Monthly Archives: December 2018
Miami plays its first game in 29 days on Sunday, an exhibition against Guelph of the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport), which is Canada’s equivalent of the NCAA.
This contest comes at a good time for the RedHawks, who can shake off any holiday rust before heading to top-10 Providence followed by eight straight series vs. NCHC foes.
The Gryphons have won three of their last four and have added some mid-season talent, including a skater who was with the Cincinnati Cyclones early this campaign.
BoB takes a look at the upcoming game between these teams:
WHO: University of Guelph (Ont.) (6-10) at Miami RedHawks (9-6-3).
WHERE: Cady Arena (3,642), Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Sunday – 4 p.m.
NOTES: The Gryphons are 0-3 vs. NCAA competition this season, losing to Colgate, Cornell and Clarkson.
Cody Thompson leads Guelph in scoring with seven goals and six assists. Fifth-year Gryphon Scott Simmonds and fellow small forward Todd Winder have 12 points each.
Marc Stevens is also a significant offensive contributor for Guelph, going 5-5-10.
The Gryphons have been without one of their top scorers, Connor Bramwell, since Oct. 26. He has nine points in six games.
Guelph does not get much production from its defense, as Zach McFadden and Jesse Saban are tied for the team lead in blueliner points with five apiece.
Evan Cormier, who began this season with AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, is the Gryphons’ primary goalie, logging 740 minutes and posting a .926 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against average.
Guelph’s backup is Andrew Masters, who was on Miami’s roster during the 2016-17 season but did not see game action.
The Gryphons did add three players during the holiday break, including former Cincinnati Cyclone Justin Lemcke. The captain of OHL Hamilton last season, the 6-feet-2 defenseman went 0-1-1 in three games with the ECHL team earlier this season.
Along with Lemcke, ex-OHL veteran Ryan Valentini is expected to make his Guelph debut on Sunday. He spent the past two-plus seasons with Sudbury, where he racked up 74 points.
Especially considering the state of the Miami hockey program in mid-March, the first half of the 2018-19 season has to be considered a major success.
Following the RedHawks’ third straight first-round exit from the NCHC Tournament and subsequent dismissal of both assistant coaches, Miami received zero consideration as a preseason top 20 and was picked to finish last in its conference.
But the No. 16 RedHawks have stuck it to critics, as they enter the back half of their regular season schedule three games over .500, their best pre-January mark in four years.
The two coldest-weather months have been problematic for Miami in recent seasons, choc with top-10 in-conference matchups and long road trips.
Miami by month
The RedHawks are 8-24-5 after New Year’s the past two seasons – a paltry .284 winning percentage – including 2-15-4 (.190) on the road.
BoB takes a look at five things Miami needs to do to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
1. Better special teams. The RedHawks are in the bottom half of the NCAA in both power play and penalty kills, with a 16.4 percent efficiency rate on the man advantage and a 79.4 percent PK clip. They have just four PPGs in their last eight games and are just 14 of 21 on penalty kills their last five contests (66.7 percent). Miami has tried pretty much every one of its skaters on the man-advantage and still needs to improve its chemistry.
2. Less time in the defensive zone. Teams have set up camp in Miami’s third of the ice at times and obviously it’s counterproductive to have your best players chasing the puck in their own zone for a minute or more.
3. Better road play. The RedHawks are a stellar 6-2-2 at Cady Arena but are 2-3-1 on opponents’ campuses and 1-1 on neutral ice. And with the exception of Providence, those road foes were not among college hockey’s elite – Colorado College, New Hampshire and Omaha plus Mercyhurst in its home city. Miami has scored just 18 goals in eight games away from Oxford. And we documented the RedHawks’ recent road struggles in the second half above.
4. Cut out the major penalties. The NCAA has made its point: The bar for five-and-a-game has dropped significantly, and three guys who are not cheap-shot artists in the least have all been booted from games this season.
5. Avoid major skids. Last season it was a 1-9-1 stretch. In 2016-17 Miami endured both 10- and 11-game winless streaks. An 0-6-1 span doomed 2015-16. Those types of streaks are season killers, so the RedHawks must have a thicker skin than in past seasons when facing adversity.
Now, five reasons to be optimistic about MU’s second half:
1. Effort. This team does not quit, and there’s no reason to believe it will during the stretch run of the regular season. That attribute was exemplified during Miami’s last series, a pair of ties vs. No. 1 St. Cloud State during which the RedHawks fell behind by one goal six times and rallied to even the score each time. Karch Bachman has been one of the leaders in this area, as he has parlayed his game-changing speed with a suburb compete level, resulting in him leading the team in goals with seven and generating multiple scoring chances almost every game.
2. Goaltending. Throw out last season’s numbers for Ryan Larkin. He was voted team MVP as a freshman and is even better in 2018-19, boasting a 1.89 goals-against average and .936 save percentage – which is five whole percent better than his sophomore year when he finished at .886. Part of the credit belongs to Jordan Uhelski, who has performed well when called upon and was a game saver in both ends of the St. Cloud State series. Uhelski has a .915 save percentage but as importantly the graduate senior has also helped push Larkin, who did not have a similar foil last season.
3. Freshmen are improving. Derek Daschke is clearly the freshman MVP of the first three months of the season, as he leads that class in points (3-9-12) and has been exceptional in his own end as well. And he continues to improve on seemingly a nightly basis. Scott Corbett is thriving in his grinding role while wielding a quality shot that has netted him three goals, and he stood out vs. SCSU. Same with Brian Hawkinson, who is 1-6-7 and has been a better forward than those stats indicate. Monte Graham is a faceoff stud and is starting to demonstrate skills in other areas. Big D-men Bray Crowder and Andrew Sinard also seem to be adapting to the college game. Jonathan Gruden (1-6-7) is raw but has tons of upside and could take off once the calendar flips.
4. A healthy Knies? Phil Knies suffered an upper body injury at Cady Arena on Nov. 10, so Knies should be nearing a return. The sophomore will have missed seven weeks by the time the second half starts with the puck drop in Providence. Knies has been a critical part of Miami’s offense, scoring 11 times as a freshman and posting three goals in 12 games this season.
5. The defense corps is deeper. Daschke’s presence is huge, and River Rymsha has been a pleasant surprise, forcing himself onto the lineup card each night with his impressive two-way play. Crowder has dressed for all 18 games, and Sinard has seen the ice six of the last seven games. With sophomores Rourke Russell and Alec Mahalak earning regular spots, that has severely curtailed the number of starts for Chaz Switzer and Grant Frederic, who were decent five and six defensemen last season. Of course, standout and captain Grant Hutton leads this corps with a skill set that will likely land him in the NHL within two years.
Now, the schedule…
After a Sunday exhibition vs. the University of Guelph (Ont.), Miami heads to No. 10 Providence. The RedHawks were already shut out by the Friars on neutral ice in October. Then it’s off the Kalamazoo to face No. 17 Western Michigan.
Back home for a pair against Colorado College and two vs. No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth.
Miami then heads to No. 1 St. Cloud State, followed by a home series vs. Omaha before its one off week of the second half.
The final three series? At No. 8 Denver, at No. 4 UMD, home vs. No. 17 WMU.
A look at the final 18 regular season games:
|Jan. 4||at Providence||7:00|
|Jan. 5||at Providence||7:00|
|Jan. 11||at W. Michigan||7:00|
|Jan. 12||at W. Michigan||7:00|
|Jan. 25||COLO. COLLEGE||7:35|
|Jan. 26||COLO. COLLEGE||7:05|
|Feb. 1||at St. Cloud State||8:07|
|Feb. 2||at St. Cloud State||7:07|
|Feb. 22||at Denver||9:07|
|Feb. 23||at Denver||9:07|
|March 1||at Minn.-Duluth||8:07|
|March 2||at Minn.-Duluth||8:07|
|March 8||W. MICHIGAN||7:35|
The NCHC standings…
All eight teams have played eight out of 24 league games, or one-third of their conference slate, and Miami is currently tied with Denver for that all-important fourth spot.
The four spot is crucial because it’s the final home-ice slot for the NCHC Tournament. Miami has not hosted a league tournament series since 2015 but has a legitimate shot this winter.
|St. Cloud State||8||6||0||2||1||21|
Miami played well overall the first half of 2018-19, better than many expected.
The challenge of course is for the RedHawks to sustain that level of success during their annual murderer’s row of opponents in the winter months.
But heading into the pressure cooker three games over .500 and playing with the type of intensity Miami has exuded the first three months, returning to the NCAAs is now a real possibility.
It took Cameron Schilling until after his 30th birthday, but the Winnipeg defenseman finally earned his first NHL point.
First called up in 2012-13 with Washington, Schilling was playing in his 10th NHL game and his fourth with the Jets.
Schilling picked up the secondary assist on a Nikolaj Ehlers goal early in the second period that put Winnipeg ahead for good, 3-2 on Tuesday.
Schilling became the 28th player in Miami history to record a point in the NHL.
BoB takes a look at other Miamians making news in pro hockey:
NHL: Chris Wideman was traded from Ottawa to Edmonton on Nov. 22.
In two games since being moved, Wideman has one assist for his sixth point of the season. This was his fourth season with the Senators.
— Thanks to a seven-game stretch
from Nov. 18-29 that saw Reilly Smith rack up nine assists, the Vegas forward now leads the team in helpers with 13.
Smith has already eclipsed the career 100-goal, 150-assist and 250-point marks this season and is just 39 games of 500.
— Los Angeles defenseman Alec Martinez has scored in back-to-back games, including a game winner vs. Carolina on Dec. 2.
Martinez has 10 points on the season, and his marker vs. Arizona on Dec. 4 was the 60th of his NHL career.
— Calgary’s Austin Czarnik accomplished somewhat of a rare feat by scoring the ninth and final goal in the Flames’ 9-6 win at Columbus on Tuesday.
— New Jersey’s Blake Coleman is tied for fourth in the NHL with two shorthanded goals.
Coleman’s second SHG came on Nov. 26 at Florida.
Coleman has eight goals overall, tied for second on the Devils behind Kyle Palmeiri.
AHL: Carter Camper picked up his 350th AHL point on Dec. 1 when the Grand Rapids forward registered a goal and an assist vs. San Antonio.
In 465 games in the league, Camper has scored 92 times and earned 258 helpers since 2010-11.
— Riley Barber recorded a season-high three points in a win over Binghamton on Dec. 2.
Barber is 8-10-18 through 20 games as he is on pace for the highest points-per-game rate of his career.
— Anthony Louis leads Rockford with eight goals, including tallies in consecutive games vs. San Antonio and Chicago on Nov. 20 and 23.
ECHL: This is Alex Wideman’s fourth pro season, and he is on his best ECHL scoring pace.
The Cincinnati forward has 18 points in 18 games – 1.00 per – and his previous best being 0.91 with Indiana last season.
Wideman has already picked up his 100th career assist and 150th point this season.
Wideman teammate and fellow forward Justin Vaive posted a career-best 32 goals in 2017-18, and he has scored nine times in 22 games to start this campaign.
SPHL: Andrew Schmit has notched five assists in nine games since being reassigned to Pensacola.
Europe: Matthew Caito has scored 11 goals for Graz of EBEL this season, with three coming in a two-game span Nov. 4-13.
Caito has tallied 11 assists as well, leading the 99ers in defenseman goals, assists and points.
Andy Miele is tied for third in scoring on Nivhny Novgorod of the KHL with 20 points.
That includes a three-point game against Chelyabinsk in which he picked up back-to-back assists in the Torpedos’ comeback and recorded the clinched with one second remaining.
This is the first season a Miamian has played in the KHL since Randy Robitaille in 2013-14.
Stats for all former RedHawks playing hockey around the world:
2018-19 REGULAR SEASON
|Reilly Smith||Vegas Golden Knights||F||29||4||13||17||-3||2|
|Blake Coleman||New Jersey Devils||F||26||8||7||15||3||14|
|Alec Martinez||Los Angeles Kings||D||28||3||7||10||-2||4|
|Kiefer Sherwood||Anaheim Ducks||F||29||2||5||7||4||6|
|Chris Wideman||Edmonton Oilers||D||21||2||4||6||-11||12|
|Jack Roslovic||Winnipeg Jets||F||26||2||4||6||-1||2|
|Austin Czarnik||Calgary Flames||F||18||2||3||5||-5||2|
|Andy Greene||New Jersey Devils||D||26||0||5||5||-2||8|
|Sean Kuraly||Boston Bruins||F||26||1||3||4||3||17|
|Cameron Schilling||Winnipeg Jets||D||4||0||1||1||0||0|
|Carter Camper||Grand Rapids||F||22||5||15||20||8||2|
|Trevor Hamilton||Grand Rapids||F||5||0||0||0||-5||6|
|Matthew Caito||Graz (EBEL)||D||25||11||11||22||9||20|
|Andy Miele||Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)||F||35||8||12||20||-7||40|
|Kevin Morris||Coventry (EIHL)||F||22||5||11||16||4||41|
|Pat Cannone||Inglestadt (DEL)||F||24||3||12||15||-4||6|
|Marc Hagel||Esbjerg (Denmark)||F||20||3||8||11||-4||16|
|Ryan Jones||Cologne (DEL)||F||25||3||7||10||0||10|
|Tyler Biggs||Nottingham (EIHL)||F||24||4||5||9||-4||57|
|Chris Joyaux||Coventry (EIHL)||D||21||2||4||6||-1||21|
|Will Weber||Fischtown (DEL)||D||16||1||5||6||4||56|
|Colin Sullivan||Chamonix-Morzine (France)||D||20||1||5||6||1||16|
|Cody Murphy||Bjorkloven (Allsvenskan)||F||14||0||1||1||-6||8|
|Matt Tomassoni||Bolzano (EBEL)||F||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jeff Zatkoff||Straubing (DEL)||19||1,141||10||9||2.63||.906||1|
EBEL (Erste Bank Eishockey Liga) – The top tier Austrian league which includes teams in Austrian, Croatia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Italy.
KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) – The top tier Russian league which includes teams in Belarus, China, Finland, Latvia, Kazakhstan, and Slovakia.
DEL (Deutsche Eishockey Liga) – The German professional league with all of its teams in Germany.
EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) – The top tier league of the United Kingdom which includes teams in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
Allsvenskan – The second tier Swedish league.
OXFORD, Ohio – It happened again.
Like Friday, every time No. 1 St. Cloud scored, Miami answered, resulting in a 2-2 tie in the series finale at Cady Arena on Saturday.
And this time, the RedHawks (9-6-3) picked up the extra conference point, as Josh Melnick batted home a one-timer in the 3-on-3.
Both teams were assessed a major and game misconduct courtesy of review, and each netted a goal because of the call.
On Friday, the teams tied, 4-4, with SCSU (11-1-2) earning the extra point in the shootout.
Miami, which has completed exactly half of its 36-game schedule, does not play again until a home exhibition vs. Guelph (Ont.) on Dec. 30. The RedHawks head to Providence on Jan. 3-4 for their next regular season action.
RECAP: Just 22 seconds into a major power play, St. Cloud’s Blake Lizotte beat goalie Jordan Uhelski in the slot with 5:10 left in the first period after a pass from teammate Easton Brodzinski caromed to him off a Miami skate.
The RedHawks tied it when a point-blank shot by Ryan Siroky pinballed through the crease to MU’s Casey Gilling, who chopped it across the goal line 5:46 into the middle stanza.
Just 22 seconds into the third period a puck floated loose at the side of the net following a wrister from the blue line, and Easton Brodzniak backhanded it home to put the Huskies ahead, 2-1.
Miami capped the scoring with exactly nine minutes left in regulation, as Scott Corbett tapped home a puck at the side of the net off a shot from the outside of the faceoff circle by Melnick.
After five minutes of overtime, the game was officially ruled a tie, and Melnick wired home a one-timer on the ensuing 3-on-3 to earn the RedHawks the extra point.
STATS: Rourke Russell led Miami with two points on a pair of assists. It was Russell’s second career multi-point game, with the other coming vs. Denver on March 2.
— Gilling and Corbett both scored for the second straight game. Gilling has four markers in his last seven.
— Miami flipped its woeful faceoff numbers from Friday, going 36-25 on draws led by a 17-11 record by Josh Melnick.
— Melnick’s assist was career point No. 99. He is one point away from becoming the 52nd skater in Miami history to record 100 points.
THOUGHTS: Basically copy and paste yesterday’s comments and multiply by two.
Miami has a crushingly long break coming up, so tying the top-ranked team in college hockey twice has to give the team serious momentum heading into Christmas break.
It was another amazing game to watch and another testament to the RedHawks’ resilience.
So for the weekend, St. Cloud scored six times, took six leads, and Miami answered each time.
Again, against the No. 1 team in college hockey.
— Ben Lown was absolutely everywhere in this game. He did it all – penalty kill, stick handling, passing, winning boards battles despite his diminutive size.
— So River Rymsha was assessed a cross checking major after a skirmish, and St. Cloud scored. Same happened when Jonathan Gruden was buried and a minor was flipped to a 5-and-10, resulting in Gilling’s goal.
This is the new norm for college hockey, so players need to remain on alert. Everything is reviewable, so don’t do anything your mother would disapprove of.
Don’t agree with giving players the boot for fringe majors but the bar has been set so players best keep their cool.
— Attendance was 2,615. Yep, for the top team in D-1. Come on, we can do better. Get to the rink for these all-important contests or give your tickets to someone close by who can make the games.
— Karch Bachman continued to generate scoring chances as a result of his speed. Several times this weekend Miami launched fly pattern passes to see if he can chase the puck down.
His power play passing was markedly improved in this one, as he occupied one of the points and tried to feed passes into the slot.
— Corbett had a strong weekend, scoring in both games and nearly adding another on a breakaway. His game is more physical, but his offense is welcome as he plays on the top line.
FORWARDS: B-. Not quite the offensive results from Friday but the effort was still there. Loved the effort from Lown, and Brian Hawkinson seemed to gravitate toward the puck as he generated three shots and blocked two.
DEFENSEMEN: B+. Helped cut the SCSU shots down to 30. Have we mentioned St. Cloud entered the weekend the top-ranked team in Division I?
GOALTENDING: A-. Uhelski was 22-for-23 the final 45 minutes and was a major reason Miami was able to earn a pair of ties this weekend.
LINEUP CHANGES: All 19 skaters from Friday were in the lineup again on Saturday.
Larkin was the lone change for the RedHawks, who started Uhelski in net.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This fall it has been more fun to come to the rink than it has been since 2014-15.
Players are holding their own against top-level competition, and this team is bonding better off the ice than in previous seasons.
It’s been an enjoyable first two months, and hopefully the RedHawks’ vigor will continue following an extended break.
OXFORD, Ohio – Four times Miami fell behind by a goal, and each time the RedHawks generated the equalizer against the top-ranked team in Division I.
Casey Gilling netted the tying goal as MU salvaged a 4-4 draw vs. No. 1 St. Cloud State at Cady Arena on Friday despite neither leading nor trailing by more than one.
The Huskies (11-1-1) did earn the extra conference point by winning the single-round shootout.
Making the tie even more impressive is goalie Ryan Larkin was injured midway through the first period and RedHawks (9-6-2) finished with backup Jordan Uhelski in net.
RECAP: It was an eventful first period, with both teams scoring three times including once each in the opening 77 seconds.
Robby Jackson put SCSU ahead at the 1:08 mark when he fired a shot from the slot that tricked through Larkin and across the goal line. Originally the call was no call, so play continued, but after the next whistle the play was reviewed a ruled a good goal.
Nine seconds later, Scott Corbett drove to the high slot and appeared to have his shot deflect off a defender’s stick and past goalie Jeff Smith on the glove side.
Josh Melnick won the center-ice draw and Gordie Green sprung Corbett loose by seizing the puck along the boards in traffic.
Jackson put St. Cloud ahead three minutes later when he ripped one from the high slot over the shoulder of Larkin on the power play.
An errant defensive-zone pass by the Huskies from the behind the net slid through the slot to a wide-open Monte Graham, who unloaded for the shorthanded tying goal to make it 2-2 just 80 seconds after St. Cloud State had regained the lead.
The Huskies ahead took a one-goal lead when Patrick Newell fed a pass through both Miami defensemen to Sam Hentges for a one-time rip from the inside edge of the faceoff circle with 6:26 left in the opening frame.
And once again Miami answered, as Gordie Green flipped a two-line pass that was chased by Karch Bachman, who took control of it at the blue line, took two strides and went top shelf just under the far crossbar from the left wing with 2:20 remaining in the first stanza.
The score remained 3-3 until late in the second period when Newell skated in along the left wing boards, cut to center ice – beating two Miami defenders in the process – and backhanding one in to give the Huskies the lead.
Gilling leveled it at four when he intercepted a clearing attempt, passed to himself on the near boards and whipped a bad-angle shot from the bottom of the faceoff circle with 7:06 remaining.
The remainder of regulation, the five-minute 5-on-5 overtime and the five-minute 3-on-3 session did not produce a goal for either side, and the Huskies picked up the third league point on a Jon Lizotte shootout goal after Gilling was denied on this attempt.
STATS: Green led Miami with two points, both on assists, giving him five multi-point games this season, and this was his second time with at least a pair of helpers.
— It was the first career goal for Graham, and the third in six games for Gilling after he was held scoreless through the first 11.
— Bachman has four markers in his last six contests as he moved into solo control of first on the team with seven.
— Melnick extended his points streak to a team-high four games, and he is 2-3-5 in that stretch. That gives him 98 for his career, with 34 goals and 64 assists.
— Uhelski finished with a RedHawks career-high 31 saves despite coming on in relief. He had three previous starts for Miami but had never stopped more than 24.
— Miami ended the game 0-for-3 on the power play and killed off just one of three SCSU chances. However, the RedHawks did notch a shorthanded goal.
— Despite not winning, St. Cloud State dominated in a couple of key areas. The Huskies were 48-22 on faceoffs and led on the shot counter, 44-30 including 32-17 in the first 40 minutes.
Miami actually led in SOG the final 25 minutes, 13-12.
Here’s the difference in shots: SCSU blocked 22, the RedHawks just eight. Jimmy Schuldt of the Huskies rejected seven himself.
THOUGHTS: Although Miami fell short of a win, this is a huge boost for the program.
Although the process for a young hockey team is more important than the results, the result was a tie vs. the No. 1 team in college hockey three months after conference media slated the RedHawks the worst team in the league.
And the way Miami did it showed the process is working.
The RedHawks weren’t as talented as St. Cloud State, not as deep, not as fast, not as skilled at puck possession.
Miami was shorthanded three times in the first period and lost its starting goalie to an injury less than 10 minutes in. Yet every time the Huskies found the net, the RedHawks answered.
A minute in SCSU scored. Nine seconds later, tie game. Then a minute after the second goal, same. A third time later in the period, all while seemingly nothing was going the RedHawks’ way.
The process has put the team at the threshold of being a really good team just nine months after Miami Marchmageddon.
It’s not just that the RedHawks tied the No. 1 team in the NCAA, playing for the ninth straight weekend, it’s that they are playing the game the right way. Playing physical, battling for pucks along the boards, taking smart angles defensively, getting solid efforts from goaltenders every night.
Playing to the final whistle regardless of the score.
Miami is very close to becoming a power player in this league again.
— Uhelski. Had to come off the bench cold after Larkin’s injury, and all he did was turn 31 of 33 shots aside including back-to-back point-blank chances at the top of the crease and a handful of others on high-percentage shots.
He also shut down a third-period breakaway.
Even when he’s not playing, he’s contributing by pushing Larkin, who didn’t have tons of competition for the starting job in 2017-18.
Larkin’s save percentage last season was just .886. It’s now .935. Uhelski’s is .910.
— Bachman. It’s one of greatest pleasures of following a college hockey team for a number of years: Watching players improve.
Karch Bachman’s stock seems to rise by astounding intervals every night. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a player visibly progress on a night-to-night basis at Bachman’s current rate.
On one shift, he gained the offensive zone with his speed, then when the puck ended up in his corner, he drove an opponent off of it by burying him along the boards, resulting in a sustained attack by the RedHawks.
He’s never been overly physical but it has seemed natural to him recently.
We’re watching the Florida Panthers draft pick develop into a serious force in the NCHC.
— This was one of Jonathan Gruden’s best games. Against the very best in D-I, he got the play started on the Bachman goal. His passing, which has resulted in a number of turnovers early, was extremely accurate and his stick handling was impressive.
— So how about Coach Enrico Blasi holding court with both referees at the beginning of the second period? It actually delayed the start, but the power plays were 3-0 SCSU, with St. Cloud scoring twice on the power play, and a couple of clear penalties against the Huskies were not whistled?
Fantastic move. The result: Zero power plays for St. Cloud the final 45 minutes, three for Miami.
FORWARDS: A-. The top three lines all scored, and Graham added an SHG. And Graham was solid beyond his 4-on-5 goal. Liked the way the lower lines battled in this game. Negatives? Gilling had a chance to clear a puck that ultimately resulted in a St. Cloud goal. Faceoff rate of under .333 is unacceptable.
DEFENSEMEN: C+. The Huskies moved the puck extremely well and it seemed like this corps was slow to react at times. A pass on the third goal got through both Rourke Russell and Grant Hutton, and Bray Crowder was beaten at the blue line, helping the Huskies notch their final tally.
GOALTENDING: B+. Larkin should’ve stopped one of the first two St. Cloud goals but faced 11 shots in under 10 minutes, including a handful of high-quality chances. Uhelski had little chance on his two goals against and he was brilliant otherwise. As mentioned above, he denied a point-blank chance and the ensuing rebound plus shut down a late breakaway.
LINEUP CHANGES: D Andrew Sinard was back in for Chaz Switzer, and up front Christian Mohs took the place of Zach LaValle.
Mohs’ play has improved and he is making a case for regular playing time. He has dressed eight times in 17 games this season.
Sinard was the extra skater and has been in the lineup four of Miami’s last five games. Blasi has kept his ice time down.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a fun game to watch, hopefully one of many we’ll see at Cady Arena the balance of the season.
Seeing St. Cloud State live for the first time, it’s easy to understand why it’s No. 1 in the NCAA. But Miami deserved the tie as much as the Huskies did.
The RedHawks wouldn’t quit, which is becoming a theme with this team.
Win or lose, Miami plays hard for 60 minutes, or in this case 65. Or 70 counting the 3-on-3.
Regardless of the game length, the RedHawks Version 2018-19 certainly battle from start to finish.
That’s a major reason Miami is carrying an above-.500 record into December for the first time in four years, which was same season the RedHawks carried a No. 1 seed into the NCAA Tournament.