The men’s hockey team took on No. 2 University of Minnesota Duluth in Duluth, Minn. for a two-game series. The RedHawks lost the series opener on Thursday. They tied second game on Friday and will pick up an extra point in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference standings for scoring in overtime.
The series leaves Miami with a 9-16-7 overall record, 5-12-5-3 NCHC record and 3-10-4 away record.
The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs now have a 20-5-7 overall record, 14-4-4-3 NCHC record and a 9-4-4 home record.
Thursday’s contest ended in a 4-3 Minnesota victory. The first period of play was hard fought on both ends, and remained scoreless until UMD’s sophomore forward Adam Johnson gathered the puck off of a carom and put it past Miami’s freshman goalie Ryan Larkin from right above the goal line. The goal came with 6:55 left in the first.
The Bulldogs were able to strike again with 18:52 remaining in the second period when the RedHawks turned the puck over in their own zone and allowed UMD’s senior forward Dominic Toninato to bury the puck on a 2-on-1 chance past the outstretched Larkin. Minnesota then led 2-0.
Miami recovered from the Bulldogs’ offensive pressure and was able to set up a counterattack. The RedHawks were able to cut UMD’s deficit in half when freshman defenseman Jared Brandt scored a wrist shot from between the circles. The goal was scored with 12:53 left in the second, and was assisted by sophomore defenseman Grant Hutton and sophomore forward Josh Melnick.
Minutes later the Red and White went on a two man advantage. An offensive zone faceoff win allowed sophomore forward Kiefer Sherwood to feed Hutton for a one-time goal to tie the game at 2-2 with 8:14 to play in the period. The goal negated one of the penalties, but Miami still had 1:27 left on its powerplay. However, neither team was able to score for the rest of the period.
The first 40 minutes came to an end with the score tied at two goals apiece. Miami outshot the Bulldogs 18-10 in the second — 24-19 through both periods.
An early penalty taken by Miami in the third gave Minnesota the edge it needed to grab the lead. Sophomore defenseman Neal Pionk scored a one-time goal from the circle that gave UMD the 3-2 lead with 18:25 remaining in regulation.
Miami remained unphased by the sudden lead change as they continued to attack the Bulldogs’ net. The puck was sent down low from the blue line where Melnick played the lucky bounce and tapped the biscuit to freshman forward Carson Meyer. Meyer shot off the back crossbar for the game-tying goal with 10:45 remaining in regulation.
Minnesota’s continuous offensive pressure led to a hooking penalty on Melnick that would eventually cost Miami the game. UMD’s junior forward Avery Peterson collected a loose puck from inside Miami’s zone to score off a wrist shot.
The Bulldogs were able to hang on for a 4-3 home victory over Miami even after Larkin was pulled in the final seconds of the game.
The Red and White outshot Minnesota 31-30 and went 1-for-6 on the powerplay. The Bulldogs went 2-for-4 on the power play, with both power play goals coming in the final period.
The Friday overtime victory would snap a five game losing streak and help notch an extra NCHC point for the Red and White.
The Bulldogs struck first on Friday night when Toninato skated up the left side into the Miami zone and snapped a shot between the near post and Larkin’s shoulder to take the lead 9:08 into the first.
Miami did not get a shot off during their power play opportunity, and was outshot 10-5 through the first 20 minutes of play.
The RedHawks got on the board with 11:09 remaining in the second when senior forward Anthony Louis dropped the puck in the slot for a one-time goal from Brandt. The goal was Brandt’s third in four games. Melnick assisted on the tying goal and Louis recorded his 123rd career point with the assist, tying with head coach, Enrico Blasi, for 24th in Miami men’s hockey history.
Miami was able to take its first lead of the weekend with 1:02 remaining in the second period. Hutton’s slap shot from the blue line was deflected off of a Bulldog shin and into the net for his ninth goal of the season.
The Bulldogs evened the score 5:03 into the third when Johnson’s low angle one-time shot from the top faceoff circle squeaked between Larkin’s arm and body. Following an unsuccessful Minnesota power play, sophomore forward Parker Mackay redirected the puck into the back of Miami’s net to take the lead with 11:48 remaining in the final period.
The score remained unchanged for the majority of the time left in regulation. The game seemed all but lost until freshman forward Gordie Green fired a wrist shot into traffic from just inside the blue line for the game-tying goal with 3:25 remaining in the third. The floater from about 25-feet somehow found the back of the net to send the 3-3 game into overtime.
The team who would earn the extra NCHC point was determined by a five minute, 3-on-3 overtime period.
With 1:24 remaining in overtime, Sherwood carried the puck down the boards, into the corner, and then behind the net where he fed Green. Green hammered a rebound shot home for the game-winning goal.
The Red and White were outshot 32-23 in the game and did not capitalize on any power play chances. Larkin had 29 saves. The overtime victory is the RedHawks’ first since beating Western Michigan on January 28.
Miami picked up two NCHC points with their win on Friday over No. 2 Minnesota Duluth. The Brotherhood will come back to Oxford for their final two home games of the season against North Dakota. The series opens on Friday March 3 at 7:35 p.m. at the Goggin Ice Center.