Category Archives: 2018-19
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.
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 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.
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.
— 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.