the systems we know that can work and we execute them 100 percent I think we’ll be fine.”
Miami split its season series with the Raiders last year. Colgate beat Niagara University 10-2 Tuesday.