Miami has Maine seeing Green
Miami made its first win in nearly nine months a memorable one.
Thanks to an explosive power play and career-best five points by Gordie Green, the RedHawks scored seven times in the first 40:08 and held on for a 7-5 win at Maine on Friday.
The last time Miami (1-2) had ended up in the victory column was Jan. 28, as the team snapped a 12-game winless streak during which MU went 0-11-1.
The RedHawks had not scored seven goals in a game since Jan. 23, 2016, but Green’s feat was much more rare. The last five-point game by a Miamian was Nov. 30, 2013, when Austin Czarnik dished for five assists.
Miami opened the scoring with one second left on a power play, as Josh Melnick slid a pass from behind the boards to Gordie Green, who quickly hit Karch Bachman in the slot for a one-time, top-shelf blast 5:16 into the first period.
Just 19 seconds later, Green skated toward the net, eluded goalie Rob McGovern and tucked it into the corner of the net to make it 2-0.
Defenseman Grant Hutton buried a one-timer from the faceoff circle off a slot pass by Green, extending the RedHawks’ lead to three less than two minutes into the second period.
Maine (1-2) got on the board on a wrister by Veli-Matti Tiuraniemi, and the Black Bears made it a one-goal game as a Mitchell Fossier shot hit a Miami skate and tricked over the goal line. Both goals came in a 91-second span midway through the second period.
Hutton made it 4-2 with a blast from the same spot as his first goal, as he slapped one through traffic with 7:27 remaining in the middle frame.
But Maine refused to go away. Fossier knocked down a pass at the top of the crease, move it to the top of his stick and bat it past RedHawks goalie Ryan Larkin with 3:41 left in the second stanza.
That was the fifth marker of the period, and Miami would strike for two more in the closing minutes. A give-and-go between Green and Kiefer Sherwood ended with Sherwood shoveling one just under the crossbar from the side of the net with 2:16 left in the period.
And 1:10 later, Scott Dornbrock teed one up for Louie Belpedio in the high slot, as his one-time rip made it 6-3.
The RedHawks took their largest lead of the game with their final goal eight seconds into the third period. Carson Meyer stole a pass at the blue line and connected with Green, who went in alone and beat backup goalie Jeremy Swayman on the forehand.
Maine pulled to within two on a slap shot from the blue line by Eduard Tralmaks and a head-hunting shot by Rob Michel.
Miami finished 4-for-5 on the power play as the RedHawks recorded four PPGs in a game for the first time since Jan. 25, 2014 vs. Colorado College.
Melnick ended up with three assists – his first career three-point game – and Hutton had never scored two goals as a RedHawk.
Sherwood and Belpedio also notched two points, both with a goal and an assist.
These teams wrap up their weekend series at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Preview: Miami at Maine
WHO: Miami University RedHawks (0-2) at Maine Black Bears (1-1).
WHEN: Friday and Saturday–7 p.m.
WHERE: Harold Alfond Sports Arena, Orono, Maine.
NOTES: Maine visited Oxford last season, and the RedHawks went 1-0-1, tying the opener, 3-3 and winning the finale, 5-0.
A Division I force through the late 2000s, the Black Bears have won 20 games just one time in the past 10 seasons, and that 23-win season in 2011-12 represented Maine’s lone NCAA Tournament appearance in that span.
The past three seasons have been particularly brutal for the Black Bears, as they have failed to reach the .400 mark, averaging just 11 wins.
Amazingly, Maine didn’t win a single road game in all of 2016-17, salvaging just four ties including one at Miami.
The Black Bears lost their top two scorers from last season in Blaine Byron and Cam Brown. Nolan Vesey, a Toronto draft pick and brother of New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey, is the team’s top returning scorer with 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points.
Sophomore Chase Pearson, a Detroit selection, finished 14-8-22 in 2016-17 and has a pair of assists already this season.
The Black Bears have two other drafted players – G Jeremy Swayman and F Patrick Shea. Swayman is a freshman who gave up four goals in a losing effort in his debut. Shea, a sophomore, has dressed for both games this campaign.
Cedric Lacroix, Peter Housakos and Mitchell Fossier are all back this season, and each found the net vs. Miami last year.
Miami was swept at home by Providence two weeks ago and beat the U.S. Under-18 team, 7-5 in Plymouth, Mich., last Friday.
The RedHawks are looking for their first non-exhibition win since Jan. 28, having gone 0-11-1 in their last 12 games.
D Grant Hutton is 1-1-2, found the net nine times in 2016-17 and scored twice in Miami’s exhibition and has to be considered a credible threat to score from the blue line, which should create more space for his linemates.
The Gordie Green-Josh Melnick chemistry last week vs. the USNDT was undeniable, as Green scored twice – both times set up by Melnick, including a spectacular kick-pass-for-breakaway goal, and Melnick finished with three helpers.
These types of long trips early in the season can help teams bond, and Miami will have played just one exhibition in 13 days entering this series, so the RedHawks have reason to come out strong.
Miami and Maine have only played eight times, with the Black Bears leading the all-time series, 5-2-1.
Carson Meyer recorded four assists in last season’s series, and Louie Belpedio netted a pair of goals.
Finally a home win for Miami
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.
Miami ties Maine on late Louis goal
OXFORD, Ohio – Miami trailed on three occasions Friday but thanks to the second goal of the night by Louis late in the third period, the RedHawks salvaged a tie.
Miami and Maine skated to a 3-3 draw at Cady Arena in the first-ever meeting between these teams on MU’s campus after the RedHawks fell behind by one goal in all three periods but generated the equalizer each time.
The Black Bears (3-1-1) took the lead 5:36 into the first period when Peter Housakos stole the puck from Miami defenseman Chaz Switzer, skated in alone on RedHawks goalie Ryan Larkin from the side of the net and backhanded it in.
Miami (1-1-2) tied it nearly a full period later, as Kiefer Sherwood slid a pass from behind the net to a wide-open Grant Hutton, who stuffed in under goalie Rob McGovern 5:29 into the middle stanza.
Just 1:23 later, Maine’s Mitchell Fossier tipped a blue line wrister by Mark Hamilton past Larkin to give the Black Bears a 2-1 lead.
The RedHawks pulled even again when Josh Melnick eluded a defender along the boards and found Anthony Louis in the high slot. Louis one-timed it, and the blast was partially stopped by McGovern but trickled across the goal line with 6:59 remaining in that frame.
Hutton lost the puck deep in his own end, and Dane Gibson dropped a pass to Cedric Lacroix, who wired a shot short side just under a crossbar with 6:26 left in regulation, giving Maine a 3-2 lead.
A power play set up Louis’ tying goal, which he scored after penetrating to the middle of the faceoff circle and beating McGovney on the glove side.
Miami was on the power play for the closing seconds of regulation and the first minute and a half of overtime but could not convert. The RedHawks finished 1-for-8 on the power play while going perfect on three penalty kills.
Louis’ goals were his first two of the season, and Hutton notched his second. The duo is now tied for the team lead in markers.
Sherwood picked up a pair of assists, giving him the outright team lead in assists (4) and points (5).
The teams played a 3-on-3 demonstration after the game, during which neither team scored, and that was followed by a shootout, won by Maine.
Miami and the Black Bears wrap up their weekend series at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.
Preview: Maine at Miami
WHO: Maine Black Bears (3-1) at Miami RedHawks (1-1-1).
WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Friday–7:35 p.m. Saturday–7:05 p.m.
NOTES: Believe it or not, this is Maine’s first-ever trip to Oxford.
These teams have met six times, with the Black Bears winning the first five and Miami earning a 4-1 victory in a neutral-site tournament in Florida six years ago.
Once a college hockey power, Maine has been a Hockey East doormat for several years, although the Black Bears are off to a 3-1 start this season with a pair of wins over RPI and a split vs. Quinnipiac.
Maine has played in some high-scoring games, finding the net 15 times while allowing nine goals.
Mitchell Fossier has already scored five times – including all three of the Black Bears’ game winners – while picking up three assists, and Nolan Vesey has two goals and a team-best four helpers for six points.
Rob McGovern has logged every minute in net for Maine, posting a 2.22 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage.
The Black Bears have gone to the power play 28 times – seven chances a game – and allowed 26 opportunities to their opponents. Maine has 62 penalty minutes in its four games.