Analyis: Let’s be happy for the split
OXFORD, Ohio – Well, maybe it’s best to look at the weekend as a whole.
After an epic win over No. 5 Cornell on Friday, Miami dropped a 4-0 decision at Cady Arena on Saturday to finish the weekend with a split.
Back to the old cliché that if you knew heading into the series that the RedHawks would take 1 of 2 against the fifth-ranked team in Division I, would you be happy with that?
Most would probably say yes, especially considering Miami is a .500 team right now.
Yeah, Saturday was forgettable. There were the defensive lapses, poor officiating and the inability of the RedHawks to do anything offensively the first two periods.
The game was pretty much over when the Big Red (10-2) fired the third goal in, 38 seconds after their second, as a player stood wide open in the slot waiting for a pass.
The better team took advantage of two early power plays and lackadaisical play on the third, then coasted the final 47 minutes, as Cornell entered play allowing 2.00 goals and 23.6 shots per game.
Shut down is the Big Red’s specialty.
Miami needs to find to way to overcome that vs. the balance of its NCHC slate chock full of high-ranked teams.
No forward not named Melnick, Green or Gilling has recorded a point in the past three games.
– Another disclaimer that we try to keep official criticism to a minimum, but this group of refs Nick Krebsbach and Brad Shepherd and linesmen Ryan Madsen and Paul Karnathan were truly brutal.
The Grant Hutton call on Friday was nowhere near a major, and yet they initially ruled a game disqualification against the defenseman, which carries and automatic suspension before reducing it to a 5-and-10.
It’s hard to believe that was a miscommunication issue between the on- and off-ice officials, and the off-ice officials relayed a DQ penalty to the PA announcer.
– Then there was the faceoff fiasco. Gilling had an in-depth discussion with a lineman before a drop on Friday, and in this game, Gilling took exception to a Cornell foe’s positioning, and he was booted by one of the refs after he refused to move into faceoff position.
Gilling later received a 10-minute misconduct, and interestingly did not return.
Alec Mahalak was drilled in the head at his own blue line. No call.
To be fair, the loss shouldn’t be blamed on officiating, but it hurts the integrity of the game.
Cornell was the better team and deserved to win. But film of this series will not be used in the how-to portion of the officials’ training videos.
– No forward not named Gilling, Melnick or Green recorded a point on the weekend.
– With Gilling gone, Karch Bachman joined the Green-Melnick line but results were inconclusive.
FORWARDS: F. Just 17 shots and obviously no goals. Once again a key member of this corps was out of action for an extended period of time for arguing (Gilling). Not much going on at all after the top line.
DEFENSEMEN: C+. The first two Cornell goals were scored on the power play, and the third was on a breakdown in slot coverage. This corps wasn’t a huge factor in the outcome.
GOALTENDING: B-. Ryan Larkin was 19 of 22 and was pulled with five minutes left and Miami down by three. The first goal was very stoppable, but the next two on a tip-in and a point-blank shot, respectively.
LINEUP CHANGES: On defense, Scott Dornbrock returned to the lineup as Rourke Russell sat. Russell had played 14 of the first 15 games, and Dornbrock has missed just two contests. Zach LaValle was back on the ice in favor of Austin Alger, who logged limited minutes in his return from injury on Friday.