#7 Miami 3, Colorado College 1
Miami takes game one in Colorado Springs tonight by a final score of 3-1. Three different RedHawks scored with sophomore Justin Greenberg getting his first of the season.
With the win, Miami (17-9-1, 10-6-1-1 t2nd NCHC) moves into a tie for second place with Omaha in the ultra-competitive NCHC and creates more distance between itself and 5th place Denver, who lost 4-2 at North Dakota. Miami is now a full five points clear of the Pioneers in the race for home ice in the NCHC playoffs.
Overall, tonight was an impressive effort by Miami against an opponent that did not quit. Despite falling behind early, Miami really took over the game after about the 10 minute mark of the 1st period, and while they only tallied three goals, the game never felt in doubt. In other words, it never seemed like Colorado College would pose a real threat.
CC opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal. Luc Gerdes picked up the garbage in front of Miami netminder Jay Williams and found twine at 6:19. But, Miami would get it back immediately when Cody Murphy tallied his 11th goal of the season, a powerplay marker for the RedHawks just 26 seconds later. Murphy, who was camped in front and redirected a wrist shot from Anthony Louis, has now scored 11 goals in his past 14 games. And, he would have had another, but it was waved off after a lengthy video review.
In the second, Miami absolutely dominated possession but could muster just one goal, albeit a beauty, from Riley Barber who dangled around a defender before roofing a perfect wrister over the shoulder of CC goaltender Tyler Marble at 16:22.
In the third period, it was more of the same as Miami largely dictated play. After a shaky first period, Jay Williams was stellar in net and Justin Greenberg scored his first goal of the season off a ridiculous backhand saucer pass from Kevin Morris on a 2-on-1 rush at 9:09.
With the victory, and the completion of the night’s other league contests, the current NCHC standings look like this.
1. North Dakota – 34 points
2. MIAMI – 32 points
2. Omaha – 32 points (Miami has tiebreaker)
4. Minnesota-Duluth – 31 points
5. Denver – 27 points
6. St. Cloud – 22 points
6. Western Michigan – 22 points (SCSU has tiebreaker)
8. Colorado College – 4 points
Miami and Colorado College go at it again tomorrow night at 9 PM EST. The game can be seen on NCHC.TV and of course Greg Waddell will have the call, well, maybe via Miami All-Access.
Random thoughts and stats:
– Miami outshot the Tigers 34-23.
– Jay Williams is now 15-4 on the season.
– Riley Barber really turned it up tonight. His compete level was high from the drop of the puck. That’s extremely encouraging.
– Three stars of the night: 1. Jay Williams (22 saves), 2. Riley Barber (1-0-1, 4 shots), 3. Tyler Marble (31 saves)
– Miami blocked 16 CC shots (Caito 4, Richart 3)
– Miami was dominant in the faceoff circle winning 44 to CC’s 23. Coleman (13-4) and Kuraly (11-2) led the way.
– Miami was 1 for 4 on the powerplay but did allow a shorthanded goal.
– I loved how Rico used Schmit and Lemirande tonight. Putting the Crash Cousins together for extended periods of time combined with altitude was effective at wearing down CC in the 2nd period. There were times that the Tigers could not get the puck out of their zone.
– Austin Czarnik registered his 26th assist on Barber’s goal.
– Miami has a season’s-best four game unbeaten streak (3-0-1).