OXFORD, Ohio – Playing in his final Miami regular season home game, Jay Williams made sure his name would be imprinted in the team record book.
The senior goalie stopped all 24 shots he faced to complete a double shutout weekend and series sweep as the RedHawks beat Colorado College, 4-0 on Saturday.
Williams became the first Miami goalie ever to blank an opponent in both ends of a weekend series, and he also set the team mark for longest consecutive scoreless streak at 148:52, edging out Cody Reichard by over seven minutes.
Williams also moved into a tie with Connor Knapp for fourth on the school wins leaderboard with 46, and he is now even with Ryan McKay for fourth place with nine shutouts.
The game was scoreless until the second period, when a wrister by senior defenseman Taylor Richart beat Tigers goalie Tyler Marble with 6:56 left in that frame.
It remained 1-0 until senior forward Kevin Morris whipped a shot into the bottom corner of the net from the slot on the power play with 8:56 left in regulation.
Just 1:27 later, freshman forward Kiefer Sherwood backhanded a shot that slid under Marble’s pads to extend the RedHawks’ lead to three.
A fraction of a second before the final horn, junior forward Anthony Louis punched in an empty goal to cap the scoring.
Freshmen forwards Josh Melnick and Jack Roslovic led Miami in points with a pair each, both on assists. Melnick wrapped up the weekend with a goal and three helpers, giving him 13 points in his last 13 games.
Sherwood scored his sixth goal in eight games and extended his points streak to a team-best six games, and Morris recorded his third marker in his last four.
MU avenged its earlier two losses at Colorado College (6-25-1), as the teams finished the regular season 2-2 against each other.
The RedHawks have won five of their last six and are 9-3 in their last 12, moving above .500 for the first time since Oct. 24 when they were 3-2-1 before a loss to St. Lawrence.
Miami (15-14-3) remains tied for fourth in the conference standings with Minnesota-Duluth, which swept St. Cloud State on the road this weekend. The RedHawks and UMD play each other next weekend in Duluth to wrap up the regular season, and they will almost certainly meet again the following week in the first round of the NCHC Tournament.
Next week’s series will determine which team is home for the best-of-3 NCHC opener, with Miami needing a winning record on the weekend to send it to Cady Arena.
With the win, the RedHawks moved up to 18th in the PairWise rankings.
Miami’s games at Minnesota-Duluth will be Friday and Saturday, with both starting at 8:07 p.m.
Connor Knapp made 27 saves and Jimmy Mullin notched four points as Miami defeated Michigan State 6-0 in the first game of their best-of-three series at Steve Cady Arena.
For Knapp, it was his fifth shutout of the season to set a new single-season career high, his second shutout of the Spartans this year and his 13th shutout overall which is a new Miami school record. Meanwhile, freshman forward Jimmy Mullin netted two goals and added two assists to set a career high in points in a single game. Mullin now has an impressive 25 points on the season (11-14-25) trailing only junior forward Reilly Smith (26-13-39) and freshman forward Austin Czarnik (9-22-31) for team leadership.
Mullin opened the scoring just :12 into the game as he banged home a loose puck behind MSU goaltender Will Yanakeff who allowed five goals on 26 shots including four in the second period when Miami broke the game open with two quick goals just :34 apart. Senior defenseman Chris Wideman joined the rush and scored just his second goal of the season and freshman forward Tyler Biggs netted his 9th on the year making the game 3-0 and enabling the RedHawks to relax and cruise to the 6-0 victory.
Miami entered tonight’s game 0-9 all-time against the Spartans in the CCHA playoffs but the two teams had never met in Oxford. Overall this season, Miami is 3-0 against MSU and has allowed just one goal against including Knapp’s two shutouts.
MSU head coach Tom Anastos had this to say after this evening’s game.
“This is a very good team, and I believe I said it earlier in the week – [Miami] is under-rated, offensively. Not that they scored six goals, but the really nice plays they made and the offensive pressure they are able to generate. I thought the first period was pretty good for us, but obviously the second period was a challenge. We just need to regroup and be ready to go on Saturday.” (source: MSUSpartans.com)
In addition to Mullin’s two tallies and Biggs’ and Wideman’s goals, Miami received offensive support from junior Curtis McKenzie (5th) and freshman Blake Coleman who scored his 12th on the season and has now scored a goal in three of his past four games. And, Miami has now won a season-high seven consecutive games and has vaulted up to a tie for fifth in the PairWise (as of 9:33pm MDT) as several games went Miami’s way in addition to the victory. For reference, they are also fourth in KRACH.
Game two is scheduled for 7:05pm EST at Steve Cady Arena and with the students still away on Spring Break, tickets should be available. If you can’t make the game, it will be available via Miami All-Access at MURedHawks.com with Greg Waddell and Drew Davis carrying the call.
Around the CCHA
Bowling Green defeated Ferris State 3-2 in overtime (BG leads series 1-0) – Huge win for the Falcons and head coach Chris Bergeron
Michigan defeated Notre Dame 2-1 in overtime (Michigan leads series 1-0) – Chris Brown notched the game-winner
Western Michigan defeated Lake Superior 4-2 (WMU leads series 1-0) – Broncos cruised to a victory behind freshman goaltender Frank Slubowski