Miami, MSU set for NCAA collision


Ryan McKay is a pretty good goaltender, and that means one thing: He’s got a short memory.

The Miami University freshman got pulled after giving up four goals in about 32 minutes against Michigan last weekend, but he’s eager to hit the ice at the Huntington Center on Saturday when the RedHawks face Minnesota State Mankato in the NCAA Midwest Regional.

“Absolutely. I can’t wait for the first shot of the game,” said McKay, tabbed by MU coach Enrico Blasi as Saturday’s starter between the pipes. “The Michigan game is one of those games that happens once a year where bounces are going against you, and we didn’t play our best game overall. It was kind of a crap time for it to happen, but at the end of the day, we’ve got bigger fish to fry in this tournament.”

No. 2 seed Miami (24-11-5) and third-seeded MSU (24-13-3) will meet in the second regional semifinal at 5 p.m. The RedHawks have a lot of young players (18 freshmen and sophomores), but so do the Mavericks (16 players in those two classes).

“You put together a body of work throughout the year that would hopefully prepare this team to play at this time of the year,” Blasi said. “A couple of our guys played for a world championship. It doesn’t get any bigger than that.”

It’s the eighth straight NCAA appearance for MU, which has been knocked out in the first round the last two years. Minnesota State has made it this far just once before, losing its opener in 2002-03.

“There are a lot of guys on each roster that have not been here before,” Mavericks coach Mike Hastings said. “Just because you’ve been here doesn’t guarantee you success, and because you’ve never been here doesn’t mean that you’re going to fall on your face. It’s an opportunity. That’s what we talk about being excited about.”

MSU has a potent power play that ranks fifth in the country. Miami is ranked sixth nationally on the penalty kill.

“(The RedHawks) play a style where they don’t mind getting up and down the rink, but they’re going to be responsible with what they’re doing,” Hastings said. “At this time of the year, the difference between winning and losing is going to be a small margin.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

WATCH: Texas Pete SEC Scoreboard Show – Week 12
WATCH: Texas Pete SEC Scoreboard Show – Week 12

It’s time to analyze and review the biggest SEC games of the week. Join co-hosts Bob Fiscella and Hans Heiserer to talk about the biggest games, the biggest plays and the best players. It’s time for the Texas Pete SEC Scoreboard Show. Watch on Facebook. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]...
Michigan State basks in opportunity of ugly weather once again
Michigan State basks in opportunity of ugly weather once again

EAST LANSING, Mich. — For years, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio has told his team to “be the storm.” It’s high time to consider that the Spartans and the storm might be one and the same. Ugly weather seems to follow the Spartans, whether at home or on the road for games against Michigan and Minnesota. And when...
Wisconsin’s T.J. Edwards, Ryan Connelly wreaking havoc amid inside linebacker injuries
Wisconsin’s T.J. Edwards, Ryan Connelly wreaking havoc amid inside linebacker injuries

MADISON, Wis. — When fall camp opened nearly four months ago, the excitement surrounding Wisconsin’s inside linebacker group was palpable. Four players were worthy of starting despite the Badgers having only two starting spots, and the biggest concern focused on how all of them would see the field. But injury issues...
Run-first Ohio State looks playoff worthy, will get shot to prove it
Run-first Ohio State looks playoff worthy, will get shot to prove it

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s path to the College Football Playoff isn’t a clear one, but the fact that one exists at all is in part a credit to the mini-transformation the Buckeyes have undergone these past two weeks. The Buckeyes have at times this season gotten away from the run-first identity that has led to so much...
Iron Bowl distraction: Paul Finebaum says Gus Malzahn is ‘close to being offered’ Arkansas job
Iron Bowl distraction: Paul Finebaum says Gus Malzahn is ‘close to being offered’ Arkansas job

More Stories