OXFORD, Ohio – At least Miami won the shootout.
Although the RedHawks officially tied Colorado College, 1-1 at Cady Arena on Friday, MU picked up the extra league point by topping the Tigers in sudden-death penalty shots.
Despite earning two of a possible three points, Miami (3-8-5) saw its winless streak extended to 10 games and has yet to win an NCHC game, as its league record is now 0-4-3.
The RedHawks’ last three conference games have ended in ties.
Miami (3-8-5) took the lead early, as Anthony Louis netted his team-leading 10th goal. Kiefer Sherwood slid a short pass to Carson Meyer before being hit the blue line, and Meyer eluded a defender before connecting with a streaking Louis, and Louis buried the one-timer 3:16 into the first period.
Colorado College (3-11-1) evened the score with 3:36 left in the second period as Luc Gerdes stole a puck deep in the offensive zone and threw the puck in from a bad angle along the goal line.
The RedHawks outshot the Tigers, 28-18 over the final two periods and overtime but could not regain the lead, going scoreless over the final 61:44.
Miami is now 0-7-3 during its skid, the team’s longest winless stretch since 1991.
Despite leading the RedHawks in goals, Louis’ was his first in six games. He has picked up points in 12 of his last 14 contests.
Sherwood earned his first point in four games, and Meyer has now tallied a point in all three games since returning from an illness, going 2-2-4.
RedHawks goalie Ryan Larkin stopped 25 shots.
Miami moved into a tie for seventh with the Tigers in the NCHC by winning the shootout, however the RedHawks fell further in the PairWise, slipping to a tie for 43rd.
The teams wrap up their series at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.
Blog of Brotherhood doesn’t make predictions on games, and Friday was Exhibit A as to why that’s the case.
After losing five straight games – three of which were at home – Miami skated to a 1-1 tie against No. 1 Denver at Magness Arena, which is at an altitude of over 5,000 feet.
When we last left the RedHawks, they were drubbed in their own building by Nebraska-Omaha, 6-2 a night after blowing a 4-1 lead in what was ultimately a 6-4 loss.
In addition to proving that hockey is impossible to predict, we are reminded of another of the sport’s axioms, which is that goaltending is king and a dominant goalie can steal games. Miami was outshot, 39-21 including 15-3 in a first period that saw the RedHawks emerge with a 1-0 lead.
Granted Ryan Larkin didn’t pick up the win, but Miami had little chance if he didn’t stop 45 shots, 38 of which were official because they happened in regular and the legitimate overtime (the other seven were in five minutes of 3-on-3, which in itself is mind-blowing).
The RedHawks were still without captain Louie Belpedio on Friday and showed they are still capable of hanging with the best team in college hockey for 65 minutes.
That has to help this team’s confidence.
There was nowhere to go but up after the giant egg Miami laid last Saturday, and the RedHawks deserve a lot of credit for their significant ascension from six days earlier.
– It was hoped Belpedio would be back this week, but the lower-body injury that he is battling through cost him a fifth straight game. Miami is 0-4-1 without him. His return – whenever that is – will bolster the D-corps substantially and give coach Enrico Blasi more flexibility on his lineup card.
– Carson Meyer missed his third straight game. Hopefully with the off week for Thanksgiving next weekend, Miami will have both Meyer and Belpedio back when it resumes action at Cornell on Dec. 2. Meyer was starting to make a major impact, going 2-8-10 to lead all freshmen.
– There were three total power plays in this game – two for the RedHawks and one for Denver – and six combined penalty minutes assessed. No, really. Miami had averaged seven power plays and six penalty kills through its first 11 games. Neither team scored during the man-advantage, snapping a four-game stretch in which the RedHawks had allowed at least two PPGs. So that’s a positive.
– It was great to see Grant Hutton get a goal after an uncharacteristically poor showing last weekend. He did not register a goal his freshman year but has three in 12 games in 2016-17 and is arguably the top shut-down blueliner on the team.
– In the that-wouldn’t-have-happened-last-year department, how about Anthony Louis stripping a player to set up the Hutton goal? He’s always been a very good player but never was a major factor on D and along with Kiefer Sherwood has to be one of the top picks for most improved player.
– Believe it or not, this was just the third time this season Miami has blanked an opponent in the third period. Teams have outscored the RedHawks, 11-0 in the previous six third periods and Miami snapped a six-game streak in which it had been scored on in the final frame.
It’s a pretty safe bet to say that Miami was happy to have Ryan Larkin back.
Larkin was pulled from last Friday’s game with an injury and missed Saturday’s contest as a result, but returned to stop a career-high 38 shots as the RedHawks salvaged a 1-1 tie at No. 1 Denver on Friday.
Miami extended its winless streak to six games but it had lost its last five and was 0-4 against its first two NCHC opponents, neither of which were ranked.
The RedHawks (3-6-3), who received one point after DU won the sudden-death shootout, were outshot, 39-21.
Miami’s only goal came just 1:59 into the game when Anthony Louis stole the puck in the defensive zone, slid a pass to a streaking Grant Hutton, and the sophomore defenseman ripped one by goalie Tanner Jaillet on the stick side.
Denver (7-2-2) trailed by a goal after the first period despite leading on the shot counter, 15-3.
But the Pioneers tied it in the middle stanza. With 16:02 left in that frame, Troy Terry stole a Bryce Hatten defensive zone pass, went in alone and beat Larkin stick side to tie it.
The RedHawks generated 11 of their 21 shots in the second period.
After a scoreless third period and overtime, the game was officially ruled a tie. In the second OT for a conference point, Denver outshot Miami, 7-2 in the 3-on-3.
Henrik Borgstrom converted his sudden-death penalty shot but Kiefer Sherwood was denied.
Hutton’s goal was his third of the season after he did not record a marker in his first season with Miami.
Louis picked up the lone RedHawks assist, giving him helpers in three straight and points in nine of his last 10 games. He now has 102 career points, moving him into sole possession of 49th place on Miami’s all-time leaderboard.
The RedHawks remain in last place in the NCHC, as they picked up their first league point of the season.
These teams wrap up their two-game weekend series at 9:07 p.m. on Saturday.
OXFORD, Ohio – Miami came within 24 minutes of snapping a three-game losing streak.
But the RedHawks, who led by three goals with four minutes remaining in the second period, allowed five consecutive goals down the stretch in a 6-4 loss to Nebraska-Omaha at Cady Arena on Tuesday.
The Mavericks (5-3-1) jumped on top early, as Mason Morelli tipped in a blue line shot by Ian Brady just 7:21 into the first period on the power play.
After that, it was a game of runs, as Miami (3-5-2) scored the next four goals.
The RedHawks tied it with 3:29 left in the frame when Anthony Louis carried the zone, skated along the boards and centered a pass to Josh Melnick, who one-timed the puck home from the high slot.
Miami took the lead on an innocuous wrister by Scott Dornbrock from along the boards that Conor Lemirande redirected home 6:23 into the second period.
Dornbrock picked up another assist when he slid a pass to Louis in the high slot, and Louis buried a shot to the stick side for his 100th career point with 10:09 remaining in the frame.
Just 34 seconds later, the Louis penetrated uncontested and roofed a backhander from the center of the faceoff circle on the short side to make it 4-1.
But UNO cut the lead to two prior to the second intermission, when Steven Spinner stole a Louis pass, skated the length of the ice along the boards and connected with trailing defenseman Joel Messner, who buried a shot to cut the deficit to two.
Jake Randolph made it a one-goal game 83 seconds into the final stanza on a tip-in off a blue line wrist shot by Messner.
The Mavericks tied it when Spinner picked off a Melnick pass in the neutral zone, skated in and went top shelf for a shorthanded goal with 14:13 left in regulation.
That ended the night for Miami goalie Ryan Larkin, the RedHawks only goalie used this season to that point, as he gave way to freshman Chase Munroe, who made his MU debut.
Munroe was greeted rudely, as Luc Snuggerud’s slap pass from the blue line found the blade of David Pope’s stick for a redirection goal that gave UNO a 5-4 lead with 8:05 to play.
The Mavericks sealed it when Morelli scored an empty netter after Austin Ortega intercepted a Louis centering pass from behind the net.
The RedHawks have surrendered 17 goals in their last three games and have been outscored, 9-0 during their current four-game skid.
Louis finished with three points, giving him 101 for his career and a team-high 14 on the season, including a Miami-best nine goals. All of his points have come in the last eight games.
Melnick recorded a goal and an assist for his first multi-point game of the season, and Dornbrock ended the game with a pair of helpers, his first two-assist game since Jan. 29.
Miami drops to 0-3 in the NCHC.
The series finale will be at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
– 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.
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.
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.
OXFORD, Ohio – For Miami, the third overtime was a charm.
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.
OXFORD, Ohio – After Saturday, Cady Arena might want to add the Kingsmen’s 1963 hit “Louie Louie” to its repertoire.
Or maybe amend the spelling to “Louie Louis”.
The duo of Louie Belpedio and Anthony Louis scored Miami’s first three goals in its 5-0 win over Maine in its series finale, as the Chicago-area pair has netted six of the RedHawks’ nine markers in the first three games of this homestand.
It was an amazing eight days for Belpedio, who struggled mightily in the first period vs. Ohio State last weekend but scored the team’s lone goal in the next stanza. That seemed to turn his game around, and although he is still prone to the occasional turnover, he has been exception at moving the puck, especially on the power play.
Then there’s Louis, whose game has jumped miles ahead from his first three seasons to this homestand that opens his final season in Oxford. It took him 10 games to find the net in 2015-16, and he had three plus an assist this weekend on 15 shots, many of which his hard work created. He seems physically stronger and more driven this fall than at any other time wearing a Miami sweater.
And yet the most-improved offensive player award is in no way clear-cut, as Kiefer Sherwood makes an excellent case for that. Like Louis, he is doing much more at a higher level than filling the scoresheet.
Just based on the three games in this homestand, Carson Meyer looked much more comfortable on the ice from Period 1 to Period 9, and the stats prove that out, as he had three assists in this game and had a goal erased on a delayed, delayed off-side call.
Karch Bachman’s blazing speed and skills make him an easy top-6 forward, and he is just starting to reach his potential. Gordie Green has been feisty and it seems inevitable he will start putting up points soon playing to the right of Bachman and Sherwood.
Throw in Josh Melnick, the most complete forward on the team and on-ice leader despite being a sophomore, and that’s six forwards plus a power play quarterback defenseman we just mentioned that could be elite both in the NCHC and nationally.
And that’s without mentioning Ryan Larkin, who stopped 33 shots for his first shutout. It’s safe to say he’s the real deal and is going to steal some games over his career, and every competitive team needs great goaltending to win critical games.
There’s certainly a lot to like about Saturday’s performance, especially since scoring was a weakness for Miami last season, but before we punch our tickets to the Frozen Four, some perspective…
Maine didn’t get great goaltending. In fact, the Black Bears weren’t a terribly impressive lot. They had two outstanding goals on Friday but sort of mailed it in after Miami went up multiple goals on Saturday.
Still, the RedHawks showed on Friday they could respond while trailing three times to salvage a tie and in this game they were able to step on a team’s throat late, something they haven’t always exceled at.
To accomplish both against Maine, they needed offense from a team that scored just 86 times in 36 times last season and saw its first-round pick that tied for the team’s points lead walk this summer after one year.
Coming off a 15-18-3 season with 14 freshmen and no Jack Roslovic – or Sean Kuraly or Matthew Caito for that matter – we’ll take 2-1-2 at this point with 2.80 goals for per game and an average of just 1.80 against.
– Hate to gloss over Larkin’s performance, but offense was so much more of a concern entering this season, and this team has always found quality kids between the pipes. Now to gush a little: Larkin has been absolutely amazing in his first three home games. He has a .955 save percentage and 1.27 goals-against average at Cady Arena. Keep in mind, this is on a freshman-laden team that has made some defensive mistakes, so he has faced a plethora of high-percentage chances. Miami’s just fine in net, hopefully for the next four years.
– One player we haven’t really talked about is Jared Brandt. The freshman defenseman hasn’t been sexy but has been very effective in his own end and has a physical streak. As the everyday lineup starts to solidify, Brandt’s name should be on it nightly, bringing much-needed stability to a blue line that lost several four-year starters last off-season.
– Despite the score, Miami actually started pretty slowly in this one. Period 1 bore no resemblance to 2 and 3, and the Meyer non-goal may have been a turning point.
– One more peeve: I really, really don’t like reviewing off-sides after a goal. And yes, I’d say that if Maine had had a goal reversed. Going back and waving off a goal for something that happened 30 seconds earlier is the equivalent of taking back a touchdown because six plays earlier because it’s determined the ball really should’ve been placed at the 38 yard line and not the 39. Replay on goals? Sure. Micromanaging tertiary calls like off-sides when they don’t directly contribute to scores? No thanks.
– Final thought: Belpedio and Louis are both from the Chicago area. They scored the first three goals. Miami won 5-0. The same night, the Cubs won 5-0 to advance to the World Series. Heck of a coincidence.
– OK, one more final thought. Sorry for the delay in getting stuff posted. High school football conflicts plus real work, and Sunday was my birthday. Should be more timely moving forward. Thanks for your patience and thanks always for those who read our rambling prose.
FORWARDS: A. Not only is it scary that Miami has Louis-Melnick-Meyer-Sherwood-Bachman-Green as its top six, the third line of Ryan Siroky, Justin Greenberg and Zach LaValle was solid again in this game, albeit it without producing points. Alex Alger played his first home game and impressed with his energy on the fourth line. Conor Lemirande is way better than in his first two seasons. Carter Johnson was a solid grinder on that line as well. That’s all 12.
DEFENSEMEN: B+. It’s weird: As someone who appreciates defense, the good and bad of that aspect seemed somewhat lacking from this game. That’s OK as typically stay-at-home D-men are noticed for bad play a la offensive linemen in football. The game became a lot more physical in the third period, and this corps was involved in much of the carnage, with Grant Hutton dishing out some hits, Belpedio knocking a couple of player around – most notably with an old-school submarine hip check at full speed, and Scott Dornbrock blasting a player in front of the benches, drawing a debatable penalty. Belpedio scored the two goals, which obviously raise the grade, and overall this corps kept its errant turnovers to a minimum.
GOALTENDING: A+. Larkin earned his first career shutout and was in complete control all night. He almost never allows rebounds and was excellent at icing the puck when Miami had the lead, not allowing Maine a chance to get back into the game. Larkin was tested on a 3-on-1 in the final minute but made the save to preserve the shutout. What a performance.
LINEUP CHANGES: Alger replaced Willie Knierim and did a solid job on the fourth line. On defense, Colin Sullivan returned to the lineup as Chaz Switzer was scratched. Andrew Masters was again the backup in net.
OXFORD, Ohio – After 239 days, Miami finally found itself in the win column on home ice.
After an excruciatingly long off-season and a pair of ties in their first two games at Cady Arena, the RedHawks shut out Maine, 5-0 on 33 saves by Ryan Larkin on Saturday to wrap up a 1-0-1 weekend.
The RedHawks’ last win in this building was on Feb. 27 vs. Colorado College, also a shutout. Miami’s last three home wins have all come by blankings.
Miami thought it had the lead in the first period on a bad-angle rip by Carson Meyer, but the Black Bears challenged and the play was ruled off-side.
But the next one counted, as Anthony Louis and Josh Melnick played give-and-go in the offensive zone in the first period, with Melnick dropping a pass to Louis in the slot for a wrister that beat Rob McGovern 3:42 into the second period.
Just 25 seconds later and six seconds into a power play, a wrist shot by defenseman Louie Belpedio beat McGovern on the glove side to make it 2-0.
With 9:42 left in the middle stanza, Belpedio struck again, this time whipping one just under the crossbar from the top of the faceoff circle to extend the RedHawks’ lead to three.
An offensive-zone feed off the transition by Carson Meyer set up a 2-on-0, with Kiefer Sherwood sliding one across to blueliner Scott Dornbrock for a point-blank blast to run it to 4-0 with 13:19 left in regulation, ending McGovern’s night.
Sherwood capped off the scoring with a close-up one-time rip of his own on a centering pass from Karch Bachman feed from the side of the cage. Sherwood had set up the chance with a stretch pass along the boards and then skated into the slot for the goal with 10:46 left.
Sherwood finished with a goal and two assists for a five-point weekend, and Meyer picked up three helpers, as both recorded career highs with three points.
Belpedio’s two-goal game was the first of his career, and Louis ended the night with a goal and an assist, giving him three markers and one helper in two games.
Ryan Larkin’s shutout was the first of his career. He made 24 stops in the final two periods.
After losing its season opener in Providence, MU is unbeaten in its last four (2-0-2).
Miami will host Bowling Green in a two-game set next weekend. The RedHawks swept the Falcons in a home-and-home season series in 2015-16.
OXFORD, Ohio – The French phrase “comme ci, comme ca” applies perfectly to Friday’s game.
Miami and Maine skated to a 3-3 tie in the series opener and first game played between these teams in Oxford, and like many ties, the overall performance and the outcome was neither good nor bad for the RedHawks.
Here are some of the pros and cons from this contest from Miami’s perspective:
– Anthony Louis has been a good player since setting foot in Oxford, but he appears to have taken a major step up this season. He is playing solid defense, attacking loose pucks and eluding defenders, things he had not done regularly his first three seasons, and that extra effort resulted in a two-goal performance. The second goal especially was the result of beating a defender, something we had not seen him do often previously. He generated nine shots on Friday, many coming because of his hard work.
– Any nervousness from Louis Belpedio was a distant memory. Belpedio struggled early vs. Ohio State, perhaps under the burden of his newly-earned captaincy, but he was fantastic on Friday. He especially stood out quarterbacking the power play, as he puck movement in that capacity was exceptional.
– The man advantage deserves its own bullet point. Miami was only 1-for-8 but the aforementioned puck movement was excellent from the top unit.
– Kiefer Sherwood had seven assists all of last season, but he picked up his third and fourth of the season in this game. He was a feared goal scorer and started to take off in the second half of last season, but he is turning into an all-around force now as he shifts from the wing to center. His brilliant pass to Grant Hutton led to Miami’s first goal, and he picked up the secondary helper in the tying goal on the power play as the RedHawks thanks to solid puck movement in the offensive zone.
– The third line was excellent at puck possession. A pair of sophomores, Ryan Siroky and Zach LaValle, plus senior Justin Greenberg, were arguably Miami’s top threesome in this one, playing a grind-it-out game.
– The wide bodies were solid on the fourth line. Conor Lemirande was a force vs. Ohio State and looks a lot better with the puck this season as well as physically stronger. At 6-feet-6, that’s a scary concept if he continues to improve. Freshman Willie Knierim looked a lot more confident in this game than last week. Patience will be key for fans with Knierim, who is the youngest player on the team and still learning to play with his huge frame. He won’t score 25 goals this season, but watching him develop should be fun the next four years.
– Topping the list is that Maine didn’t look as good as Ohio State, and Miami still couldn’t come away with the win. True, process counts more than wins and losses at this point, but even with a young team, the RedHawks need to win games on home ice, and they have a pair of ties to open their Cady Arena slate.
– Turnovers were costly. Defenseman Chaz Switzer was stripped for Maine’s first goal and normally-solid fellow blueliner Grant Hutton couldn’t handle a deep puck in the third period, ultimately leading to the Black Bears’ final goal. Even reliable Josh Melnick couldn’t clear one in the second period and Maine scored later in the shift with tired Miami players caught on the ice.
– Too many long shifts in the D-zone. Kind of a corollary to the turnovers note, which were obviously a contributing factor, Maine possessed the puck in the offensive zone for extended periods far too often in this game.
– Overall this team is progressing well despite having half of its lineup consist of freshmen. The schedule will get tougher really soon, though, and Miami still has work to do if hopes to compete in the NCHC.
– Could’ve missed the memo, but the linesmen kicked players out of the faceoff circle at an alarming rate, and often it was difficult to see the cause.
– The faceoff thing was more noticeable because this game featured 72 faceoffs and largely lacked flow as a result. A lot of icing and off-sides, plus 13 penalties.
– Offensive zone faceoff, 1.0 seconds left in regulation, not sure why goalie Ryan Larkin wasn’t pulled. Almost every coach at this level or above puts a sixth attacker on in this situation.
FORWARDS: B. This corps scored two of Miami’s goals and fired 29 shots, with Louis netting both markers and accounting for 9 SOG. Karch Bachman did take a bad penalty, firing an opponent’s stick down the ice. Overall the line chemistry seems to be improving.
DEFENSEMEN: C. Defensemen turnovers directly created two goals for Maine, which cannot be overlooked despite the blueliners’ overall solid play. Hutton scored a goal, balancing out him losing the puck, and Belpedio finished with six shots and picked up the primary assist on the tying goal.
GOALTENDING: B. Stopping 18 of 21 doesn’t look great on paper, but Larkin had zero chance on the second goal, the third was an absolute laser and the first was essentially a close-up breakaway. He controlled all of his rebounds and made a couple of high-quality saves.
LINEUP CHANGES: The only change was on defense: Grant Frederic played with Bryce Hatten sat. Frederic looks like he has potential, and his size is impressive, but he was a tough tentative in this one. That will hopefully go away with more playing time.