COLUMBUS, Ohio – In its one trip to the state’s capitol this season, it was a freshman from the area that scored the game winner for Miami in its first road game of the season.
Forward Jack Roslovic banged home a rebound with 1:33 left in regulation to lift the RedHawks to a 3-2 win over Ohio State at Value City Arena on Friday.
The Buckeyes (0-3) had tied the score 72 seconds earlier.
Miami senior forward Andrew Schmit hit the top corner of the net to open the scoring 9:56 into the first period, the third goal of his career and his first of 2015-16.
RedHawks defenseman Louie Belpedio lost the puck when he fell to the ice, leaving OSU’s Anthony Greco alone with goalie Ryan McKay, and Greco flipped a backhand over the sprawling McKay to tie the score shorthanded 6:54 into the middle stanza.
Like Schmit, Miami freshman forward Kiefer Sherwood also went top shelf on the glove side to beat Buckeyes goalie Matt Tomkins, giving the RedHawks a 2-1 lead 3:14 into the third period. It was Sherwood’s first career goal, and he is also from Columbus.
Greco tied it again with 2:45 remaining in regulation when he buried a one-time centering feed from behind the net by David Gust.
Melnick set up the game-winner with a perfect feed from the side boards to senior forward Kevin Morris, who whipped a shot on net that Tomkins saved, but the rebound trickled to the side of the net for a waiting Roslovic, who buried it.
Morris was the only Miami skater with multiple points, finishing with two assists. McKay stopped 25 shots to earn the win, the 30th of his career.
Four MU freshmen picked up points. Ryan Siroky earned an assist for his first career point.
The RedHawks (1-1-1) extended their unbeaten streak at Ohio State to five games (4-0-1), and overall Miami has won five games in a row vs. the Buckeyes.
The series finale will be at 8 p.m. at Cady Arena in Oxford.
Quick preview this weekend as #18 Miami (0-1-1) travels to take on duhOSU (0-2-0) tonight at Cheap Furniture Arena in Cowtown and hosts the Buckeyes tomorrow at beautiful Steve Cady Arena in Oxford. Game times are 7 PM EST tonight and 7:05 PM EST Saturday night.
Last time out for Miami, it was an opening weekend against a familiar and formidable opponent as the defending national champion Providence Friars came to Oxford. Little was known about Miami’s youngsters but highly touted Jack Roslovic did not disappoint with a 1-1-2 line on the weekend while classmate Josh Melnick really impressed with his speed and all-around game also notching 1-1-2 including Miami’s first 3×3 OT goal in Saturday’s 2-2 tie. Senior Alex Gacek contributed four assists on the weekend as he and senior captain Sean Kuraly will be counted upon to lead the RedHawks offensively this season.
For duhOSU, well they started by being swept by #10 Bowling Green including a shutout defeat on Saturday night. Really, there’s not much to say about Ohio State. They aren’t very good, and they play in a weak conference. But perhaps that could be a testament to how good BG is though they were routed 4-1 on Tuesday night in Kalamazoo by Western Michigan, a team that’s expected to compete for the basement of the uber competitive NCHC.
This weekend, MIami should get right and should sweep the Buckeyes in the now annual home-and-home series between the two former CCHA rivals. Expect the Miami fans to nearly outnumber duhOSU “fans” tonight. We expect to hear the sieve chant loud and proud!
Per MURedHawks.com, coverage of the weekend can be found at:
TV/Stream: Buckeye Vision (Friday), NCHC.tv (Saturday)
Radio: 1450 WMOH-AM (Saturday) (Greg Waddell/pxp, Drew Davis/color)
Yep, it’s red and gray time as Miami faces yet another in-state and former conference rival, Ohio State.
Miami has dominated the Buckeyes over the past several years owning an 8-2-1 record against them in the previous 11 contests. Overall, Miami leads the all-time series with the “little hockey sisters of the poor” from Cowtown by a 71-61-13 margin, but it obviously has always been relatively close as both programs were down for many years. It’s a great rivalry and is good for both programs for different reasons. I’m glad the two schools plan to continue playing each other on an annual basis.
duhOSU head coach Steve Rohlik is in his second year behind the bench after the shocking dismissal of Mark Osiecki. I still contend that was a mistake, but Rohlik has provided a steadying hand as he attempts to solidify OSU as a perennial Big Six power along with Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. With the two losses to Miami last season, Rohlik is still looking for his first win against the RedHawks.
Last weekend, the Buckeyes split two overtime games at Cheap Furniture Arena against then #3 Providence winning Friday by a surprising 5-4 score and dropping the series finale by a more expected final score of 2-1. I say the Friday score was surprising because I thought it would take at least three games for duhOSU to score five goals, especially against a top five team like Providence.
But since last weekend, the Friars faced the U.S. U-18 squad in an exhibition tying the youngsters 3-3. So, two things there…first, that’s a pretty darn good U.S. U-18 team this year and maybe the Friars aren’t quite as good (right now) as anticipated. The Friars highly touted goaltender, Jon Gillies, currently sports a 2.89 GAA and .895 save percentage, which is hardly “Mike Richter Award Watch List” worthy. But, it’s early.
duhOSU returns several familiar names to Miami fans including seniors Tanner Fritz and Nick Oddo. Seriously, these guys have to be on the 8-year program. Of course we’re talking about duhOSU so that shouldn’t surprise.
Fritz led Ohio State with 11-26-37 in his sophomore season but trailed off a bit to 8-24-32 last year. Still, Fritz is a solid, if unspectacular, player for the Buckeyes and is off to a 2-2-4 start in their first two games.
Oddo had a bit of a breakout year last year with 9-21-30 after posting just 17 total points in his first two seasons with the red and gray.
duhOSU did lose two big offensive contributors in Ryan Dzingel (22-24-46) and Max McCormick (11-24-35) who both left Cowtown with college eligibility remaining to sign pro deals. Dzingel may have more upside, but I have to question the advice these two received. Neither really strike me as immediate impact kind of NHL prospect meaning you’re way better off getting a degree and moving on a year later.
Returning in net for duhOSU is Christian Frey (9-4-3, 2.27 GAA, .929 save percentage), who joined the Buckeyes in an emergency at mid-season after all hell broke loose in the crease. Ohio State burned through several goaltenders losing some to departure and others to injury. Paula Weston has a bit on this here. However, Frey solidified the Buckeyes problems in net and it was after his arrival that the team played a bit better. Actually, if not for a 3rd period collapse against Wisconsin in the inaugural Big Six Championship Game, they would have made the NCAA tournament. Instead, OSU surrendered the final three goals in a 5-4 OT loss to the Badgers. But before that loss, Ohio State defeated Michigan State and Minnesota at the Xcel Center so they did show some promise in that late season tournament run.
But, that was last year.
Overall, Ohio State finished the 2013-14 season 18-14-5, good enough for fourth in the Big Six. The Buckeyes had the 14th ranked offense in the nation averaging 3.19 goals per game, but were tied for 28th nationally in defense, giving up an average of 2.70 per contest.
Defensively, the Buckeyes are a veteran group likely to pose a significant challenge for Miami’s corps of talented forwards. But again, they’re filled with solid, but unspectacular, contributors throughout their lineup. Miami is more talented, but that doesn’t always mean wins as we learned weekly a year ago.
Last year, Miami swept OSU in impressive fashion winning by 6-2 and 6-3 scores as they opened the season strong. However, this looks like another split weekend with each team winning on it’s home ice, but you never know. Cheap Furniture Arena should be filled with Miami fans tonight, but I’ll still say split until I have a better read on whether or not Miami can fix the continued defensive issues that are plaguing the team.
Both games face-off at 7:05 PM with tonight’s game at Cheap Furniture Arena in Columbus and tomorrow’s at the beautiful hockey-only facility known better as Steve Cady Arena at the Goggin Ice Center.
Catch all the action at MURedHawks.com. An All-Access broadcast will also be available for both contests. Saturday’s matchup will also be streamed on NCHC.tv.