Analysis: Mad or glad over finale?

Saturday was one of those games that created conflicting emotions.

Should fans be happy that Miami scored in the final 90 seconds to pull out the tie, or should they be upset that the RedHawks had a 2-0 lead and let it dissolve?

Or maybe some of both following a 3-3 final at North Dakota’s Ralph Engelstad Arena?

Yeah, that last one.

REA is one of the most intimidating rinks in the NCAA for opponents, and jumping out to a two-goal lead there is impressive. So is tying the score in such a hostile environment with time running out.

The three goals allowed in between, a little less remarkable.

Teams like North Dakota (7-2-3) are more than capable of blowing up a two-or-more goal lead – as the Fighting Hawks proved last night – and elite teams are able to fend off such surges most times.

Then again, a lot of teams that bent like Miami did, falling behind a goal with under four minutes left, would have broken rather than battle back for a tie.

Things change quickly during a college hockey season, but at this snapshot – 10 games into 2017-18 with a 4-5-1 record – the RedHawks (4-5-1) are clearly not at elite status in Division I.

But they’re definitely not a bottom feeder either.

Other thoughts…

– Josh Melnick is building one of the best clutch goal-scoring resumes of anyone to wear a Miami hockey sweater. He scored the tying goal with under two minutes left on Saturday and had the winner vs. Colorado College on Nov. 3.

The RedHawks have won four games in overtime since Melnick joined the team in the fall of 2015. Melnick has three of the game winners in those contests.

Miami’s Grant Frederic (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

– Grant Frederic had logged two games this season and was 0-3-3 with 31 shots in 30 games for his career prior to this series. He fired nine SOG and picked up a pair of assists for the weekend. Meanwhile, fellow blueliners Grant Hutton and Louie Belpedio – who were lighting up the scoreboard – combined for just five shots in the two games.

– Really like the progress we’ve seen from Ryan Siroky this season in every aspect of his game, and he had one great play and one not-so-great one in this game. Siroky backhanded one for his first goal of 2017-18 in what was not an easy play. But he lost his glove in the defensive zone later in the game, and rather than play without it he took a stride forward to reach for it, losing his opponent in the process and ultimately resulting in a goal. He has a goal and an assist in the past three games.

– Coach Enrico Blasi had stood pat with his starting 19 in recent games, but he made substantial changes this weekend. Two moves stood out, and it’s unclear if they were healthy scratches or injured.

On Friday, D Scott Dornbrock did not dress for the first time in over two years and Saturday F Kiefer Sherwood missed just the third game of his two-plus season career.

Frederic dressed on defense both nights, as Dornbrock was not in the lineup on Friday and Rourke Russell sat for the first time this season on Saturday.

With Sherwood and Austin Alger both out up front on Saturday, Willie Knierim saw his first action of 2017-18, and Christan Mohs played for the first time in six games.

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Posted on November 13, 2017, in 2017-18 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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