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Speed Meets Muscle When Miami Travels to Minnesota Duluth

Matt Christians

Who: #10 Miami (4-2-0) at #19 Minnesota Duluth (3-3-0)

When: Both Friday and Saturday night's game starts at 7:07 CST

How to Watch: The game is television on MyFox9 in Duluth, and available to stream through NCHC.tv

I'll be in Duluth on Saturday night for live coverage of the second game of this series. Until then, here's a few notes to get you ready for this series

What to Watch For:

-Kasimir Kaskisuo seems to have locked down the starting goalie job for Minnesota Duluth. He'll be tested this weekend. Miami is second in the country, averaging 40.50 shots per game, including 53 in their last game and 62 in a single game two weekends ago against Ohio State. It's worth noting that both of those games were home and it was suggested by an opposing coach that there was some hometown scorekeeping going on with those numbers, but those are impressive shot totals even if you account for some inflation.

-The situation is less settled in the Miami goal. Junior Ryan McKay has missed the last two weekends with a lower body injury, leaving the goal tending duties to fellow junior Jay Williams. Williams gave up five goals on his first 12 shots last weekend in a 5-4 loss to St. Lawrence. It sounds like there's a good chance McKay will be back from injury and start this weekend.

-Other injuries to note: Minnesota Duluth senior captain Adam Krause is out with a broken wrist.  Fellow senior Justin Crandall also missed last weekend with an upper body injury. Miami's Colin Sullivan didn't play last weekend due to an undisclosed injury.

-If there's a key match-up to watch this weekend, it will be Minnesota Duluth's ability to get to the front of the net and generate rebound opportunities against a smaller Miami defense. The Bulldogs faced a similarly small, but mobile group last weekend, and while they couldn't generate much on Friday night, they absolutely destroyed Denver in front of the DU net on Saturday night en route to an easy 6-1 win.

-On the other end of the ice, the key match-up will be Miami's tremendous speed going up against a strong, physical defense in Minnesota Duluth. The Bulldogs do a tremendous job of holding strong on their own blue line and forcing teams to dump the puck into the zone rather than attacking off the rush, but that's a much more difficult proposition when you're facing speedsters like Austin Czarnik and Anthony Louis.