Analysis: Any win has to help morale
PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Getting a win, even in an exhibition game, can only help Miami.
The RedHawks edged the U.S. National Development Team, 7-5 on Friday to earn its first victory in nearly nine months.
It’s odd to hold an exhibition after the season starts, but scheduling in college hockey isn’t easy and a game against some of the top American-born prospects should always be welcome.
Plus those in attendance were able to watch commit Jonathan Gruden, who scored a goal for the U-18 squad.
It’s hard to know what to take from this game. Miami (0-2) generated numerous quality scoring chances, but the RedHawks allowed a good number as well.
Leaving Oxford and having success can only help Miami, which will travel to Maine next weekend for a series against the Black Bears.
– Gordie Green and Josh Melnick were dynamic together, as Green scored twice and Melnick earned three assists. Green scored the game winner six minutes into the third period when Melnick kicked the puck from along the boards right to Green’s stick while he was streaking down center ice through the neutral zone, and Green buried the shot.
– Even though they don’t count, Grant Hutton scored two more goals in this win. That gives him 12 goals since the start of 2016-17 after he did not record a single marker in 2015-16.
– Another positive of playing Team USA is that top scouts from NHL teams will surely be in attendance. High-ranking members of Anaheim, Winnipeg, Dallas and Toronto were in attendance.
FORWARDS: A-. Maybe a little soft defensively for Coach Enrico Blasi, but otherwise a solid performance by this group. Green and Melnick were outstanding, and Phil Knies showed off more of his stickhandling skills.
DEFENSEMEN: B-. Hutton scored twice but a team of 20-23 year-olds should have been able to hold down the number of quality shots by 17-year-olds.
GOALTENDING: D. Chase Munroe played all 60 minutes and let in a couple of easy shots. He was just 16 of 21 (.762) overall.