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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Miami University Forward Nathan Davis

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, December 5 at 1:00 p.m. ET, Miami University forward Nathan Davis pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The RedHawks face CCHA rival Ohio State this Saturday, December 9, on CSTV at 8 p.m. ET.

Nathan Davis

One of only two Ohio natives on Miami's 2006-07 roster, Nathan Davis represents his home state proudly and helps the RedHawks do the same.

The 6'1" junior forward from Rocky River, Ohio, leads the RedHawks and the nation in scoring with 24 points on 10 goals and 14 assists. Davis was also the RedHawks' leading scorer in 2005-06, recording 40 points on 20 goals and 20 assists as Miami captured the CCHA regular season title and advanced to the NCAA tournament. Davis was also the assistant captain of Team USA at the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship, the first RedHawk to compete in the tournament since Kevyn Adams in 1994.

Before coming to Miami, Davis played in the U.S. National Team Development Program, scoring 24 points on 10 goals and 14 assists in 57 games in 2003-04. A fourth-round draft pick (113th overall) of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Davis follows in the footsteps of his older brother, Matt, who played from Miami from 2003-2006 and is in his first season with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Nathan won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 5th, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Good afternoon, and welcome to "Tuesday @ the Rink," presented by CSTV.com and USCHO. We're joined now by Miami forward Nathan Davis, the nation's leading scorer.
Nathan Davis: Hi everyone. I am sitting in the players lounge here at Steve Cady Arena and getting ready to go on the ice for practice here soon. I am looking forward to taking all of your questions.

Keith L, Pittsburgh: Nathan, I was wondering how it feels to have put Miami on the college hockey map and to be mentioned with the likes of perennial power houses such as BU, BC, Denver and Michigan? I was also wondering what made you decide on attending Miami to play hockey?
Nathan Davis: First, I don't feel that I have put Miami on the map. Guys like Andy Greene and Derek Edwardson did a tremendous job in making Miami a household name in college hockey. Those guys, and many before them made it the place it is today and I am just trying to help 25 other guys carry on that legacy. As far as why I chose Miami, the fact that my brother went here played a big part in my decision and growing up in Ohio obviously made it one of my top choices. With all that Miami has to offer, both academically and athletically, it became an easy choice.

Steve (Oxford): Who's a better hockey player...you or your brother?
Nathan Davis: I think we both have strengths in different areas. Matt has a really good shot and is great defensively and in the faceoff circle. He is a versatile player and is really smart defensively. I like to think that I have the edge on him offensively, but he might have a different answer to that question.

Matt (Philadelphia, PA): Nate, how do you feel finally being out of your older brother's shadow? With him gone now, you have really picked up your game.
Nathan Davis: I learned a lot from my brother while he was here, both on and off the ice. He helped me develop as a hockey player and as a person and his leadership and guidance is really paying off. I think everyone in the locker room misses my brother's pleasant demeanor and how he always had a smile on his face.

Mike (Dayton, OH): Nate, Congrats to you and the Redhawks on the great start to the season. My question is regarding the explosive powerplay you anchor and is a huge reason for the early season success. Can you, Ryan Jones, and Brian Kaufman continue to capitalize at such a high percentage all season? Will teams catch on to your strategies or do you think you guys will just get better and better? Thanks Nate, good luck.
Nathan Davis: I certainly think we can continue to have success on the PP, and I think teams have already started to try to take away parts of our PP. One of our strengths is our ability to adapt on the fly and change things up if something isn't working. One of the reasons we have had so much success is that all five guys have the ability to anchor the unit and control the puck depending on how we are being defended.

Mike (Oxford): Congratulations, Nate, on a great season so far. 1) I'm amazed at how aggressive you play on the kill and how many shorthanded chances you get. I wonder if that's something that Rico coaches, or if it just happens. It seems like the Hawks' success has a lot to do with aggressive forechecking. I love seeing two guys pressing in deep while shorthanded. 2) I heard you make a comment last year that sounded like you intend to play through your senior year (just like Matt). I think I speak for Redhawk fans everywhere when I say: I sure hope so! Ho-bey-Ba-ker! GO HAWKS!!!
Nathan Davis: Coach Blashill and Coach Bergeron have designed our PK to allow for more aggressive play and to create some offensive chances and that is something that I certainly like to take advantage of any time I can. As far as staying in Oxford for four years, I chose to go the college route to get my degree and that remains my plan.

Mike (Columbus): Nathan, Congrats on a great start thus far! With the Ohio State series coming up this weekend, it's obviously a chance for our team to continue the first half run. That said, who would you consider to be Miami's biggest hockey rival? Thanks and go RedHawks!
Nathan Davis: I would absolutely consider Ohio State our biggest rival, considering that we play four and sometimes five times each year. Anytime you face a team that often it leads to a little extra intensity on the ice. With that being said, there are a lot of friendships that exist between players on the two teams and guys have played together a lot in junior and in high school, as do most guys on both teams. It is all business on the ice, however.

Steve (Oxford): How would you compare this year's Redhawks to last year's Redhawks?
Nathan Davis: With the absence of our leaders from last year like Andy Greene and my brother (Matt), along with Stephen Dennis and Chris Michael, the dynamic of the team has changed quite a bit. This year, with our captain being a junior, and two of our three assistant captains being underclassmen, a lot of the leadership and direction of the team has come by committee, where the whole team has a part in setting the mood of the locker room. On the ice, I think a lot of the same things have happened where we have been able to score up and down the lineup and it really has been a team effort so far with different guys taking center stage each night. I think we have had 10 different guys score game-winners so far.

Joe, Oxford: What's it like playing in the new Goggin arena? How does it differ from the old Goggin?
Nathan Davis: The new "Goggin Ice Center" is a bit more luxurious than the old place to say the least. We have a lot of amenities that we didn't have before, but we don't take any of it for granted. The old building was one of those rare places that despite its tight quarters, was a really special place to all of us. I'd have to say my favorite part of the new place is the steam room!

bill (detroit, MI): what would you say contributes the most to your outstanding hands and feet and strong balanced presence on the ice? is it hockey camps and videos, ice time, raw talent and instant knack, coachs attention from being successful as a youth, ect???
Nathan Davis: Something that my father stressed when I was younger was having a strong athletic base and playing as many sports as possible. It certainly has contributed to being a much better all-around athlete, which I think translates into better coordination and balance etc., on the ice.

Keith (Oxford): Nate, it seems that this years team is relying more on the younger players than last year, especially with the impact that Jarod Palmer and Gary Steffes have had offensively. Do you think that the inexperience on this end could have a negative effect as the season winds down into the CCHA playoffs?
Nathan Davis: No, I think it can only be a positive thing that younger guys, especially freshmen, are contributing. Any time you can spread your offense across all four lines, teams can't key on one line and that just makes a team that much more dangerous. Jarod and Gary especially haven't played like freshmen and have been a big part of our success so far.

Allan (Detroit): Did Miami learn any lessons from that NCAA loss to BC last March that can be applied to a possible NCAA tourney berth this spring?
Nathan Davis: Yes, I think the biggest thing we learned was that any team that wants to make a run at the Frozen Four has to be peaking at the right time. I think a lot of our efforts this year will go to making sure that when March comes around that we will be playing our best hockey. Our coaching staff stresses getting better each day, and if we do that, we should be ready to go in March.

Doug (Columbus): Last week was the third week in a row you played with Jeff Zatkoff in net for both games this season. Does having Eff in net one night and Jeff in the next night change things for you guys? Would you prefer Eff twice? Jeff twice? one and one?
Nathan Davis: We have total confidence in both guys to be able to win a game. I think they have proven over the last two years that they are both among the best goaltenders in the country. Whoever is in net, we know they are prepared and will get the job done. We play the same game in front of them regardless and we know we are getting a strong effort between the pipes both nights.

Andy (Akron): Nate, (I'm sure Rico is watching), but tell us anyhow, is Rico as stern and intense away from the rink and in the locker room as he appears to be on the bench? It's just that coach Blashill and Bergeron appear to be having fun out there and Rico always seems intense. Fill us in. Thanks Nate.
Nathan Davis: It might not be visible from the bench, but Rico laughs and jokes and has just as much fun as any coach I have ever played for. With that being said, his intensity is always there and hard work and being prepared are definitely things he stresses at all times.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all the time we have with Nathan this afternoon, since he has to get to practice.
Nathan Davis: Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the questions. I have to be on the ice in 20 minutes so I better get them laced up. If my brother is reading this, I want to wish him good luck this week and I hope they don't make him play goalie.
CSTV.com Moderator: That'll do it for the first of our two "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats today. Come back at the top of the hour, as we chat with North Dakota defenseman Brian Lee. Also, remember that you can see Nathan and the No. 4 RedHawks in action LIVE on CSTV this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET against Ohio State.

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