By Steven Perkins, For The Miami Student
The Miami University men's hockey team kicks off the regular season this weekend in a home-and-home series against in-state rival Bowling Green State University.
No. 10/11 Miami travels to Bowling Green Friday and then hosts the Falcons Sunday.
The RedHawks are coming off a 3-0 loss to the U.S. U-18 team and an 11-0 win against Simon Fraser University in the exhibition weekend.
Head coach Enrico Blasi said he didn't take much out of the weekend.
"Other than us wearing our jerseys and going out there and calling lines and things like that," Blasi said. "I didn't think we played very well on Saturday, and that was from top to bottom. Sunday was really hard to gage … I didn't think they were probably as sharp as they wanted to be, so I don't know if you can take anything out of Sunday's game."
Captain and senior center Austin Czarnik said it was a measuring stick for team play.
"We just have to get better with our systems," Czarnik said. "Systems are still struggling a little bit, especially D zone against USA, we gave up a couple goals in the slot and you can't have that happen, so we went through a walkthrough yesterday on all our systems."
The RedHawks put up an impressive 11 goals Sunday. They found twine in double digits after plastering 57 shots against Simon Fraser. The goals included five from the first line alone.
Czarnik, the first line center said they want to carry that momentum into the weekend.
"We just have to keep on working in the zone," Czarnik said, "Offensively we need to just keep on getting shots, crash the net and create second chances."
The RedHawks were also strong defensively Sunday. They allowed only 13 shots and had impressive goaltending from junior Ryan McKay.
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He credited a big part of his success to his defense.
"The D are absolutely ready," McKay said. "They're skating very well and at an extremely high intensity. I love having them in front of me. I've got a lot of confidence going into the year."
Blasi said the goaltenders are ready for the year as well.
"I think Ryan [McKay] and Jay [Williams] have had great summers," Blasi said. "Their mindset is where it needs to be. I think last year was something they have both learned from in terms of preparation and in terms of mindset. They both look like they're ready to take on the challenge this year."
Miami kicks off the regular season at 7:07 p.m. Friday and then hosts Bowling Green at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. Fans can listen live on Redhawkradio.com.