Miami slammed by Colorado College
OXFORD, Ohio – With the last place team coming to town this weekend, Miami had an excellent chance to snap its 10-game winless streak.
Instead the RedHawks suffered their worst loss of the season by goal margin, 6-1 against Colorado College at Cady Arena on Friday.
The Tigers (9-12-3) scored three times in a span of 5:14 in the first period, and by the 10-minute mark of the second frame Miami was down five.
The RedHawks are 0-7-4 in their last 11 games with their last win coming vs. Colorado College on Nov. 17.
RECAP: Colorado College opened the scoring midway through the first period when Brian Williams backhanded a rebound home off a shot from Erik Middendorf, who had cut to the side of the net uncontested.
Just 2:14 later, the Tigers scored on a 2-on-1 as Trevor Gooch centered a pass to Alex Berardinelli, who skated in alone and roofed one to the glove side.
With 4:54 left in the opening stanza, Miami goalie Ryan Larkin made a save but the puck was loose under him and teammate Derek Daschke poked it out of the crease. Troy Conzo grabbed it, shot it off a body and seized the rebound, which he fired into the net.
Intermission didn’t stop the bleeding for the RedHawks. At the 41-second mark of the middle frame, Trey Bradley emerged from a boards battle with the puck, skated behind the net and backhanded it into the cage to make it 4-0.
That ended Larkin’s night, as Jordan Uhelski replaced him between the pipes.
Williams buried a slap shot inside the far post from the top of the faceoff circle on a 3-on-2 created by a bad Miami line change midway through the second period.
The RedHawks (9-12-4) scored their first goal in over 160 minutes when Grant Hutton stopped, wound up and ripped a slap shot that found the bottom of the net on the stick side from the blue line with 8:52 remaining in the second period.
Colorado College sealed it when Christiano Versich buried a drop pass from Middendorf in the slot in the closing minutes.
STATS: Hutton snapped a 13-game goal drought. It was the 27th goal of his career, unofficially tying him for third on the all-time Miami defenseman scoring list with Andy Greene and Joe Cook. Dan Boyle and Kevin Beaton are the only RedHawks/skins blueliners with more tallies.
— Casey Gilling picked up the primary assist and also broke out of a funk by recording his first point in seven games and his first assist in 12.
— Brian Hawkinson notched the other helper. He has a point in each of the last three games in which Miami was not shut out.
— Larkin was pulled for the second straight start and has allowed eight goals on 34 shots in that span. Uhelski has played in four consecutive games and is 95 of 103 for a save percentage of .922.
— A positive? Despite all seven goals being scored at even strength, Phil Knies somehow went plus-1.
— Another positive: Miami was 30-23 on faceoffs, an area in which the RedHawks have struggled mightily in recent weeks.
— A random one: Only two penalties were called all game, resulting in one power play for each team. The last time a Miami game saw two or fewer man-advantage opportunities was Jan. 18, 2013 at Wisconsin.
In that game, the Badgers scored on their chance and won, 1-0.
THOUGHTS: Paying fans should really demand a refund for this game.
Colorado College, dead last in the NCHC, was playing its eighth consecutive road game, and Miami made the Tigers look like the Washington Capitals.
During the first six games of this winless stretch, Miami played pretty well in each game and certainly had intensity every night.
The RedHawks lost a pair of one-goal decisions on the road vs. a quality Western Michigan team, and then last week they were totally outmatched by Minnesota-Duluth, one of the top teams in Division I.
Colorado College was a tired cellar dweller going on the road and beating the bejesus out of a higher-skilled team.
Miami was completely lifeless and fell behind 5-0. Hutton’s goal energized the RedHawks momentarily, but the damage had been done.
MU Version 2018-19 is not a team built to erase a five-goal deficit.
— What in the deuce was going on with Miami’s defensemen?
Usually-dependable Rourke Russell was a turnover machine. Bray Crowder inexplicably skated to the boards on a 2-on-1, essentially allowing a breakaway goal that made it 2-0. Players were out of position all night. No one picked up Tigers cutting to the net.
Andrew Sinard was a rare bright spot among this corps if for no other reason because he plays cautiously and makes safe passes. He used his long reach to knock pucks away from opponents several times and is earning more ice time as a result of that and injuries to other defensemen.
— River Rymsha had an interesting night. He had played some wing this season but was the starting center in this one. He went 3-1 on faceoffs.
Rymsha also was hurt, as he came off holding his shoulder. Based on the optics it appeared he would miss significant time, but he returned and looked 100 percent the balance of the game.
FORWARDS: D-. The absence of Josh Melnick is having a crippling effect on this corps, which has not found the net in three games. Even Miami’s best most skilled forwards are struggling: Karch Bachman was minus-4, Jonathan Gruden minus-3, Gordie Green minus-3.
DEFENSEMEN: F. Hutton’s goal bumped their grade from a ‘G-’. Their woes were documented above: Bad decisions, bad positioning, turnovers, flat-footedness. It was easily the worst effort of the season by the blueliners.
GOALTENDING: C-. The first goal came off a point-blank shot that resulted in a rebound, so that can’t be blamed on Larkin. The second was a breakaway and a quality snipe. However, Larkin couldn’t control an innocuous shot on the third goal and was unable to get across to stop a wraparound on the fourth. Uhelski probably should’ve had the fifth one and the sixth was on an uncontested shot from the slot.
LINEUP CHANGES: Hutton was back after sitting last Saturday and forward Noah Jordan sat scratched. Rymsha shifted to forward and Zach LaValle was the extra skater, dressing for the third straight game.
Melnick missed his fifth consecutive contest.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It was an all-around bad night at the rink.
There’s simply no excuse for falling behind 5-0 by the midpoint of the second period against a team that had won one of its last seven games.
The last team Miami beat was this Tigers team. But that was over two months ago in Colorado Springs, and this game showed how far the RedHawks have slipped since then.