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Miami notches first regular season NCHC sweep

Photo by Lauren Olson, Photography Editor

The No. 7 Miami University hockey team notched eight goals in three periods against Colorado College, picking up its first National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular season sweep. The 'Hawks dominated puck possession and outshot the Tigers 82 to 37 during the two games.

The RedHawks (7-3, 3-1 NCHC) picked up a 3-0 win over the Tigers (2-6, 0-4 NCHC) Friday night, with all three goals coming in the final 10 minutes of the third period.

The scoring carried over into Saturday's matchup, with Miami putting up two goals in the first period and three in the second en route to a 5-1 win.

"It comes so seldom to get a sweep in this league," junior forward Riley Barber said. "Especially at home, you have to take advantage of being here in front of your fans … its awesome to get the win, especially the sweep. It's huge in our league."

Junior goalie Jay Williams was strong in net both nights. He didn't allow a single goal Friday and allowed only a power play goal Saturday. He picked up NCHC Goaltender of the Week for his efforts.

Both offenses had goals taken away after review in the opening game Friday, so the scoreboard remained blank until senior forward Alex Wideman notched back-to-back goals in the final period.

"Al's been quietly having a pretty good year so far," head coach Enrico Blasi said. "And nobody wants to talk about him. He seems to be on the scoreboard every night."

Junior forward Sean Kuraly added an empty net goal to close out the 3-0 win.

Blasi was happy with Miami's effort Saturday.

"I thought we played well tonight," Blasi said. "Probably as close to 60 minutes as we've played all year."

It was freshman defenseman Scott Dornbrock who started the scoring Saturday, notching his first career goal. Dornbrock went to coast-to-coast for the goal after getting a pass deep in his own zone from sophomore defenseman Taylor Richart.

"Scottie has made some big plays for us already," Blasi said. "Last week at Duluth he assisted on the game winner Friday night. Tonight, we were kinda a little maybe not as sharp as we wanted to be and then he goes end to end and rips one."

Junior forward Sean Kuraly notched the second goal of the game and later picked up an assist. Kuraly has been spectacular this season, scoring seven times.

"I thought tonight actually was probably his best game," Blasi said. "He's been scoring some goals but I think he cleaned up his game tonight. He did a nice job at both ends of the rink. And when you do that, you get reward."

Junior forward Riley Barber also had a strong effort, tickling twine twice and adding an assist Saturday. Barber added an assist Friday night and was named NCHC Offensive Player of the Week.

Miami didn't score in the third period Saturday, but Blasi was okay with that.

"In the third period, instead of trying to go for another goal, we've got guys playing it smart," Blasi said. "With good depth on the offensive blue line and being real team oriented. That's probably the thing that we'll take away from this game tonight. Is that we started to play as a team."

Miami hits the road next weekend to face the University of North Dakota in a critical NCHC matchup. UND (7-1-1) is No. 2 in the nation and was picked to win the NCHC in the preseason.