Miami starts 2012 with 2-1 victory over Michigan State
Freshman Jimmy Mullin scored his fifth goal of the season just 1:24 into overtime and senior goaltender Connor Knapp made 33 saves as Miami started 2012 with a 2-1 victory over #15 Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich.
Miami sophomore forward Bryon Paulazzo opened the scoring late in the first period with his third goal of the year, but MSU’s Greg Wolfe notched the tying goal just twelve seconds later as good defense and great goaltending ruled the remainder of regulation.
Entering overtime, Miami was a paltry 0-3-2 in extra session games this year and had not won an overtime game since senior co-captain Alden Hirschfeld scored the game-winner in double OT against Michigan in the 2010 NCAA Regional Final in Fort Wayne, Ind. That game was played on March 28, 2010.
Not to be denied in their sixth OT opportunity, Miami dominated the extra period outshooting the Spartans 4-0. Fresh of the plane from Alberta, Canada, Team USA World Junior Championship hero Austin Czarnik found Mullin from behind the net, and as the MSU defense collapsed on Miami junior forward Reilly Smith, Mullin found himself with an opportunity and beat senior Spartan netminder Drew Palmisano high over his left shoulder.
“Czarnik made a nice play behind the net and I came around the right-hand side and everybody went to Reilly (Smith) so when they go to one person all you have to do is shoot and it went in,” Mullin said of the game-winner. “I was really excited about that.” (source: MURedHawks.com)
– It was Mullin’s first career game-winning goal.
– Miami is now 6-3 against Michigan State over the past three seasons.
– Smith was one of the best players on the ice and was denied on several grade A chances by Palmisano. He led all Miami skaters with six shots on goal.
– Freshman forward Cody Murphy played in his first game since injuring his leg in a game on October 8, 2011.
– By earning the OT victory on the ice, rather than in a skills competition, Miami earned all three CCHA league points and now sits in seventh place, but just two points out of fourth in the tightly contested conference race for home ice and a first round bye.
– Here’s USCHO’s CCHA beat writer Paula C. Weston’s take on the game and postgame video with head coach Enrico Blasi below.