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’Hawks split exhibition games

Photo by Lauren Olson, Photography Editor

By Steven Perkins, Staff Writer

The Miami University men's ice hockey team split a set of home exhibition games this weekend, losing to the U.S. National Team Development Program U-18 team and beating Simon Fraser University.

Miami fell short to the US U-18 team 3-0 Saturday. It was Miami's first game of the season.

"It's hard to prepare when you have limited time with them [the players] due to NCAA rules," head coach Enrico Blasi said. "Now that we're able to practice everyday hopefully we'll be able to get better each and every day."

Though the U.S. U-18 players are younger, it does not mean they are less skilled. The team is made up of the best young American hockey players. Several RedHawk players, such as junior forwards Riley Barber and Sean Kuraly were once members. Blasi noted the team was skilled, but still felt the RedHawks could have played better.

"The U.S. team, that's as talented a team as you're going to play," Blasi said. "They have some obviously high end guys and we didn't play well. We didn't execute very well."

Execution was not a problem Sunday. Miami thrashed Simon Fraser, a Canadian college just outside Vancouver, 11-0. Blasi said shooting helped contribute to the big numbers.

"Well I thought tonight we were shooting the puck," Blasi said. "Where last night, especially early I thought we were trying to be too cute."

Miami outshot SFU 57-13, after the 'Hawks were outshot 32-25 against the US U-18 team.

Miami's first line accounted for five goals on the night, with two from senior center Austin Czarnik, two from senior winger Blake Coleman and one from senior winger Alex Wideman. Czarnik and Coleman also each tallied a pair of assists while Wideman had three helpers. Wideman said practice had helped get them ready to score goals.

"We're working on a lot of stuff in practice in the O-zone [offensive]," Wideman said. "Tonight we really put that into place."

Kuraly and junior forward Kevin Morris each added a pair of goals.

Junior forward Cody Murphy and sophomore forward Devin Loe added a tally apiece.

Captain Austin Czarnik said it was nice to generate offense.

"It feels good to finally get it going," Czarnik said, "I'm happy with how the team played. There are still things we can work on in every zone so we'll get back to that this week."

The No.10/11 RedHawks are gearing up for a home-and-home to open the regular season against Bowling Green State University. They travel to Bowling Green Friday and host the Falcons Sunday.