Analysis: Sweep of CC now paramount
Pulling off a sweep at Western Michigan was going to a tall order, even with the Broncos struggling this season.
Miami fell, 4-1 in the series finale in Kalamazoo on Saturday, but fortunately for the RedHawks, they only fell one spot in PairWise and did not drop in the conference standings, as both teams they are tied with were defeated as well.
Miami remains in a three-way tie with Nebraska-Omaha and Minnesota-Duluth for the all-important fourth and final home ice spot for the first round of the NCHC Tournament.
The problem is: The RedHawks would lose the tiebreaker vs. both teams if they remain even. We’ll explain more thoroughly if it appears this scenario may come to fruition, but for now, trust us, Miami takes sixth if they can’t surge past one of both of these teams.
As we explained yesterday, the RedHawks control their own destiny to a large degree, as they host last-place Colorado College next week and head to UMD to wrap up the season.
(And it could end up Miami and UMD play back-to-back weekends: Imagine the carnage if those teams met four or five times in nine days)
Sweeping hapless Colorado College at home next weekend is now paramount if the RedHawks want home ice, and if that happens it will greatly increase the team’s chance of making the NCAA Tournament.
As for the game itself, Miami outshot WMU, 31-28 including 8-2 the final period. The RedHawks didn’t play that badly but allowing a goal in the final second of a period is devastating.
The Broncos capitalized on the momentum of that second goal by adding a third early in the second period and Miami was essentially done.
The RedHawks’ goal came on a pretty passing play, with Kevin Morris putting it in for his fifth goal in nine games.
– So that’s five shorthanded goals against this season for Miami, and zero for. The RedHawks are one of only five teams in Division I without a shorty and the lone team in the NCHC.
– Realizing that down by two goals midway through the third period a team is going to pinch, but the RedHawks’ defense was flat-out miserable on WMU’s fourth goal. Both defensemen were caught up the ice and Anthony Louis weakly flailed at the outlet stretch pass that ultimately resulted in the final goal.
– Senior night is next weekend. How will the team handle the Ryan McKay situation? Tune in next week.