The Free Press, Mankato, MN


March 27, 2013

Miami’s hockey program is where MSU wants to be



Minnesota State’s 3.17 goals scored per game ranks 10th in the country, more than half a goal per game better than Miami.

“We play a good brand of team defense,” said Blasi, the CCHA’s Coach of the Year. “Our goaltending has been very good, but our entire forward group and our defensive corps really work well together. They’ve done a nice job not giving teams too many second chances.”

Freshman goalies Ryan McKay and Jay Williams each have played in 21 games and have a combined .934 save percentage (McKay leads the country with a 1.37 goals-against average and is second with a .948 save percentage).

By comparison, MSU goaltender Stephon Williams won the WCHA Rookie of the Year award and has a .925 save percentage and a 1.96 goals-against average in 34 games.

The CCHA’s Rookie of the Year went to Miami forward Riley Barber, who scored 15 goals and 38 points in his first season.

Miami also had that league’s Player of the Year and Hobey Baker Award finalist in sophomore forward Austin Czarnik. Czarnik tied with Barber atop Miami’s scoring list with 38 points, including 14 goals. He’s also plus-19 and leads the country with four short-handed goals.

The Mavericks, too, are led in scoring by a sophomore, Matt Leitner, who has 47 points, including 17 goals.

“They’re good,” Hastings said. “They deserve to be in the tournament, and so do we.”

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