Category Archives: Bowling Green

BG dominates for rare win over Miami

OXFORD, Ohio – Miami scored first on Saturday, but that would be the RedHawks’ lone highlight.

Bowling Green netted the next four goals and dominated on the shot counter, 41-18 in a 4-1 win at Cady Arena.

That gave the Falcons their first win of the season and snapped a five-game unbeaten streak for Miami. It was also the RedHawks’ first home loss of 2016-17. MU was 19-1-1 vs. BGSU in the teams’ last 21 meetings.

Miami's Anthony Louis (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Miami’s Anthony Louis (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Seven minutes into the game, Carson Meyer skated in and drew multiple defenders to him before sliding a pass across the slot to Anthony Louis, who knocked home his five goal of the season.

But with 4:45 left in the opening period, Chris Pohlkamp threw a wrister on net, and Pierre-Luc Mercier threw in a long rebound allowed by MU goalie Ryan Larkin to tie it.

Just 45 seconds later, Miami’s Karch Bachman turned the puck over in the slot, and on a resulting 2-on-0, Mitch McLain fed Matt Pohlkamp for a slam-dunk goal to make it 2-1.

Bowling Green (1-6-1) extended its lead with 5:43 left in the middle frame as Tyler Spezia drove from the left wing, put the puck on the side of the net, and John Schilling punched it from the back of the cage off the back of Larkin and in.

Mark Friedman banged home a loose puck from the top of the crease to cap off the scoring with 10:23 left in regulation.

Louis has scored all five of his goals in the RedHawks’ last four games.

Meyer extended his points streak to four games, notching seven in that span. Defenseman Jared Brandt also assisted on that goal, picking up his first collegiate point.

Miami (3-2-1) managed exactly six shots in each period. The last time the RedHawks were outshot by a 2-to-1 margin at home was Jan. 17, 2014 vs. Nebraska-Omaha.

MU will head to Western Michigan next weekend for its first conference games of the season. Both games will start at 7:05 p.m.

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Analysis: Miami found a way to win

OXFORD, Ohio – It’s a pretty safe bet that none of the footage from the first two periods of Friday’s game will make any highlight reels.

But the third period and overtime made up for the relatively action-free first 40 minutes of hockey, culminating in an OT winner by Anthony Louis as Miami edged Bowling Green, 2-1 at Cady Arena.

The Falcons recorded 14 shots on goal through the first two yawn-inducing periods. The RedHawks fared even worse, generating just 10. And most of those 24 were low-percentage chances, easily swallowed up by goaltending equipment.

To BGSU’s credit, that was probably the game plan. The Falcons (0-6-1) had allowed 29 goals in six games and did not have the speed or skill to match Miami’s top two lines.

So they played tight D. And very well.

Miami (3-1-2) struggled to create any kind of transition and seemed to have no room to complete passes anywhere on the ice.

But while the RedHawks’ offense was non-existent most of the night, they still found a way to win. And they found a way to win after squandering a one-goal lead late.

This won’t be the only time this season Miami has to play a team that suffocates its forwards, and the RedHawks will still need to find a way to earn victories like they did on Friday.

Other thoughts…

– First, Josh Melnick coming off late in the third period is a major concern. He took a shift with two minutes left in regulation, did not appear to get hit or fall awkwardly and left the ice showing no ill effects, yet he was not on the bench for overtime. In the Captain Obvious statement of the day, Miami cannot to be without Melnick for any length of time, even if that length is a few shifts.

– Miami also had to play with five defensemen for the majority of the second period, as Jared Brandt left after suffering what appeared to be a high hit along the boards. Brandt has been one of the team’s top shutdown defensemen early this season. He returned and appeared 100 percent for the balance of the game.

– Not a fan of criticizing officiating, which was pretty solid most of the game, but it’s baffling that Carter Johnson was assessed a major for interference in the third period but Bowling Green was handed a minor for a boarding penalty during which Louie Belpedio was slammed from behind after being lined up for a couple of seconds. Across the board, hockey has been rightly cracking down on those types of hits, and Belpedio’s numbers were clearly visible the entire time he was along the boards. The reasoning is most likely because the Falcons player remained down for some time while Belpedio bounced right back up, which should not be the way penalties should be decided, if for no other reason because it encourages embellishment. But BGSU did not score on its five-minute power play and Miami netted the game winner after the boarding call, so all was ultimately good for the RedHawks.

Miami's Anthony Louis (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Miami’s Anthony Louis (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

– Yes, Carson Meyer scored the goal and picked up an assist on the other, so it’s easy to point to him as a hero in this game. But from the first game of this homestand to this one, he has gotten significantly better in every facet, which is partly why he is in position to pick up points.

– Louis is up to 94 career points, pulling to within six of the elusive 100-point club. Fifty Miami players have reached that mark. It’s amazing how much Louis’ all-around game has improved from junior year to this one. And oh yeah, he forced a turnover at center ice, which was picked by Melnick, leading to the first goal.

GRADES

FORWARDS: C-. It was trending toward ‘F’ land after two periods, but obviously two goals bolsters their collective grade. Lines 2-4 were nearly non-existent all night, which Bowling Green’s defense deserves much credit for. As much credit as Louis deserves, he didn’t pick up Mark Friedman when he scored from point-blank range to tie it.

Ryan Larkin makes one of his 20 saves on Friday (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

Ryan Larkin makes one of his 20 saves on Friday (photo by Cathy Lachmann/BoB).

DEFENSEMEN: B+. During this homestand, this corps hasn’t done too much to get noticed, and that’s meant as a compliment. They came up big during the major PK, especially Scott Dornbrock, who stepped up his play in the third period for the second straight game.

GOALTENDING: A-. It looked like Ryan Larkin got a piece of the tying goal, but it still slipped over his blocker. It’s probably one that he should’ve had, but it was still a great shot from in close. He stopped 20 of 21 shots and has allowed just one goal in two games and six in his last five. He gives Miami a chance to win every night and is spoiling fans.

LINEUP CHANGES: Coach Enrico Blasi did not change any of the forwards from last Saturday, playing Alex Alger over Willie Knierim for the second straight game. Alger had an assist on Saturday and was absolutely robbed by Chris Nell on a would-be goal in the first period of this game. Blasi continues to get all eight of his defensemen playing time, as Colin Sullivan sat in favor of Bryce Hatten. Larkin has still logged every minute in net – 370-plus at present – and Andrew Masters again served as the backup.

Louis lifts Miami over Bowling Green in OT

OXFORD, Ohio – For Miami, the third overtime was a charm.

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After battling to a pair of ties early this season, RedHawks senior Anthony Louis scored in the extra session to lift Miami to a 2-1 win over Bowling Green at Cady Arena on Friday.

The RedHawks extended their unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2) and remained undefeated in Oxford this season (2-0-2).

The teams combined for just 24 shots in the first two periods, with the Falcons leading, 14-10.

But 10 seconds into the third period, Louis slid a pass to a streaking Carson Meyer at the side of the net, and he roofed it to five Miami the lead.

Miami (3-1-2) was able to kill a major penalty assessed to Carter Johnson for interference, but the Falcons generated the equalizer on a 6-on-5 with 1:06 left in regulation. That’s when Mark Friedman wired a shot just inside the far post from the faceoff circle, sending the game to overtime.

Bowling Green (0-6-1) was assessed a boarding penalty a minute into the fourth stanza, and Louis made the Falcons pay. He was left alone to penetrate from the side of the net, and he fired one between the legs of goalie Chris Nell to win it with 2:55 left in the frame.

Meyer and Louis both finished with a goal and an assist. Meyer has five points in his last two games, and Louis has recorded points in four straight contests and goals in his last three.

They are tied for second on the team with seven points apiece. Louis leads MU with four goals.

Goalie Ryan Larkin stopped 20 shots in the win, but he saw his scoreless streak end at 124:57.

Josh Melnick ended a short shift with two minutes remaining in regulation and did not return, and the reason is unclear. He did not appear to be in discomfort when he left the ice.

The series finale is at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.

Photos: Miami at Bowling Green

Images from the game played at BGSU Ice Arena in Bowling Green, Ohio, on Feb. 12, 2016. All photos by Cathy Lachmann.

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Analysis: Surge due to increased scoring

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Friday’s game was an interesting mix of both halves of Miami’s season: The first portion when the RedHawks couldn’t score and the most recent segment when they could.

Miami scored four times in the final 28 minutes to beat Bowling Green, 4-1 at BGSU Ice Arena after failing to hit the net on 16 first-period shots and a handful more in the middle stanza before breaking through.

The RedHawks scored an average of 2.07 goals in calendar year 2015 of this season and are netting 2.92 in 2016. Not coincidentally, Miami was 5-9-2 on New Year’s Day and is 7-4-1 since.

And the RedHawks have found scoring from other sources than Jack Roslovic and Josh Melnick. They’ve had to, as both have two markers in their last 11 games.

Sean Kuraly is back to his 19-goal form of 2014-15. Anthony Louis is doing his Anthony Louis second-half studly thing. Kiefer Sherwood was coming into his own before joining Roslovic’s top line and he’s thriving now.

BoB has said since August that with its core of veteran defensemen and goalies, this team would be fine if it can score enough. Now it is.

Miami has allowed five goals three times in its last 11 outings, all losses. MU is 7-0-1 when allowing three or fewer in that stretch.

Friday’s crowd was a hostile one as well, and seeing the RedHawks play so well in that environment bodes well for them the next couple of weeks, as they will visit Western Michigan and Minnesota-Duluth, sandwiching a home series vs. Colorado College to wrap up the regular season.

Five wins in those final six would be optimal, four would get Miami over .500 but probably not where it needs to be in PairWise. Three or fewer would be a disaster against the fourth, seventh and eighth place teams in the NCHC.

The way the RedHawks are playing right now, there’s an excellent chance they win the majority of their remaining regular season games and earn home ice for the first round of the NCHC Tournament.

Other thoughts…

– This was a tough game to watch as a Miami fan, because one (OK, I) got the feeling the hot goalie – BGSU’s Nell – might steal one. He made some good saves and the RedHawks missed some great chances. The Louis goal seemed to open the floodgates, and after the Kuraly goal, MU did an outstanding job of fending off the Falcons’ ensuing surge at the end of the second period.

Anthony Louis (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Anthony Louis (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

– Speaking of Louis, I have no idea how he scored the equalizer. He had no apparent angle to shoot at and somehow was able to roof one. What a great way to make up for fanning on a high-quality opportunity earlier.

– Really impressed with Kiefer Sherwood since January. Having a future NHL star in Roslovic on your line doesn’t exactly hurt, but it feels like he’s going to put up huge offensive numbers in his four years in Oxford. He was involved in a pushing match in the first period with a chippy BGSU team, and that seemed to elevate his game, the sign of a strong player.

– These were definitely not NCHC officials. There were 11 total power plays – seven for Miami, tying a season high – including a pair of two-man advantages. Don’t have the stats for it, but I can’t remember Miami or an opponent having a 5×3 all season. It’s rare to see a team with four or more power plays in a game with NCHC referees. Definitely inconsistent.

– Great BGSU crowd. The rink was sold out, and the Falcons fans were enthusiastic and into the game, which unfortunately is not always the case in Oxford. Best of luck to Bowling Green the rest of the season in its quest for the NCAAs.

GRADES

FORWARDS: A-. Really liked the Melnick-Gacek-Louis (AJA – Anthony, Josh, Alex) line. The Crash Cousins line was also strong, barring a bad turnover by Conor Lemirande at his defensive blue line which fortunately didn’t result in a goal. Loving that top line, of course, which accounted for two goals. If we had to nitpick, and that’s what we do, Roslovic is still too committed to carrying the puck through multiple defenders, and as a result he turned it over too often.

DEFENSEMEN: A. Bowling Green was super aggressive, leading to some solid scoring chances, but this corps did a great job of shutting most down. Louie Belpedio broke up a 3-on-1, and Chris Joyaux and Grant Hutton shut down quality opportunities as well. Taylor Richart did his unsexy shut-down thing as well, as did Matthew Caito, who pumped in the clinching empty netter.

GOALTENDING: A. Jay Williams had to deny a clean breakaway 52 seconds into the game, and he shagged it cleanly to set the pace for the rest of the game. He had to make his best stops in the first period, and Bowling Green scored on a point-blank tip that he had little chance on. Williams has appeared in 11 straight games with no end in sight, and hopefully he won’t tire down the stretch run, as it appears he is this team’s only option for the immediate future.

LINEUP CHANGES: Joyaux was back in the lineup, replacing Colin Sullivan on the blue line, and Andrew Schmit was back on the fourth line, replacing Ryan Siroky, who sat for just the second time in 2015-16. Devin Loe centered the Crash Cousins’ line, which played well with the exception of the aforementioned Lemirande turnover. Still no word on goalie Ryan McKay, who is suspended indefinitely. Evan McCarthy remains Miami’s backup in net.

Miami stays hot on the road, tops BG

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Miami’s seven-game road losing streak seems like an eternity ago.

The RedHawks fell behind early before scoring the final four goals en route to a 4-1 win vs. Bowling Green at BGSU Ice Arena on Friday, extending their winning streak to three games away from Oxford.

MU’s last road loss came over two months ago at Colorado College.

Sean Kuraly.

Sean Kuraly.

Senior center Sean Kuraly netted the game-winning goal, the 12th of his career, as he moved into a tie for third place all-time on the Miami leaderboard, tying him with Andy Miele and Reilly Smith.

Kuraly finished with a goal and an assist, giving him four multi-point games in his last six contests and 12 points in his last eight (4-8-12).

In the first minute, Miami senior goalie Jay Williams was forced to stop a breakaway after a stretch pass.

With 8:18 left in the first period, BGSU (16-10-6) took the lead when Brent Tate tipped home a blue-line wrister from Sean Walker in the closing seconds of a power play.

But the second period was kind to the RedHawks once again.

Miami (12-13-3) tied it when junior forward Anthony Louis roofed a shot from the side of the net on a two-man advantage with 7:23 left in the frame.

Less than three minutes later, Kuraly tipped in a change-up wrister from the blue line by sophomore defenseman Scott Dornbrock to put the RedHawks ahead for good, 2-1.

That was the sixth goal in a row Miami had scored in the second period. Fortunately for the RedHawks, they bucked that trend in the final stanza.

Freshman forward Kiefer Sherwood banged home a loose puck with 6:09 left in regulation to give Miami a two-goal lead.

Senior defenseman Matthew Caito iced it with an empty netter in the closing minutes.

Kuraly has scored four times in his last six games, and Sherwood netted his fourth in seven. Louis has pumped in four in eight games.

Caito scored his 16th career goal, moving him into seventh on the school’s career leaderboard, tying him with 1996 graduate Pat Hanley.

Freshman defenseman Grant Hutton recorded his first multi-point game, tallying a pair of assists. He has four helpers in his last three games after picking up just one through 25 contests.

Freshman forward Josh Melnick has recorded a point in eight of nine games, finishing with one assist.

Senior goalie Jay Williams stopped 21 shots to earn the win, the 43rd of his career. He is three away from Connor Knapp for fourth place all-time at Miami.

The RedHawks jumped to a tie for 19th in the PairWise rankings with the win. They would likely need to be in the top 13 to be a safe bet for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Nebraska-Omaha won on Friday, moving into a tie with Miami for fifth place in the NCHC standings, and the Mavericks have a game in hand over the RedHawks.

Miami is off until next Friday, when they travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., for a series at Western Michigan.

MIAMI 0-2-2–4
at BGSU 1-0-0–1
First period–1. BGSU, Tate 4 (Walker, Bednard), ppg, 11:42.
Second period–2. Mia., Louis 7 (Melnick, Belpedio), ppg, 12:37; 3. Mia., Kuraly 6 (Dornbrock, Hutton) 15:15.
Third period–4. Mia., Sherwood 7 (Kuraly, Roslovic) 13:51; 5. Mia., Caito 4 (Hutton), eng, 18:13.
Power plays–Miami 1 for 7; Bowling Green 1 for 4. Shots on goal–Miami 16-14-19–49; Bowling Green 8-7-7–22. Goalies–Miami, Williams (21 of 22 shots saved); Bowling Green, Nell (45 of 49). Referees–Tommy Albindia, Brett Klosowski. Linesmen–Andrew Hempel, Frank Hempel. Attendance–4,025. Time–2:16.

Photos: Bowling Green at Miami

Images from the game between Bowling Green and Miami played at Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio, on Jan. 16, 2016. All photos by Cathy Lachmann.

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Analysis: Crucial win for RedHawks

OXFORD, Ohio – Miami was due to have a close one go its way in dramatic fashion.

In a season that has seen the RedHawks fall twice in overtime and several other times on third-period goals, they beat Bowling Green, 2-1 at Cady Arena on Saturday when senior forward Anthony Louis buried a shot with two seconds remaining in regulation.

For at least one night, a lot of good things happened for this program, but at four games below .500, much work must be done just to get to respectability.

Taking this one game, though, a win like this can do much to turn any negative attitudes around. Rejuvenate players who – especially at such a young age – may have subconsciously begun to give up on the season.

Students are coming back from their J-term as well, which means crowds should pick up, and the buzz from this contest can do nothing but help gate receipts the rest of this campaign.

This wasn’t the best game Miami has played this season, but the RedHawks were good enough to win.

With their lack of offensive firepower, they would need to win a lot games with scores like 2-1. We’ll find out in the coming weeks if they can make winning a habit or if they are a habitual tease.

Either way, it was fun to be at the rink for this one.

Other thoughts…

– And yes, while the finale made it all worth it, Saturday’s game was flat-out boring for the most part until Louis’ heroics. Choppy play, good defensive play, bad offensive play, linemen who thought they were paid by the hour that should’ve carried penalty flags with the number of false starts and illegal motions they delayed puck drops for. It happens. Not every game can be like, well, every one at the end of last regular season, especially when both teams average a little over two goals per game.

– After not returning to the bench for the third period last Saturday and not practicing on Monday, senior goalie Ryan McKay was scratched for this tilt. That means freshman third goalie Evan McCarthy was technically the backup. Following McKay’s fourth goal against vs. Minnesota-Duluth last week on a poor clear, McKay threw his stick down the hall after coming off the ice, and he yelled something to the team and/or coaches, which is presumably why he was not dressed. It’s unclear how long McKay will be scratched, but with Miami’s grueling upcoming stretch run, it needs both of its quality goaltenders.

– While Miami’s power play has been dreadful in recent weeks – 1-for-20 in its last eight games with two shorthanded goals allowed – the penalty kill is tops in the NCAA at 94.1 percent, leading Division I by over three points. RedHawks opponents have not scored on the man advantage in five straight games.

– Louis has been a second-half player his first two seasons, and with the offensive losses Miami has suffered – and its resulting 2.10 goals-per-game average – the RedHawks NEED him to have a strong second half. This game was a great start.

GRADES

FORWARDS: C. Not a ton to see here. Outside of Alex Gacek’s slam-dunk goal and his set up of Louis’ game winner, this unit didn’t generate nearly enough offensive pressure. Much of this is due to Bowling Green’s defense, but Miami has created more chances against better teams this year. The line jumbling – which is justifiable in large part – didn’t help, as chemistry seemed to be off.

DEFENSEMEN: B-. Even though the Falcons only scored once, this corps made a few more mistakes than usual, especially early. Most memorably, Mark Cooper missed a completely open net after a breakdown deep in the defensive zone. It wasn’t one of senior Chris Joyaux’s best nights, although overall this season has been his best.

GOALTENDING: B+. Early on, it appeared Miami was in huge trouble, as senior Jay Williams struggled in net, and classmate Ryan McKay was not dressed, giving the team no safety valve. Williams allowed the first goal on a shot from beyond the top of the faceoff circle under his left arm and seemed to have trouble picking up the pick in the opening period. However, he was huge the final 40 minutes, making at least one huge save on a point-blank chance. His rebound control was outstanding, and he has now cut his 5.35 goals-against average from a couple of weeks ago – the result of being left in for seven goals opening night vs. Providence – nearly in half, ending the night at 2.83 for the season.

LINEUP CHANGES: Senior forward Michael Mooney was out up front after playing last Saturday, and junior Devin Loe sat for the second straight game. On defense, junior Colin Sullivan was a scratch after playing four of the past five games. Freshman Grant Hutton was out for the first time this season last Saturday but was back on the ice in this one. It’s unclear how long Williams will have the starting goalie joy uncontested, but McKay is smart and it’s likely he will right any wrongs within the team sooner than later.

Louis lifts Miami over BG

OXFORD, Ohio – Thanks to Anthony Louis, there was no free hockey at Cady Arena on Saturday.

The junior forward ripped a one-timer into the bottom corner of the net with two seconds left in regulation to lift Miami to a 2-1 win over Bowling Green.

Teammates congratulate Anthony Louis (second from left) after his game-winning goal (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Teammates congratulate Anthony Louis (second from left) after his game-winning goal (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Senior Jay Williams stopped 28 shots to earn the win, which was just the second for the RedHawks in 11 games.

Kevin Dufour opened the scoring for the Falcons, as his shot from the top of the faceoff circle snuck under Williams’ arm 5:55 into the first period.

Off a steal by Louis, Miami senior Alex Gacek tied it with 4:15 left in the middle stanza, stuffing a loose puck home from the side of the net.

It remained 1-1 until the closing seconds of the third period, when Gacek fed Louis from the side of the net back to Louis, who ripped it just inside the post on the glove side for the decisive score.

That meant no overtime for MU, which had seen five of its first 20 games go to an extra session.

Louis and Gacek both finished with a goal and an assist.

Louis has now recorded five points in his last five games, and Gacek scored his second goal in four contests.

Jay Williams stopped 28 shots to earn the win (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Jay Williams stopped 28 shots to earn the win (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

Williams picked up his second victory, improving to 2-2-1 and 3-0 in his career vs. Bowling Green.

The RedHawks resume league play next weekend, as they travel to Nebraska-Omaha. They play at 8:37 p.m. on Friday and 8:07 p.m. on Saturday.

Miami hosts Bowling Green

WHO: Bowling Green Falcons (13-6-5) at Miami RedHawks (6-11-3).

WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.

WHEN: Saturday–7:05 p.m.

TV: None.

BOWLING GREEN RADIO: WBGU-FM (88.1).

MIAMI RADIO: WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio; WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.

NOTES: Like Miami, Bowling Green has done a better job of shutting down opponents than it has scoring goals. The Falcons have scored just 58 goals in 24 games, but the Falcons have allowed just 44 markers.

The offensively-strapped BGSU team is led by Matt Pohlkamp, who has five goals and a team-best 11 assists for 16 points.

Sniper Mark Cooper has scored nine times and has set up four more markers, and Kevin Dufour and Tyler Spezia have lit the lamp five times each to pace the Falcons.

But goalie Chris Nell has been the key to BGSU’s success. He is 9-3-5 with a 1.37 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage.

The Falcons have lost two of their last three games and three of five, splitting at Lake Superior State last weekend.

It should be Jay Williams in net for Miami.