By John Lachmann
WHO: Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (13-13-4) at Miami RedHawks (11-16-3).
WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Friday—7:35 p.m.; Saturday—7:05 p.m.
MIAMI RADIO: Internet only.
MINNESOTA-DULUTH RADIO: KZIO-FM (94.1 and 104.3), Duluth, Minn.
NOTES: UMD has been a streaky team all season, and is currently suffering through a four-game losing streak. Prior to that the Bulldogs were 8-1-3 in their previous 12-game stretch.
Three Minnesota-Duluth players have double-digit goal totals – Kyle Osterberg (12-7-19), Alex Iafallo (11-10-21) and Justin Crandall (10-8-18).
Caleb Herbert leads the Bulldogs in points (26) with nine goals and 17 assists.
The only previous meeting between these teams was in 2009, when the RedHawks beat Minnesota-Duluth, 2-1 in a regional final to advance to their first-ever Frozen Four in Washington, D.C.
So obviously this will be the Bulldogs’ first-ever trip to Oxford.
Senior Aaron Crandall had been the regular starter in net for UMD, but he was 6-for-8 in relief last Saturday vs. North Dakota after struggling in his past three outings. Sophomore Matt McNeely could start: He’s 2-4-1 with a 2.83 goals-against average and an .894 save percentage.
Crandall is 11-9-3 with a 2.77 GAA and .903 save percentage.
Despite the return of junior forward Blake Coleman – who scored two goals in Miami’s win last Friday – the RedHawks still have multiple injury issues.
Junior Jimmy Mullin has missed seven games with a lower-body injury, and freshman Johnny Wingels has been out the same number of games with an upper-body injury.
This will be the last home series of the season for Miami. The RedHawks will travel to Denver next weekend before heading to a team TBA in the first round of the NCHC Tournament.