Analysis: Chances didn’t go Miami’s way
OXFORD, Ohio – Friday’s script could have had a different ending for Miami.
The RedHawks had two goals waved off, which was the final margin of defeat for in a 3-1 loss vs. No. 11 Providence at Cady Arena in the teams’ season opener.
After the teams traded goals in the first period, Miami appeared to have taken a second-period lead when Gordie Green roofed one on a breakaway.
But the replay showed that the puck never entered the net, hitting the crossbar and kicking straight out.
Right after the Friars’ third goal, the RedHawks’ Kiefer Sherwood went in alone and appeared to have tucked the puck under goalie Hayden Hawkey.
Initially called a goal, the tally was taken off the board after it was ruled Sherwood interfered with Hawkey while driving the net.
That last one was tough to digest, as Sherwood skated in diagonally and Hawkey moved up to the top of the crease to challenge the shooter when the alleged contact occurred.
Providence also took a penalty on the play, so had the RedHawks scored, it would have cut their deficit to one and they would have had tons of momentum heading into the ensuing power play.
Not in any way saying Miami got screwed. The Friars looked every bit an 11th-ranked team.
– Miami started seven freshmen – Phil Knies, Casey Gilling, Austin Alger, Ben Lown, (redshirt) Christian Mohs at forward and Alec Mahalak and Rourke Russell on defense.
Knies (pronounced ‘nighs’) impressed with his stickhandling, Alger, well, he scored the RedHawks’ only goal, and Mohs looked more confident than most coming off a season-ending knee injury.
Russell looks like a natural agitator who is on course to become a fan favorite. Mahalak is raw but worked hard on Friday and appears to have a lot of upside.
– Miami was down two with three minutes remaining and possessed the puck in the offensive zone for a minute but waited until under 2:00 before pulling Ryan Larkin. In today’s game the goalie needs to come out earlier in a two-goal game.
– The RedHawks donned ‘You Can Play’ jerseys in honor of Brendan Burke, who passed away 6½ years ago. Classy move by Miami to remember the former student manager.
– Speaking of passing away, usher Howard Jackson passed away this off-season after an extensive battle with cancer. He was a mainstay at the top of sections 11/12 since the rink opened.
FORWARDS: C-. Only one goal but this corps generated some excellent chances against a top-echelon team. There was a lot of good passing and a lot of bad, which is not unexpected in early October. Coach Enrico Blasi wasn’t afraid to use three freshman forwards on his second power play unit.
DEFENSEMEN: C+. It seems like Providence had fewer A-plus chances than most Miami opponents did last season. The new guys, while on the smallish side, both seem like they can move the puck pretty well and aren’t afraid to play physically.
GOALTENDING: C+. Larkin stopped 27 of 30 shots for a .900 save percentage. The first goal was on a quick release from pretty close and the last one was definitely stoppable. As usual Larkin made a couple of outstanding saves to keep Miami in it.