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College Hockey:
McKay stops 24 in debut as Miami blanks Colgate

— The Miami RedHawks began the 2012-2013 season on a high note, getting some standout goaltending from a newcomer who looked very much at home. Freshman goaltender Ryan McKay was perfect between the pipes in his collegiate debut, stopping all 24 saves the Colgate Raiders (1-1-0) sent his way to secure a 3-0 Miami victory Friday night in Oxford.

“I’ll take it any way I can get it, but starting off with a shutout is definitely a nice way to do it,” McKay said of his debut. “But I felt like as a team we played well enough to deserve a shutout tonight.”

Miami coach Enrico Blasi said he wasn’t surprised by McKay’s high level of play, but was nonetheless pleased with what he saw from his freshman goalie.

“He played really well tonight,” said Blasi. “He made a couple big saves when it was 1-0 in the second period. He seemed pretty in control back there.”

The RedHawks (1-0-0) tallied the only score of the first period at 13:02. Blake Coleman beat Raiders’ goaltender Eric Mihalik after he was set up for the score by Marc Hagel and Alex Wideman.

Miami earned a second goal early in the second frame. Bryon Paulazzo took a pass from Austin Czarnik  in front of the crease and held it for a moment before beating Mihalik five-hole from the left side of the cage at 6:41 for a 2-0 lead.

Miami struck again at 18:45 of the second during four-on-four action. It was Coleman again, finding the back of the net for his second of the game after he gathered up a loose puck at center ice. With a Colgate defender hot on his tail, his shot grazed off of Mihalik’s chest and dribbled in behind him for an unassisted goal, the last of the night.

The scoreless third period saw Mihalik replaced in Colgate’s net at the outset by freshman netminder Spencer Finney. Mihalik made 12 saves during his two periods of play, while Spencer stopped all nine shots that he saw in his first collegiate action. Shots ended up even at 24 on the night for each team.

As Miami stretched the lead to three, Colgate coach Don Vaughan felt the Raiders did themselves in on the RedHawks’ second period scores.

“I thought our energy was good,” said Vaughan. “I think the first period was our best. We had two bad turnovers in the second [period] that they capitalized on. Now we’re down three and they’re making us come 200 feet to make a play. They really played well with the lead.”

The Raiders went 0-for-8 on power-play opportunities, only mustering five shots with the man advantage. Miami came away similarly empty-handed on four power-play chances, but Vaughan felt that special teams were what held back the Raiders’ game.

“We had a chance if our power play produced. We may have been able to claw our way back in. Our power play let us down tonight.”

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