Once again No. 20 Miami felt short by the slimmest of margins.
The RedHawks lost by one for the second straight night, 3-2 at No. 14 Western Michigan on Saturday after dropping a one-goal decision the night before.
Miami (9-9-4) fell to the .500 mark for the first time since the start of the season and are winless in their last eight, going 0-4-4.
Matthias Samuelsson fired in the game winner from the high slot early in the third period after Western Michigan had taken two previous one-goal leads, only to have Miami answer both times.
The RedHawks were without standout Josh Melnick for the second straight night, and regular starting goalie Ryan Larkin also did not play.
RECAP: Western Michigan (13-6-1) won an offensive zone faceoff and Cole Gallant dropped a pass to Josh Passolt, who whipped it past Miami goalie Jordan Uhelski 2:12 into the game.
The RedHawks tied it with 5:43 left in the opening frame when Ben Lown skated in on the right wing and centered a pass that hit a skate and caromed to Derek Daschke, who was wide open in the slot and slammed it home.
With 6:51 left in the middle stanza, Colt Conrad fed Passolt on a 2-on-1 for a one-timer that put Western Michigan back on top, 2-1.
Miami again pulled even when a 2-on-1 became a 2-on-0 as the Broncos’ lone defender, Cam Lee, blew a tire in his defensive zone. Jonathan Gruden took a pass from Brian Hawkinson and after his initial shot was denied, he poked it past goalie Trevor Gorsuch with 1:26 remaining in the second period.
But Western Michigan regained the lead for good as a well-placed wrister by Samuelsson from between the faceoff circles beat Uhelski with 14:35 left in regulation.
STATS: Passolt scored twice and finished the weekend 3-1-4 as he is almost certainly on his way to a weekly league award.
— Lown ended the night with a team-best two points, both on assists for his first multi-helper game of the season and the second of his career.
— Daschke scored for the fourth time this season, tying him with Grant Hutton for the team lead among defensemen, and Gruden’s goal was his second of the season, as he has four points in his last six games.
— Opponents have scored against the RedHawks in 13 straight periods.
— Both teams had three power plays but only 2:11 of time on the man-advantage. That’s because twice after Miami took penalties, WMU was whistled for a minor of its own within seconds.
So it’s a rough 0-for-3 for both teams.
THOUGHTS: Miami didn’t play badly at all, especially considering it was in a hostile arena against the hottest team in Division I, but once again the win didn’t come.
WMU deserves a lot of credit for the weekend sweep, as the Broncos are flat-out impressive in every aspect, and it’s easy to see why they’re second in the NCHC.
Western Michigan was ranked No. 14 coming into this weekend and was unbeaten in its previous eight. Make that 10 now and watch that ranking go up on Monday.
— Daschke’s line was impressive enough – one goal, six shots, three blocks, only Miami skater with a plus-rating – but he was a defensive menace to WMU all game, poking loose pucks away and getting his stick in the way of passes. Plays well beyond his 22 collegiate games.
— Speaking of defensemen, River Rymsha was a standout in this game by laying out a couple of huge hits and playing great shut-down defense.
Rymsha’s father, Andy Rymsha, was interviewed on CBS College Sports during Friday’s game. Andy Rymsha played for Western Michigan and logged six NHL games with the Quebec Nordiques.
— Hutton has stepped his level up the past few games at both ends of the ice. He has four assists in his last four games and has played better in his own end as well.
— Uhelski in net was a major surprise. Was this a message to the team that it was too reliant on Larkin to make big saves, or are they pacing Larkin, who has already logged roughly 5,000 minutes as a RedHawk and been banged up several times during his Miami career?
Uhelski made a phenomenal save on a breakaway and was solid overall.
— Melnick remained out with a lower body injury. Hopefully it will not linger into the upcoming four-game homestand.
— Win No. 10 has been a major hurdle for this program the past few seasons. Miami is 1-17-6 in its last 24 games chasing its 10th win.
LINEUP CHANGES: Just Uhelski for Larkin. Uhelski stopped 30 of 33 shots.
Coach Enrico Blasi likes to have his lineups pretty well set around this point of the season, and with the exception of Melnick and Larkin, this looks like the 20 he will head into the stretch run with.
STANDINGS: Miami dropped to sixth in the conference at 3-5-2, leading just Omaha and Colorado College.
The RedHawks slipped to No. 26 in the PairWise, which determines which teams earn at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. Miami would need to climb to 14th or better to warrant consideration.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Despite a lot of the positives surrounding the program, the winless streak is becoming unwieldy.
The RedHawks are at .500 for the first time since opening night, which isn’t going to get them into the NCAA Tournament, regardless of how difficult their league schedule is.
The effort is there, the passion is there, the process is there, and while those are all great things, the wins still need to be there at the end of the season or else this team will once again be done playing by St. Patrick’s Day.
Miami’s special teams were not very special on Friday.
No. 14 Western Michigan scored twice on the power play. No. 20 Miami had zero goals on the man-advantage despite a five-minute 5-on-4 at the beginning of the third period.
Those tallies were the difference as the Broncos edged the RedHawks, 4-3 at Lawson Arena in a weekend series opener.
Miami extended its winless streak to seven games (0-3-4) while WMU is now unbeaten in its last nine.
Josh Melnick missed just the second game of his RedHawks career. He was out with an apparent lower body injury.
RECAP: The Broncos’ Colt Conrad penetrated from the point and wristed one from the slot into the far corner of the net on the power play to open the scoring 10:27 into the first period.
Miami (9-8-4) tied it 91 seconds later when Gordie Green and Karch Bachman played give-and-go entering the offensive zone, and Bachman threaded a pass to Green at the side of the net for a tap-in.
WMU (12-6-1) jumped ahead again when Ethen Frank fielded a pass through the slot on his backhand, pivoted and threw it in at 1:36 of the second period.
Frank set up Hugh McGing off a break with 4:12 remaining in the middle stanza.
Miami deficit to one when Bachman slid a pass from along the end boards to Green, who shoveled it home, making it 3-2 with 12:15 left in regulation.
Passolt put WMU back up by two with his second goal of the night on a 4-on-3 with 8:17 remaining.
Just 82 seconds later, the RedHawks’ Scott Corbett stole the puck in the corner and centered to Brian Hawkinson, who capped off the scoring.
STATS: Green scored twice and has three goals in two games. He went through a nine-game stretch without finding the net prior to that, so his rejuvenated scoring is welcome for Miami.
Bachman also finished with two points, both on assists. It was his first career multi-assist game.
— Grant Hutton had gone eight consecutive games without a point but he picked up a helper and has at least one in three straight, going 0-4-4.
— Miami was on the power play for 7:39 but generated just three shots.
— MU won just 21 of 69 faceoffs (30.4 percent).
— The RedHawks have allowed 12 power play goals in their last eight games and are just 63.6 percent on the penalty kill in that span.
— Opponents have scored against MU in 10 straight periods.
— Melnick missed his only other game on Oct. 29, 2016.
THOUGHTS: It’s always a learning experience when Miami plays on national TV and Dave Starman does color.
The CBS College Sports analyst said that Miami defenseman Alec Mahalak will win conference player of the year one day.
Mahalak did play one of his better games of the season on Friday.
— Starman was very complementary of a number of RedHawks players, including Bray Crowder, Carter Johnson and Derek Daschke.
— Starman also spoke highly of these programs’ futures, saying “the best days were ahead” for both Miami and Western Michigan.
— Bachman’s speed once again resulted in a goal, as he won the race to his self-pass along the boards and eventually spooned one to Green for the marker.
— What a play by Corbett to set up Hawkinson’s goal. He stole the puck in seemingly in one motion thrust the puck to the edge of the crease where Hawkinson buried it.
— Yes, Melnick is one of Miami’s better faceoff men, but 21-48 in the circle? Really? Overall the RedHawks have been much better on draws than in recent seasons.
— The penalty kill has been brutal. On Thanksgiving, MU was 84.5 percent on the PK for the season. That number has plummeted to 76.5 since. Miami has allowed 10 power play goals in six games while scoring just four PPGs in that stretch.
LINEUP CHANGES: Melnick was the only player not in the lineup from Saturday’s game against Providence, and Johnson dressed in his place after sitting the last two.
He played on the line with Bachman and Green.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Another one that falls into the “near miss” category, Miami hurt itself with three offensive zone penalties (good catch, Starman) and finished 4-for-6 overall shorthanded.
It’s really tough to win on the road when you give a team six power plays including a 4-on-3.
Taking the second period off didn’t help. The RedHawks were outshot, 16-4 in that frame and allowed a pair of unanswered goals that put WMU ahead for good.
And yes, Melnick’s unexpected absence hurt Miami in multiple areas, but the Broncos were without one of their best as well in Wade Allison.
As has often been the case recently, the RedHawks were right there all night and didn’t give up.
But they didn’t quite do enough to win.
Of course Josh Melnick’s 100th career point was going to come on a crucial goal.
Melnick’s feed to Gordie Green for a one-timer resulted in the tying goal with 42 seconds left in regulation in a 3-3 tie at Providence on Saturday.
The assist was the senior’s 65th of his career and his 12th this season, moving him into the team lead. He leads the RedHawks in points (19) and is tied with Green and Karch Bachman atop Miami’s goal leaderboard with seven.
In his four years at Miami, the RedHawks have won seven games in overtime. Melnick has three of those OT winners and six career GWG overall.
His points total has increased each season in Oxford. Melnick finished his freshman season with 25, jumped to 27 as a sophomore and ended 2017-18 with 29.
Melnick is the 52nd member of Miami’s 100-point club, and the first to reach that threshold since Anthony Louis in 2017.
Miami’s 100-point club
In hockey, ties tend to be regarded negatively, but considering Miami’s situation with six minutes left in regulation, the RedHawks had to be thrilled to end up in the ‘T’ column.
No. 16 Miami scored twice late in the third period to salvage a 3-3 tie at No. 10 Providence’s Schneider Arena on Saturday.
And the tying goal, a snipe from the slot by Gordie Green, came 6-on-5 with just 42 seconds left in regulation. Green received the one-time feed from Josh Melnick, who earned his 100th career point with the assist.
Christian Mohs started the comeback by netting his first career goal with 5:21 left in regulation.
RECAP: Scott Conway gave Providence (12-4-4) the lead 5:35 into the first period when he batted a blue line pass from Spenser Young into the net on the power play.
The Friars extended their lead to two with another man-advantage goal, as a wrister by Ben Mirageas from just inside the blue line deflected off a Miami stick and in with 6:23 remaining in the middle stanza.
The RedHawks (9-7-4) trimmed the deficit to one when Jonathan Gruden threaded a pass through a pair of defenders across the slot to a wide-open Ryan Siroky at the side of the net, and he slammed it home with 14:02 to play in regulation.
That was also a power play goal, the sixth of the weekend for these teams.
Providence answered just 13 seconds later as Miami’s Bray Crowder tried to knock the puck away from Brandon Duhaime, but it ended up on the stick of Bryan Lemos in the slot for an easy score to make it 3-1, and it appeared that would wrap up a weekend sweep for the Friars.
But Mohs shot one from the top of the faceoff circle that hit a Providence sweater and found net with 5:21 left for his first career goal, and the RedHawks were again within one, 3-2.
With the extra attacker on, Melnick slid a pass from the wall through traffic to a wide-open Green in the slot, and his blast sent the game to overtime.
STATS: Lots to work with…
— Melnick. He’s the 52nd player in Miami history to reach 100 points, with the last being Anthony Louis in 2017.
He also extended his points streak to seven games, notching three goals and five assists in that span. That’s the longest stretch of consecutive games with at least one point by a Miamian this season.
— Siroky. He finished with a goal and an assist, setting three personal milestones. 1) It was the senior’s first career multi-point game, 2) it was the first time he had ever scored goals in consecutive contests, and 3) he is riding his first-ever three-game points streak, during which he is 2-2-4.
— Grant Hutton. Hutton picked up two assists, giving him three points for the weekend. He had not notched a point in his previous eight games.
— Mohs. It was his first career goal, although he did create a nice build-up by scoring in the exhibition vs. Guelph last Sunday.
— Green. He had not scored in 10 games but is still tied with Melnick and Karch Bachman for the team lead with seven markers.
— Miami is actually winless in its last six games with an 0-4-2 record, but the RedHawks skated to draws vs. No. 1 St. Cloud State twice and adds this quality tie – if there is such a thing – to its 2018-19 resume.
Miami did not have any stalemates in its first 14 games but has tied four of its last six contests.
— Special teams. The good: Miami is 4-for-13 its last three games, or 30.8 percent. The bad: The RedHawks were 3 of 6 on the PK this weekend and are now just 57.1 percent dating back to the New Hampshire series.
THOUGHTS: This is yet another major step for this program in the ‘reenergize’ movement, as Coach Enrico Blasi called it before the season.
Though it wasn’t a win, this moved the needed significantly in the RedHawks’ desired direction.
Turning a two-goal deficit at a top-10 team into a tie with six minutes remaining is a rarity and speaks to how far Miami has come this season.
Flipping a team from a sub-.400 three-year winning percentage to a national contender in college sports is a long process that requires patience from coaches, student-athletes and fans.
Countless hours of work by the former two and others immediately surrounding the program are starting to pay tangible dividends, with this tie coming on the back of a pair of draws vs. the top-ranked program in Division I that saw Miami trail six times on the weekend and battle back to even the score on each occasion.
This is no last-place NCHC team, this is not a team deserving of zero votes in national polls. Now in the meat of their schedule, the RedHawks are proving the college hockey world wrong every night.
— Miami certainly can’t blame officiating for its 0-1-1 weekend. Power plays for the weekend were 11-7 in favor of the RedHawks, with PC assessed 40 penalty minutes compared to 20 for Miami.
— Despite having little room to operate against the super-tight Providence defense, wings Knies and Ben Lown seemed to pass across the width of the ice to each other at will.
A healthy Knies will hopefully result in more offensive production from that line.
— The cost to watch this series via the internet was $10, but it was a quality telecast.
The picture was actually a little better for the internet-only feed on Friday than on Saturday, which was broadcast on NBC Sports Boston.
Mike Logan is a veteran play-by-play man, extremely fair and gives excellent play descriptions.
He was solo on Friday and was joined by Sonny Watrous on Saturday, a PC women’s hockey standout last decade.
She is very knowledgeable about the game and the tandem work well together in the booth.
Both were very complimentary of the Miami program and agreed with the officials’ calls on almost every occasion, despite the penalty disparity.
— Didn’t know this, but Logan said on Friday that this is the last time these teams are scheduled to play each other for the foreseeable future.
Since 2011-12, Miami and Providence have faced each other every season, typically early in the season.
The only time during that span they didn’t meet in the regular season was 2014-15 when Miami was sent to the Providence bracket of the NCAA Tournament and lost, 7-5 in the first round just minutes from the PC campus.
Despite the travel and the Friars’ 8-1-3 record vs. the RedHawks in the last 12 meetings, this has been a great series over the years, as Providence is always a well-coached team with tons of skill.
Hopefully Miami and PC renew the all-time series at some point.
LINEUP CHANGES: None. Blasi went the same 20 both nights and seems to like defenseman Andrew Sinard in that extra skater flex role.
UP NEXT: Sixteen games in nine weeks, all against NCHC foes.
Miami heads to Western Michigan next weekend, facing the Broncos for the first time this season.
WMU is second in the conference with 14 points and is ranked No. 17 in the USCHO poll, one spot below Miami.
Friday’s game will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports.
Then the RedHawks play four at Cady Arena – two vs. Minnesota-Duluth and a pair against Colorado College.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Miami Version 2018-19 further cemented its play-to-the-final-horn reputation, as the RedHawks have scored a tying goal in the third period in all of its recent QTs (quality ties).
Remember the comeback win against UMass-Lowell and the two clutch third-period goals against North Dakota that broke a tie.
One could see the RedHawks’ emotions as they gathered on the ice after the five-minute overtime, as this was certainly a bonding experience for the players.
That’s the type of experience that can only help Miami as it shifts back to conference play for the balance of the regular season.
Miami didn’t show any ill effects from its five-week holiday layoff in its first period of regular season hockey since Dec. 1.
The final 40 minutes, however, saw No. 10 Providence dominate the No. 16 RedHawks, as the Friars scored three unanswered goals in a 4-2 win over MU at Schneider Arena on Friday.
Providence (12-4-3) erased a one-goal deficit to record its fifth straight win while the RedHawks extended their winless streak to five.
Josh Melnick did record his 99th career point in the Miami loss on a late first period goal.
RECAP: Providence took the lead 4:22 into the first when Tyce Thompson wired home a one-time pass from the faceoff dot short side over the shoulder of RedHawks goalie Ryan Larkin off a feed from Brandon Duhaime.
But Miami (9-7-3) took advantage of its early power play chances, scoring twice in the first-period opportunities.
Ryan Siroky was left alone in the slot and rammed home a one-timer from Phil Knies 100 seconds later, tying the score.
Melnick scored on the man-advantage with 2:50 left in the opening frame, whipping a wrister from the top of the faceoff circle through Friars goalie Hayden Hawkey to give the RedHawks a 2-1 lead.
Scott Conway tied it at the 6:33 mark of the second period, knocking home a backdoor feed from Kasper Bjorkqvist on the power play.
The score remained 2-2 until Matt Koopman redirected a Josh Wilkins wrist shot midway through the final frame.
With 4:04 left, Greg Printz fed Vimal Sukumaran from along the boards to the top of the crease, and Sukumaran was able to bat one by Larkin to seal it.
STATS: Shots aren’t always an accurate gauge of team performance, but it’s pretty telling that Providence finished with a 42-15 edge in that category, including 30-7 the final two periods.
— Derek Daschke led RedHawks skaters with two points on a pair of assists.
— Melnick is one point away from becoming the 52nd Miamian to record 100 career points. He also extended his points streak to six games with three goals and four assists in that stretch.
— Grant Hutton picked up the primary assist on that goal, his first point in nine games.
— Knies also earned a helper in his return from an upper-body injury that held him out of the RedHawks’ last six contests.
— Siroky’s marker was his fourth of the season, giving him a career high.
— Miami’s shot differential of minus-27 was its worst in 364 days. On Jan. 5, 2018, Denver outshot the RedHawks by 28 but MU won that game, 4-3.
THOUGHTS: The thought was that if Miami survived the first period it would be OK, but the last 40 minutes ended being its demise.
To be fair, Providence is one of the best defensive teams in Division I – the Friars blanked the RedHawks in Erie earlier this season – as PC allows fewer than 23 shots per game.
Miami finished with 15: Eight in the first period, three in the second and four in the third. That’s despite having four power plays vs. two for Providence.
And beyond just shots, the Friars seemed to control play almost the entire final 40 minutes. The RedHawks hung in, holding the lead until the 14th minute of the middle stanza and remained tied until midway through the third.
Obviously, this road matchup was going to be a difficult one for Miami, and while it certainly wasn’t a disaster, the RedHawks’ inability to do anything the last two-thirds of the game was disappointing.
— Not to pile on, but Hawkey, the Friars’ all-world goalie, probably should’ve stopped one or both of Miami’s goals.
Hawkey was in position to deny the Siroky shot but it slid under him, and Melnick’s wrister found a hole up high.
LINEUP CHANGES: Larkin and Knies returned from injuries, meaning Jordan Uhelski – who led Miami to a pair of ties vs. St. Cloud State – was relegated to backup while Knies supplanted Carter Johnson, who had dressed in Miami’s previous four games.
Christian Mohs was in the lineup for the third straight contest, as he seems to be slightly ahead of Zach LaValle on the depth chart at this point. LaValle sat for the fourth straight game.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Basically, a good team lost to a very good team in the very good team’s rink.
Both of Miami’s goals were on the power play, so the RedHawks still have not scored at even strength this season against the Friars.
The good to take from this is that Miami came out ready to play in a hostile rink after a long layoff (Providence played on Dec. 7 and twice last weekend) and hopefully moving forward this game will have served as a proverbial character-building opportunity.
Because these teams met at the Ice Breaker, Miami and Providence will face each other a total of three times this regular season.
The Friars blanked the RedHawks, 4-0 the second week of the season in Erie and have dominated Miami in recent history, going 7-1-2 in the last 10 matchups.
These will be the first regular season contests for the RedHawks in 34 days, and MU has not recorded a win since Nov. 17.
WHO: No. 16 Miami RedHawks (9-6-3) at No. 10 Providence Friars (11-4-3).
WHERE: Schneider Arena (3,030), Providence, R.I.
WHEN: Friday – 7:05 p.m.; Saturday – 7:05 p.m.
MIAMI RADIO: WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.
PROVIDENCE RADIO: WHJJ-FM (104.7), Providence, R.I.
PROVIDENCE VIDEO STREAM: https://friars.com/watch/?Live=69&type=Live
NOTES: Providence is No. 10 in the NCAA in scoring and fourth in defense.
The Friars have won four straight games and are unbeaten in their last six.
And they’ve already dominated Miami once on neutral ice.
So the RedHawks face the difficult task of opening the second half on the home ice of a team that has lost just one of its last 10 meetings with Miami.
Providence averages 3.61 goals per game and has six forwards and a pair of defensemen with at least 10 points.
Up front, Josh Wilkins has six goals and leads the team with 15 assists and 21 points, and he is 4-10-14 during his current eight-game points streak.
Six-feet, two-inch freshman Jay Dugan is second in scoring with 19 points, including seven goals. Las Vegas drafted him in the fifth round in 2018.
Pittsburgh Penguins second-rounder Kasper Bjorkqvist leads the team in goals with nine, including four on the power play, and he has 18 points overall.
Brandon Duhaime and Scott Conway have been major contributors among the forward corps as well, posting 16 points and seven goals, respectively.
Jacob Bryson leads Providence blueliners in points with 14, including three goals, and Spenser Young has six goals – with a team-best five on the man advantage – from the back end.
Young picked up two of those tallies vs. the RedHawks in October.
Defensemen Vincent Desharnais, Ben Mirageas and Michael Callahan all have identical 1-5-6 lines, and along with Davis Bunz, Friars blueliners have helped hold opponents to just 22.7 shots per game.
Montreal draftee Hayden Hawkey has been in net for 17 of Providence’s first 18 games, logging 1,022 minutes and racking up 11 wins. He has a goals-against average of 1.88 and owns a .916 save percentage.
The Friars have outscored opponents, 65-34 this season and have allowed just five goals in their last five games.
Both Phil Knies and Ryan Larkin played in Miami’s exhibition on Sunday and looked 100 percent, so they should be in the lineup this weekend, giving the team a major boost.
Knies had missed six games with an upper-body injury and Larkin was knocked out of the RedHawks’ opener vs. St. Cloud State on Nov. 30 and did not play the following night.
Josh Melnick enters this series riding a five-game points streak, during which he has a pair of markers and four assists. Melnick is two points away from being the 52nd Miamian to record 100 career points.
Casey Gilling has been MU’s best goal threat since mid-November, scoring four times in his last seven contests.
Despite its recent struggles vs. Providence, Miami did win its last game at Schneider Arena, 3-1 on Oct. 8, 2016.
And MU was excellent in the first 10 minutes of its initial meeting with the PC three months ago, but a couple of soft goals for the Friars swung the momentum hard in their favor.
The RedHawks are 2-3-1 all-time on the Friars’ home ice.
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.
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.
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.