Photo by Angelo Gelfuso
By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer
This weekend, the Goggin Ice Center is the site of a CCWHA collision as the unbeaten Miami University women's ice hockey team takes on unbeaten Davenport University. The RedHawks (6-0, 2-0 CCWHA) are seeking separation from the Panthers (6-0) as the teams are tied at the top of the standings with 12 points apiece.
"This week, we've been practicing our team play and just finishing," freshman forward Eliza Abraham said. "It's all a matter getting ready and having our preparation set in stone. It's still the beginning of the season and we're still getting the new girls acclimated to the team. It'll be a good weekend for us. As a freshman, one of the reasons I came is for games against teams like Davenport. It's really exciting for us."
Miami has been rolling since it started the season as it has won every game by three goals or more with sweeps over Lindenwood University, Midland University and the University of Michigan.
"We're working on being more consistent," head coach Scott Hicks said. "After coming off of a big weekend in conference and having another conference opponent this weekend, we're trying to be more consistent with our emotions and staying prepared."
Five of the ACHA's top scoring leaders this season belong to the Red and White. Sophomore right wing Rachael Booth has nine goals and nine assists, junior center Hayley Williams has seven goals and 10 assists, sophomore right wing Cassidy Guthrie recorded six goals and seven assists, freshman left wing Carly Noble registered six goals and five assists and sophomore right wing Kaley Mooney has accounted for four goals and seven assists.
The 'Hawks also boast two of the top goalies in the ACHA. Sophomore Emalee Wills posting a .902 save percentage and a 1.33 goals against average and freshman Carly VanOrden has a .958 save percentage with two goals against and a shutout against the Wolverines.
Davenport has started the season off with a dominant stretch of its own, recording five shutouts. Four of those came against Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin. Sophomore forward Chantal Caraher currently leads the Panthers in points with three goals and six assists. Sophomore forward Darian Adams, sophomore forward Lexie Boydston and junior forward Catie O'Connor are not far behind as Adams has eight points and Boydston and O'Connor have seven points each.
Junior goaltender Victoria Smishek has yet to surrender a goal this season, while senior goalie Caitlyn Nosanov has a .25 goals against average through four games with one goal allowed and three shutouts.
"They'll be geared up and ready to go at us with the target on our backs," Hicks said. "We have to match them and be even keel this weekend. We have a deeper roster and we can't rely on one person to dominate or we're in trouble. All of our lines have been productive. They're not able to match our depth."
The RedHawks conclude their season-opening home stand as they host Davenport 10 p.m. Friday and 5:15 p.m. Saturday at Goggin's Rink A.
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