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Neumann's power-play cause for concern
FREDONIA, N.Y. -- Fredonia State will be trying to slow down high-scoring Neumann in a pair of weekend games at Ashton, Pa.
The Blue Devils (5-3-3) will have to pay particular attention to their opponent's power play. The Knights (8-4-0) have 25 power-play goals, compared to 14 by Fredonia State.
Game times are 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday. There is no local radio broadcast or internet webcast.
"The approach that we take," Fredonia State coach Jeff Meredith said, "will be the same as for all year. We are on the road, playing a very good hockey team and they have an excellent power play. Needless to say, the key to killing their power play will be to stay out of the (penalty) box. I was impressed with the way our team did that last weekend and we want to roll that over into this weekend."
Neumann boasts four players ranked in the nation's top 10 in NCAA Division III scoring, including Mike Hedden, who leads the nation with 13 goals -- six on the power play. Meanwhile, Fredonia State sophomore goaltender Pat Street (Annapolis, Md.) is 24th nationally in goals-against average (2.29).
The teams have played three common opponents this year. The Blue Devils are 1-1-1 against Geneseo, Manhattanville, and Utica. The Knights are 3-1-0 against the three.
Meredith plans no lineup changes this weekend. "I am impressed," he said, "with how ... everybody has fit into a place in our game lineup. We only have one forward killing penalties now who also plays on the power play. That gives us good depth and coverage as far as minutes that a player logs. It also allows us to develop some specialization in those groups."
While Fredonia State leads the all-time series, 9-3-1, Neumann has done all its damage in the last two seasons. They swept the weekend series at Ashton in 2005-06 and won one game and tied the other last season at Steele Hall. The Knights were No. 3 last year in the final USCHO.com rankings. They are unranked this year.
"Our non-conference schedule," Meredith said, "is as tough as anybody plays. With two games against Utica, Manhattanville, and Neumann, those are some of the top teams in the country. Last year Manhattanville (finished No. 2) and Neumann were both ranked in the top five in the NCAA polls while Utica was a top 15 team."