OXFORD, Ohio – Thanks to a three-goal, third-period outburst, Miami’s seven-game winless streak is over.
The RedHawks beat RPI, 4-2 at Cady Arena in the series finale on Sunday, giving the team its highest offense output of the season and its first win since Nov. 7.
Like Saturday, Miami took an early lead but managed to fall behind.
RedHawks senior forward Andrew Schmit banged home a loose puck at the top of the crease for his second goal of the season at the 2:01 mark.
A turnover by senior defenseman Matthew Caito led to a breakaway by RPI’s Jesper Ohrvall, who buried a shot on the glove side of Miami senior goalie Jay Williams, tying the score with 9:20 left in the opening stanza.
The Engineers went ahead when Jake Wood ripped a shot past Williams on a shorthanded chance after a stretch pass by Jimmy DeVito with 6:52 left in the second frame.
But after failing to score in their previous five third periods, the RedHawks dominated the final stanza.
A shot by senior center Sean Kuraly was deflected to the side of the net, where senior forward Alex Gacek banged it home to tie the score at two.
Just 1:43 later, freshman forward Zach LaValle sent a pass through the top of the crease to junior center Justin Greenberg, who buried the tip-in for his first goal of the season.
Senior defenseman Chris Joyaux fired a shot into the empty net from his own faceoff circle with 25 seconds left to cap off the scoring.
With the win, Miami moved up three places in the PairWise rankings to 28th. Fourteen of the RedHawks’ final 16 regular seasons games will be against NCHC opponents, including next weekend’s home series vs. Minnesota-Duluth.
After blowing a two-goal third period lead and losing 3-2 in overtime to a down Notre Dame team (9-9-2), Miami (12-6-0) rebounded yesterday with a convincing 3-0 win over Cornell in the consolation game of the Florida College Hockey Classic. That Miami did not handily win the Florida tournament is disappointing in that none of the other three teams have a winning record. In fact, Notre Dame has dropped contests to duhOSU (5-9-1), Lake Superior (4-17-1), and Rensselaer (6-13-1), the team Miami will face this weekend in non-conference action.
Now, there has been talk of whether there was or was not video review of the tying goal late in the third period which Miami contested was directed in off a glove. Frankly, it was almost impossible to follow the audio call on Sunday because it was so bad so we aren’t making a claim that Miami was robbed. The fact is, regardless of how it happened, Miami let another late lead evaporate, something that has plagued this team for years.
It has to stop.
Heading to Troy, N.Y. this weekend, Miami will face a two-game road series against ECAC foe, Rensselaer, who I saw in person here in Denver earlier this season.
RPI is not a good team. I said so then and the Engineers have done nothing evidenced by their record to disprove my take from a few months back. Miami should sweep this team, and frankly, can’t afford another loss against a team outside the top 30 of the PWR.
What I recall about RPI was that they had good size, decent speed but are offensively inept and defensively suspect. I guess that’s about what you’d expect from a team that’s 6-13-1.
Miami will once again be without the services of sophomore winger Anthony Louis who has looked good representing Team USA in the WJC this week. The RedHawks need to play their game, get out with two wins and prepare to reenter conference play next week when they travel to St. Cloud, Minn. to face the Huskies on January 9-10.
– Ryan McKay was in net in the 3-2 OT loss to Notre Dame. His first start since November 15 at North Dakota.
– Jay Williams got the shutout on Monday, his 3rd of the season. He is now 3rd nationally in GAA (1.66) and tied for 6th in shutouts.
– Conor Lemirande and Taylor Richart scored their first collegiate goals in the two games.
– Miami is currently 6th in the PairWise rankings that typically determine the NCAA tournament field.