Friday, March 11, 2016

Game 35: Miami at UMD (NCHC Playoffs Game 1)

Two teams that appear well-suited for playoff hockey are set to hook up in a best-of-three NCHC quarterfinal series here that will end the season of the losing team.

At 13th in the PairWise, UMD stands to fall into the 20s if swept in this series, and likely into the 15-18 range if Miami wins the series in three games. That will be enough to end the Bulldogs' season, unless they end up 15th and the only team outside the top 16 to get a bid is the Atlantic Hockey playoff champion (unlikely, given the current climate).

Miami is already in the 20s in the PairWise, far outside at-large range, and even a two-game sweep here and single win at the NCHC Frozen Faceoff next week would likely not be enough for the RedHawks. Certainly, MU knows it has to win this series to have any chance of extending its season.

Outside of that, not much at stake here. Expecting an emotionally charged weekend, whether it goes two games or three, and expecting games to be tight and down to the wire. If you're showing up here expecting to see a 5-0 UMD win like last Friday, I feel you are sorely mistaken.

UMD just hasn't shown the ability to blow teams out on a consistent basis, especially a team like Miami that is generally very tough to do that to.

Not saying UMD can't win or won't win, but I highly doubt this will be easy.

No lineup changes for UMD from the weekend. Miami makes a couple tweaks, putting Ryan Siroky back in the middle of what is listed here as the top line but is more like the fourth line. Andrew Schmit is out (he played for Michael Mooney on Saturday, with Mooney back on wing in the series opener). On the blue line, senior Matthew Caito is back after being out two weekends. Colin Sullivan is scratched to make room in the lineup.



Iafallo - Toninato - Johnson
Farley - Cameranesi - Kuhlman
Osterberg - Thomas - Mackay
Sampair - Decowski - Young (Austyn)

Welinski - Pionk
Soucy - Raskob
Corrin - Kotyk

Kaskisuo - McNeely - Deery

Lemirande - Siroky - Mooney
Morris - Greenberg - LaValle
Sherwood - Kuraly - Roslovic
Louis - Melnick - Gacek

Caito - Joyaux
Hutton - Richart
Dornbrock - Belpedio

Williams - McCarthy

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