Monthly Archives: November 2018

Preview: St. Cloud State at Miami

The last time Miami faced St. Cloud State was the first round of the NCHC Tournament, and despite being outmanned and playing on the road, the RedHawks not only took the Huskies to Game 3 but forced overtime.

MU finished 1-4 vs. SCSU last season and the Huskies enter this weekend riding a six-game winning streak and No. 1 ranking.

BoB takes a look at the upcoming series between these teams:

WHO: No. 1 St. Cloud State Huskies (11-1) at Miami RedHawks (9-6-1).

WHERE: Cady Arena (3,642), Oxford, Ohio.

WHEN: Friday – 7:35 p.m.; Saturday – 7:05 p.m.

ALL-TIME SERIES: Miami leads, 17-16-2.

LAST SEASON: St. Cloud went 4-1. SCSU swept its two-game series in Oxford and won 2 of 3 in a home opening-round NCHC series.

MIAMI RADIO: Both nights – WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.

ST. CLOUD STATE RADIO: Both nights – KZRV-FM (96.7).

NOTES: St. Cloud State enters this weekend as the lone unbeaten team in conference play (4-0) as well as the NCHC leader in goals, goals allowed and winning percentage.

The Huskies average 4.25 goals, second-best in the NCAA, and they are tied for second in goals against average at 1.83.

Senior Patrick Newell leads the team in goals (8) and points (15) as he hones in on triple digits for his career.

Three Huskies are tied for second in points with 13, including Montreal draftee Ryan Poehling (3-10-13). Ryan Jackson has an identical line, and Robby Jackson is 5-8-13.

A pair of standout defensemen, Jack Ahcan and Jimmy Schuldt, have 12 points each, and Blake Lizotte has 11.

In net, Los Angeles draft pick Dave Hrenak has played eight games, going 7-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average despite a pedestrian .907 save percentage.

Jeff Smith has excelled in relief, posting a 1.26 GAA and .948 save percentage.

Miami’s Josh Melnick (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Miami has been limited to 12 goals in its last six games, with Josh Melnick and Karch Bachman accounting for three each.

Ryan Larkin is the favorite to start both games between the pipes for the RedHawks.

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Miami needs road improvement

Miami has played six games on the road this season and its results are mercurial: Two wins, three losses, one tie against three opponents that have a combined one vote for the top 20.

The RedHawks allowed three unanswered third-period goals in a 4-1 loss at New Hampshire to cap off an 0-1-1 weekend against a team that had one previous win this season.

So Miami (9-6-1) will end the 2018 calendar year 2-3-1 with five road series remaining.

Those would be:

No. 10 Providence (already beat Miami, 4-0 in Erie)
Western Michigan (receiving 18 votes)
No. 1 St. Cloud State
No. 7 Denver
No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth

Overall it’s been a productive first two months of 2018-19, but the RedHawks haven’t wowed on the road against opponents who are a combined 11-19-6, and things are about to get a lot tougher.

THOUGHTS: Sorry we didn’t do a post from Saturday. That was partly because I was extremely busy and partly because the game feed keep cutting out. I lost a whole five minutes of game action at one point.

Much of the other YouTube feed was choppy, unlike Friday.

Some things still stood out.

— Miami was outplayed on special teams, going 0-for-5 while UNH was 2 of 5. Both power play goals were scored when players were left wide-open in front of the net.

— Backup Jordan Uhelski was in net but he was not the reason the RedHawks lost. He made two spectacular saves and was hung out to dry on two goals.

It’s also hard to win when your support is one goal.

Melnick

Miami’s Josh Melnick (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Jonathan Gruden was moved to the Josh Melnick-Gordie Green line, and the trio accounted for the lone Miami goal.

Gruden had just five prior points this season and none in his previous five games.

— New Hampshire (2-6-5) had not scored four goals in any game this season.

It didn’t look like this was the RedHawks’ best effort defensively.

UNH scores in final minute to tie Miami

New Hampshire lived up to its MO, and Miami seems to be adopting it as well.

The Wildcats played in their sixth overtime game of the season and the No. 19 RedHawks – who had seen all of their first 13 games decided in regulation – went to an extra session for the second consecutive contest in a 3-3 tie at Whittemore Center on Friday.

Earning a tie for the fifth time in 11 games this season, New Hampshire (1-5-5) salvaged the draw thanks to a 6-on-5 backhander by Liam Blackburn off a feed by Eric Esposito with 33 seconds left in regulation.

Nine different players recorded points for Miami. The series finale is at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

RECAP: The first three goals of the game were scored in a 4:23 window.

New Hampshire took the lead at the eight-minute mark when Matt Dawson tipped in a bad-angle shot.

Just 71 seconds later, the RedHawks (9-5-1) tied it on a goal by Josh Melnick, who belted home a rebound which caromed off the end boards off a blast by River Rymsha.

Miami’s Karch Bachman (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

The Wildcats regained the lead on the power play with 7:37 left to play in the opening stanza as Angus Crookshank cashed in on a rebound chance off a shot by Patrick Grasso.

Miami had a would-be tying goal waved off as it was ruled that Karch Bachman interfered with the goalie as Casey Gilling connected.

But Bachman tied it at two when he wired one from the inside of the faceoff circle over the shoulder of UNH goalie Ty Taylor 2:34 into the third period.

Ninety-four seconds later, Ben Lown deposited home a loose puck in the slot off a shot by Brian Hawkinson that was blocked as Miami took its first and only lead of the night.

But Blackburn’s pitch-fork backhander evened the score, and despite three shots by each team in overtime, the game ended in a tie.

STATS: Nine players picked up points for Miami, the maximum possible with a three-goal output.

Bachman has scored three goals in four games and leads the team with six overall. Melnick has picked up 12 points in his last nine contests.

— The RedHawks were outshot for the sixth straight game and have seen opponents pile up 62 more SOG in that span or nearly nine per game.

THOUGHTS: It’s always tough to see a win slip away in the final minute and that has happened to Miami far too often in recent years.

It makes it worse considering the RedHawks had rallied from one down to take the lead earlier in the third period.

In MU’s defense, this is the first time this season the team has seen a win slip away due to a late opponent’s goal, and the RedHawks won in overtime last weekend and pulled out a 2-1 win over UMass-Lowell late after trailing 1-0 heading into the final 20 minutes.

— Overall, UNH had the better chances and finished with a 37-28 edge in shots on goal. This is the RedHawks’ eighth straight weekend of games, including four road trips and a flight to Colorado Springs last week.

One starts to wonder if Miami needs a weekend off. It gets several after St. Cloud visits Oxford next Friday and Saturday.

— Carter Johnson seems to be working his way back to his late 2017-18 form. The RedHawks can use all of the offensive weapons they can get.

— Amazing how much better Melnick is on the power play this season. He was 14-6 (.700) in the circle in this game.

Had never watched a game on YouTube before, but the picture was surprisingly clear. There was only one announcer who is clearly still learning his craft, and the replays were limited but another medium for college hockey games should be welcomed.

LINEUP CHANGES: Miami seems to like using seven defensemen, as Andrew Sinard dressed for the fourth straight game as the extra skater.

With Larkin a staple in net, the only changes the RedHawks have been making have been up front. Johnson was back after missing three games, and Zach LaValle was also back on the ice.

Noah Jordan and Christian Mohs, both of whom dressed last Saturday, were scratched.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Considering that scoring depth is not Miami’s strong suit this season, the RedHawks have not been afraid to play up-tempo, which has made for exciting games.

These teams both had a lot of high-quality chances and Ryan Larkin is better than most at keeping those out of the net.

The tie was not the desired outcome considering Miami had battled back to take the lead in the third period, but a Saturday win would give the RedHawks a 1-0-1 weekend and 10-5-1 mark heading into their final first-half series.

MU would have to consider five games over .500 a successful first two months.

Preview: Miami at New Hampshire

These teams have not met since New Hampshire knocked Miami out of the 2011 NCAA Tournament and have only faced each other 12 times in their history.

The RedHawks’ first-ever NCAA Tournament win came against the Wildcats in 2007.

MU has logged four previous games in Durham, and after losing the first two came away with a win and a tie their last trip here in 2010-11, coincidentally the same season the RedHawks lost to UNH in the regional semifinal.

BoB takes a look at the upcoming series between these teams:

WHO: No. 19 Miami RedHawks (9-5) at New Hampshire Wildcats (1-6-3).

WHERE: Whittemore Center (6,501), Durham, N.H.

WHEN: Friday and Saturday – 7 p.m.

ALL-TIME SERIES: New Hampshire leads, 6-5-1.

LAST MEETING: New Hampshire won, 3-1 in a first-round 2011 NCAA Tournament game.

MIAMI RADIO: Both nights – WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.

NEW HAMPSHIRE RADIO: WGIR-AM (610), Binghamton, N.H.; WQSO-FM (96.7), Portsmouth, N.H.; WPKX-AM (930), Rochester, N.H.

NOTES: New Hampshire’s record may look dismal but this team has been competitive in nine of its 10 games.

Four have gone to overtime with two of those being decided in an extra session – including the Wildcats’ long win – and another four were decided by one goal in regulation.

Scoring has been UNH’s main issue. The team has found the net just 20 times or 2.00 per game and the Wildcats’ team shooting percentage is 7.7.

New Hampshire has yet to record more than three goals in a game this season.

Odd stat: The top two points producers on the Wildcats have just one goal each.

Forward Charlie Kelleher and defenseman and Florida Panthers’ draftee Max Gildon has twin 1-9-10 lines.

Jackson Pearce has four goals and four assists, and Ara Nazarian leads the team in markers with five despite missing two games. Nazarian has scored in four straight contests.

Marcus Vela (3-2-5), a San Jose draftee, is the only other UNH skater with at least five points.

The Wildcats’ other NHL draft picks are F Angus Crookshank, F Benton Maass (Washington) and goalies Mike Robinson (San Jose) and Ty Taylor (Tampa Bay).

Robinson is the favorite to start both games, since he leads the team in goals-against average (2.62) and save percentage (.911). He has played in eight of UNH’s 10 contests.

Ryan Larkin (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

For the RedHawks, Casey Gilling enters this weekend with five points in his last three games, including a pair of goals. Josh Melnick has 11 in eight.

Ryan Larkin has been in net for nine straight MU contests.

Miami has played just four road games this season and are 2-2 with weekend splits vs. Nebraska-Omaha and Colorado College.

This is the second-last non-conference series for the RedHawks, who will travel to Providence in January.

According the UNH’s site, these games will be televised on YouTube. Showing technological naivety here but didn’t realize that was a thing.

Gilling lifts Miami over CC in overtime

In four meetings last season, No. 20 Miami only beat Colorado College once, with that win coming in overtime. In its first win over the Tigers since, the RedHawks again won in an extra session.

Miami’s Casey Gilling (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Casey Gilling fired home a power play shot from the high slot to lift MU to a 3-2 win over CC at the 2:19 mark of overtime on Saturday as the teams split the weekend series.

The RedHawks (9-5), who led by two after the first period before CC rallied to force the extra session, are now 3-3 in the NCHC, one-quarter of the way through league play.

RECAP: River Rymsha fired a shot from the left point that found its way, opening the scoring for Miami with 5:25 left in the first period.

The RedHawks extended their lead to two four minutes later. Josh Melnick slid a pass between his legs to Scott Corbett, whose shot was denied, but the rebound was backhanded in by Derek Daschke at the top of the faceoff circle.

Colorado College (5-6-1) cut the Miami lead to one four minutes into the second period shorthanded when RedHawks defenseman Alec Mahalak tried to break up a cross-crease pass, but it went in on MU goalie Ryan Larkin, and after he deflected it to side of the net, Mason Bergh banged home the loose puck.

Bergh tied it with 3:49 left in the middle stanza on a one-time blast from the right wing faceoff dot on the power play for his third goal of the weekend.

Corbett was whistled for a penalty with 1:50 remaining in regulation, and Colorado College couldn’t score, but the Tigers took a minor in the extra frame to set up Gilling’s game winner.

Miami’s Derek Daschke (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Gilling wristed one toward the net but it broke the stick of CC’s Tanner Ockey and came back to Gilling, who snuck one in on the stick side to win it.

STATS: Daschke and Melnick both finished with two points, as Daschke scored once and picked up an assist and Melnick ended up with a pair of helpers.

— Daschke has nine points in nine games and Melnick has 11 in eight games. Melnick also went 22-7 in the faceoff circle.

— Gilling now has seven points in as many contests.

THOUGHTS: A popular mentality is that the altitude catches up to opposing teams on Saturdays when playing a weekend series a mile above sea level, but Miami scored in Minute 122 of this set.

Like Friday, the RedHawks were dominated for portions of this game, especially in the second period, but they still found a way to win.

— Larkin seemed skittish at times in this game but settled down for the stretch run and obviously shut CC out the final 26 minutes. He has allowed exactly two goals in four straight contests.

— Andrew Sinard started the game paired with Bray Crowder but Rymsha took over his defense spot later in the game. Not sure if Sinard was hurt or benched.

— On that note, a full disclosure: I watched this game on NCHC TV but had major internet issues and was reduced to viewing the balance on the phone.

So we’ll keep the opinions to a minimum.

LINEUP CHANGES: Only one: Noah Jordan dressed for the third time this season and fellow forward Zach LaValle sat.

Coach Enrico Blasi has gotten away from playing F Carter Johnson and Ds Chaz Switzer and Grant Frederic.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Miami blew a two-goal lead but won in overtime and is now 3-3 in the league despite playing four of those six games on the road.

The league schedule gets a lot tougher from here so these slow starts aren’t going to fly.

Not as strong of a schedule vs. 2017-18, admittedly, but still: 9-5 after 14 has a good sound.

Slow start dooms Miami at CC

Miami has not been a Friday team this season.

On this particular Friday, the No. 20 RedHawks struggled early, gave up the go-ahead goal late in the second period and failed to capitalize on a 5-on-3 in the final stanza, culminating in a 2-1 loss at Colorado College.

Miami’s Karch Bachman (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Miami is still 8-5 overall but fell to 2-4 on Friday, meaning the RedHawks are 6-1 on Saturday and Sunday.

Karch Bachman scored the lone goal for MU, tying the score eight minutes into the middle frame.

RECAP: The Tigers (5-5-1) dominated the first 20 minutes and came out of the first period ahead, 1-0.

Trey Bradley took a drop pass in the high slot and fired it on net, and though Miami’s Ryan Larkin kicked it aside, it caromed directly to the goalie’s right where waiting Mason Bergh whipped it in from the bad angle 7:45 into the contest.

The RedHawks (8-5) tied it with 11:56 left in the second period when Karch Bachman carried the puck into the offensive zone and fired a shot around his defender and into the top left corner.

But Colorado College regained the lead eight minutes later when Erik Middendorf one-timed a pass home from Alex Berardinelli. Berardinelli had grabbed a loose puck at the blue line after Zach LaValle tried to pass up ice and had his stick shatter.

The Tigers were whistled for overlapping penalties early in the third, creating a 46-second two-man advantage for Miami, but the RedHawks were unable to generate the equalizer.

STATS: Bachman has scored in consecutive games for the second time this season and leads the team in goals with five.

— Gilling picked up his sixth point in his last six, as he is 1-5-6 in that stretch. Larkin earned his first point since Oct. 28, 2017 with his secondary assist.

— Larkin has allowed exactly two goals in each of his last three games, stopping 90 of 96 shots in that span (.938).

— Miami extended its winless streak vs. Colorado College to four games. The RedHawks are 0-3-1 against the Tigers dating back to Nov. 3, 2017.

— MU outshot its opponents in eight of its first nine games, but its foes have more shots than the RedHawks in their last four. Colorado College edged out Miami, 31-30 in this contest.

THOUGHTS: Like last weekend, the RedHawks weren’t ready for this one as they were dominated early.

That resulted in a 1-0 CC lead, and while Miami tied it, a bad-luck goal by the Tigers ultimately sealed it.

In six Friday games this season the RedHawks have only scored three first-period goals, so the slow series starts are becoming a concern. A poor start to the North Dakota series eliminated any chance of a Miami win last Friday.

— We’ve been saying it all season, but how about the improvement by Bachman? He was 1-on-1 entering the zone and still ripped it home for his goal. He’s now winning battles in the corners and regularly forcing turnovers.

— He was well defended in The decisive goal was pretty unlucky for Miami, as LaValle’s stick broke while he was trying to send the puck out of his zone, but instead it ended up in the RedHawks’ net.

— Gilling was limited to one point his first seven games but has six in his last six. He has really upped his game at every level in recent weeks.

— Interesting that Coach Enrico Blasi is playing the two huge freshmen D-men, Bray Crowder and Andrew Sinard, on the same pairing.

LINEUP CHANGES: Unfortunately, Phil Knies was not in the lineup for the first time in his career. He suffered an upper-body injury early in last Saturday’s win over North Dakota.

Sinard dressed in his second straight game for the first time this season, and Carter Johnson has now missed consecutive contests.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Miami has to realize that it can’t just show up for the final 40 minutes and hope to win.

The RedHawks spotted Colorado College the first 20 minutes and the teams were basically even the last two periods, but that 1-0 difference in the opening stanza was the difference.

Relatively speaking, Miami has had it pretty easy to open NCHC play – the RedHawks played UNO, which has won two games, and North Dakota before heading to Colorado Springs to face a team that was previously 0-4 in the league – and MU is just 2-3 in conference play.

Preview: Miami at Colorado College

Colorado College and Miami have been the two least successful teams since the formation of the NCHC, but both are on upswings and could challenge for NCAA berths next spring as well as make runs at all-important home-ice seeds for the first round of the conference tournament.

The Tigers were 4-1-1 before their brutal start to the league schedule, as they dropped their first four NCHC games against St. Cloud State and Minnesota-Duluth and are still looking for their first league win of 2018-19.

Meanwhile, Miami split both of its opening series in conference play and are looking to make an early move in the ultra-competitive NCHC.

BoB takes a look at the upcoming series between these teams:

WHO: No. 20 Miami RedHawks (8-4) at Colorado College Tigers (4-5-1).

WHERE: World Arena (7,380), Colorado Springs, Colo.

WHEN: Friday – 10:07 p.m.; Saturday – 8:07 p.m.

ALL-TIME SERIES: Miami leads, 9-7-2.

LAST SEASON HEAD-TO-HEAD: Colorado College, 2-1-1. Nov. 3 – Miami, 3-2, OT; Nov. 4 – Colorado College, 2-1; Jan. 26 – Colorado College, 6-3; Jan. 27 – Tie, 4-4.

COLORADO COLLEGE RADIO: Both nights – KRDO-FM (105.5 and 92.5) and KRDO-AM (1240), Colorado Springs, Colo.

MIAMI RADIO: Both nights – WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.

TELEVISION: Friday – AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (DirecTV Ch. 683, Dish Network Ch. 414).

NOTES: Colorado College opened NCHC play by facing the top two teams in Division I the past two weekends — St. Cloud State and Minnesota-Duluth — and were outscored, 15-5 in four losses.

The Tigers have been well balanced in their scoring early this season, with eight skaters averaging at least half a point per game.

Ten forwards have recorded at least four points for Colorado College, with Nick Halloran and Trey Bradley tied for the team lead at nine.

Alex Berardinelli is tops in Tigers goals with five, including two shorthanded, and Westin Michaud has scored four times and added three assists.

Grant Cruikshank (2-4-6), Mason Bergh (0-5-5) and Chris Wilkie (3-2-5) round out Colorado College’s scoring leaders, although Wilkie has missed the last four games.

Freshman Bryan Yoon leads the team in defenseman points with five, including one goal, and Kristian Blumenschein has four assists.

Andrew Farny, Ben Israel, Zach Berzolla and Alex Pernitsky have been the other regulars on the blueline.

Alex Leclerc has logged nine games in net and will likely start both games this weekend. He has a 2.62 goals-against average and .916 save percentage.

Amazingly, the Tigers have had 51 power play chances compared to 29 for their opponents and have scored 10 times on the man advantage as well as three shorthanded goals.

But Colorado College is just 72.4 percent on the penalty kill and has surrendered a pair of shorties.

Miami’s Gordie Green (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Gordie Green has led the RedHawks by tallying 10 points in his last seven games, including five goals, and Josh Melnick has notched nine points in six games. Casey Gilling is 1-4-5 in his last five.

Miami is 7-for-26 (.269) on the power play the last seven games.

Two trends MU would like to reverse: The RedHawks have been outshot by an average of 14 SOG the last three games and have given up five third-period goals in that span.

Photos: North Dakota at Miami

Images from the series between North Dakota and Miami at Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio, played on Nov. 9-10, 2018. All photos by Cathy Lachmann/BoB.

Miami holds off UND for split

OXFORD, Ohio – Not only did Casey Gilling score the goal that put No. 19 Miami ahead for good, he assisted on the other two RedHawks tallies.

Miami’s Casey Gilling (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

The sophomore’s three-point night powered MU to a 3-2 win over the No. 11 Fighting Hawks at Cady Arena on Saturday as the teams split their two-game weekend series.

Miami (8-4) snapped a two-game skid and ended UND’s winning streak at five.

RECAP: With 6:01 left in the first period, Gilling fired a shot from the right wing that hit off a skate and caromed to Josh Melnick at the left faceoff circle, and Melnick roofed it to give the RedHawks the early lead.

The Fighting Hawks’ Jordan Kawaguchi tied it when he took a one-time pass from Jasper Weatherby and whipped it past Miami goalie Ryan Larkin from the right faceoff circle just 3:38 into the third period.

That goal came seconds after Larkin had made a highlight-reel stop on a one-timer from the slot.

The RedHawks took the lead for good when Gilling deflected a blue line wrister from Derek Daschke with 10:23 left in regulation, giving MU a 2-1 lead.

Gilling fired a pass to Karch Bachman on the left wing, and Bachman blew past the defense and fired a shot under UND goalie Adam Scheel with 3:40 remaining, extending Miami’s lead to two.

The Fighting Hawks (5-3-1) cut the deficit to one with 22 seconds left as a wrister by Matt Kiersted hit Miami’s Brayden Crowder and bounced to Kawaguchi for his second goal of the night.

Kawaguchi had not previously scored this season.

STATS: Gilling’s three points ties a career high and he earned two assists for the first time in his career.

It was the third goal in six games for Melnick, and Bachman found the net for the first time in eight contests.

Larkin stopped a season-high 35 shots, as he made over 30 saves for just the second time in 2018-19.

THOUGHTS: Miami came out flat to start Friday but did not have that issue in this game.

The RedHawks earned this win against one of college hockey’s flagship programs during a supposed rebuilding year.

This is the biggest quality victory for Miami this season, which has seen MU beat a lot of downtrodden teams.

— And the crowds are coming back. This was the best of 2018-19 in terms of numbers and intensity, and UND’s vocal contingent helped build this rivalry.

Miami’s so-called rebuild for this season seems to be happening more quickly than anticipated.

— Phil Knies was injured on a hit along the boards, and he may miss some games to a resulting upper-body injury.

GRADES

FORWARDS: B. Much better puck possession by this corps than Friday, when UND put on a clinic. We mention the top guys all the time, but Zach LaValle has really stood out in his opportunities. River Rymsha jumped up from the blue line to anchor the Melnick-Gordie Green line.

DEFENSEMEN: C+. North Dakota generated a lot of scoring chances against the defense corps, not surprising considering the Fighting Hawks’ resume. With Knies being injured, Brayden Crowder and Andrew Sinard played together for a 13-feet, 1-inch pairing, and both stood out. Crowder made multiple key defensive plays with his stick and Sinard used his backside to impede opponents and shut down a UND breakaway with his backchecking.

GOALTENDING: A-. Larkin stopped 36 shots, and the the two goals he allowed were on a cross-crease one-timer and a fluky bounce off a blocked shot. Seconds prior to the first UND goal Larkin flashed the pad on a 2-on-1 for his best save of the season.

LINEUP CHANGES: LaValle was back in up front and Sinard was in the lineup as the extra skater.

F Carter Johnson and D Chaz Switzer did not dress.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Miami has played one-third of its games and has a record of 8-4.

Yes, the team schedule hasn’t been as strong but any sane person would’ve taken a .667 winning percentage to this point if asked about it prior to the season.

Miami has also brought its recently-dormant crowd back into the mix, giving it another advantage as the RedHawks enter the crux of their schedule.

Slow start dooms Miami vs. NorDak

OXFORD, Ohio – North Dakota took advantage of a sluggish Miami start and rode an early two-goal lead to victory, handing MU its second consecutive loss.

Miami’s Ryan Siroky (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

The No. 11 Fighting Hawks, who won their fifth straight game, scored twice in the first period and held the RedHawks to 17 shots on goal en route to a 3-1 victory at Cady Arena on Friday.

Ryan Siroky scored the lone No. 19 Miami goal in the closing seconds of the second period, and RedHawks goalie Ryan Larkin stopped 25 of 27 shots in the loss, with the third UND goal coming on an empty netter.

RECAP: North Dakota (5-2-1) opened the scoring at the 8:28 mark of the first period when Joel Janatuinen reversed course behind the Miami net and centered a pass to a wide-open Matt Kiersted in the slot, and Kiersted deposited it into the net on the power play.

The Fighting Hawks extended their lead to two when Mark Senden wired home a drop pass from the top of the faceoff circle with 4:41 left in the opening stanza.

Miami (7-4) cut the lead to one with a second left in the middle frame when a wrister from the point by Derek Daschke was deflected in by Ryan Siroky from the top of the faceoff circle.

But the RedHawks were unable to capitalize on a pair of third-period power plays and North Dakota’s Rhett Gardiner stole a pass from Grant Hutton and fired it into an open net with 10 seconds to play.

STATS: Siroky’s third goal tied a career high and gives him 10 career markers.

Daschke picked up his sixth point in six games, and Monte Graham also earned an assist, his second point of the season.

Miami failed to score on the power play for the first time in six games and has allowed five PPGs in its last three contests.

The RedHawks’ 17 shots were their fewest of the season. In their last game vs. UNO they generated 23, their previous low.

THOUGHTS: In terms of puck possession, North Dakota took Miami to school.

The hope was that in the third period, the Fighting Hawks may have tired due to skating circles around the RedHawks in the offensive zone.

UND had the better chances the first 35-37 minutes, but Miami began to flip that trend late in the second period, culminating in Siroky’s goal in the final seconds.

The RedHawks could not take advantage of that momentum, however, as they generated a total of one shot on two power plays in the final nine minutes of regulation. That’s not how you beat a perennial power like North Dakota – teams in that situation have to take advantage of such opportunities.

GRADES

FORWARDS: D. Just didn’t create enough offense. Passing wasn’t crisp, and the faceoff percentage – a strength coming into this weekend – was in the low .300s.

DEFENSEMEN: C. Daschke was integral in Miami’s lone goal, and it looked like he was tripped on North Dakota’s eventual first goal. Rourke Russell also was juked along the end boards before the centering feed. On the Fighting Hawks’ final goal Grant Hutton played the puck to himself along the boards but it was picked off and fired in.

GOALTENDING: B. Larkin allowed two goals: One on a wide-open point-blank rip from the slot and the other on a laser-perfect snipe by Senden.

LINEUP CHANGES: Defenseman Chaz Switzer dressed for the second time this season, and Carter Johnson was in the lineup for the fourth straight Friday.

Out were F Christian Mohs and D Andrew Sinard.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Ultimately Miami didn’t play well enough to win. The RedHawks hung with North Dakota the final 40 minutes but had already dug themselves a two-goal hole, which is huge against such a talented opponent.

The Fighting Hawks were certainly the better team and played like a top-20, and at this point their No. 11 ranking seems about right.