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First period thoughts…

After one period of play from Omaha, Neb., #8 Miami leads Nebraska Omaha 1-0. Bryon Paulazzo had the Miami goal on the powerplay assisted by Austin Czarnik and Riley Barber.

Some thoughts from the pressbox…

  • Blake Coleman is strong. He threw his weight around the ice and can seemingly protect the puck with just one hand on his stick.
  • Austin Czarnik is the real deal. There is a zip on his passes. He doesn’t just make a pass, he means it. It’s impressive to see how accurate, and powerful, his passes are. Additionally, he has a very active stick always getting it in the passing lanes and is really impressive with the puck.
  • Good defensive period for Miami. UNO’s top line of Zombo, Archibald and Walters were relatively invisible.
  • Taylor Richart is a silent assassin. He is everywhere and he is no where. Always in position, always on the puck. His 150 foot slapper that drew a faceoff on the PK was impressive.
  • Riley Barber looks more aggressive tonight. There does appear to be more space tonight than previous games and he is making the most of it getting shots to the net. His shot and subsequent rebound found Paulazzo’s stick for Miami’s goal.
  • Max Cook and Ben Paulides look a little shaky. I think they could both use a boost of confidence.
  • UNO’s transition game might be the only way they score tonight (aside from a powerplay). Their speed is challenging Miami’s D to be alert and the Hawks’ forwards to backcheck — which Czarnik, in particular, has done well.

More to come!

Miami and Michigan Skate to 3-3 Tie

Reilly Smith scored a pair of goals and Cody Reichard made 25 saves as Miami settled for a 3-3 tie with Michigan on Saturday night.

After spotting then #4 Michigan (7-3-2, 3-3-2-1 CCHA) a 2-0 first period lead, Miami (5-6-1, 3-4-1-1 CCHA) stormed back to salvage a 3-3 tie earning the extra point in the league standings with a 1-0 shootout win. More on that in a moment.

Overall, Miami dominated the Wolverines for a second consecutive night winning the battles along the boards and controlling play while outshooting Michigan 41-28. The 41 shots marked a season’s best number for the Red and White. Further, Miami was so dominant, they erased the 2-0 deficit when junior Reilly Smith scored his second goal of the night on the power play with just over 12 left in regulation to take a 3-2 lead. Arguably, this should have been a regulation win for Miami if not for two disallowed goals, one of which was incredibly controversial, and a fluke goal from Michigan freshman Zach Hyman that tied the game at 3 late in the third period.

Perhaps this game should be our 2010 West Regional Final since Michigan fans can’t seem to let that one go and Miami had one stolen away last night. One thing’s certain, Miami looked nothing like the team we’d seen through the season’s first ten games this weekend as Miami had all facets of their game working. The only really negative thing I took away from the weekend is the RedHawks are still guilty of being too aggressive at times. Last night we saw several overplays from nearly every group on the squad that led to Michigan goals. Nothing wrong with working hard, but Miami needs to find that line of aggressiveness that doesn’t result in pucks in their net.

The real highlight of the night might not have been the nice redirection by Reilly Smith that gave Miami a brief lead, but rather, the winning shootout goal from sophomore Bryon Paulazzo.

Paulazzo, shooting fourth for Miami, started to his right and skated toward the Baby Goalie. Knowing that BG had just poke-checked Reilly Smith from close range, Paulazzo kept his distance and at the last moment spun with the puck on his backhand and roofed a shot above the fallen Baby. Here’s video courtesy of Miami All-Access and ONN.

After Paulazzo’s goal, Miami senior netminder Cody Reichard stopped Michigan’s leading scorer, Lindsay Sparks, to give the RedHawks the additional point in CCHA play. Reichard stopped all four Michigan shooters while Baby Goalie stopped three of four RedHawks including Smith, Austin Czarnik and Jimmy Mullin before surrendering Paulazzo’s highlight reel goal.

Next weekend, the RedHawks look to extend their four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1) as they remain home to face Chris Bergeron’s Bowling Green Falcons in a two-game CCHA series.

Notes

– Miami is now 8-3-1 against the Wolverines in their last 12 meetings and is unbeaten in the last five (4-0-1).

– Cody Reichard has been in net for the previous four Miami games as Connor Knapp recovers from injury. Reichard is 3-0-1 in those four games.

– Reilly Smith now has seven goals on the year in just 10 games as he picked up his second multi-goal game of the year. He had 28 goals last year for Miami.

– The two teams will meet again in the regular season in Ann Arbor on February 3-4.

– Miami freshman Austin Czarnik set a career high with 3 points on the evening (1G, 2A).

– Miami has moved to 19th in the Pairwise and 16th in KRACH. They have played the 5th most difficult schedule in the nation thus far.