Mistakes Prove Costly as RedHawks Fall to Huskies

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Feb. 9, 2018

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OXFORD, Ohio - A strong second period put the Miami hockey team back into its Friday series opener against No. 3/4 St. Cloud State, but miscues and a slow start were too much to overcome in a 5-2 loss on Friday evening.

The RedHawks (10-14-3, 5-10-2-0 National Collegiate Hockey) turned an early 3-0 hole into a 3-2 deficit after two periods, but could not complete the comeback.

The Huskies (18-6-3, 12-4-1-0 NCHC) jumped ahead 2-0 just 3:18 in as Robby Jackson knocked a puck out of the air off a turnover and in and Blake Lizotte came down the right wing and scored to dig the RedHawks into an early hole.

A neutral zone turnover proved costly for the Red & White midway through the period as Mikey Eyssimont weaved his way through traffic and made it 3-0 with 10:21 remaining in the first period.

Miami got a power play with 5:48 left in the first period, but only managed one shot on goal that Jeff Smith stopped. The Huskies went on a power play of their own with a minute and half remaining in the first, but did not convert as the RedHawks entered the intermission down by three.

After killing off the remaining 30 seconds of St. Cloud State's carry over power play, Miami was able to get to work offensively. Sustained zone pressure eventually freed the puck up into the middle where Gordie Green fired a puck home through traffic for his 12th goal of the year on assists from Carter Johnson and Casey Gilling. That tally put MU on the board with 13:38 left in the second.

Just 1:47 later, MU made it a one-shot contest as Ben Lown forced a turnover and eventually got fed for a shot that Smith got a pad on, but Phil Knies cleaned up the rebound for his 10th goal of the year to cut the deficit to 3-2.

The RedHawks continued to pressure the Huskies in their zone as the period wore on and got a power play with 5:27 to go until intermission. However, Smith made a stop and was able to fend off some late attempts by Kiefer Sherwood and Knies to keep SCSU in front by a goal after 40 minutes.

In the third, a Miami giveaway sprung Jake Wahlin for a breakaway that Ryan Larkin stopped. However, Kevin Fitzgerald poked in the rebound to up the Huskies' lead to 4-2 with 13 minutes left.

After killing off a St. Cloud State power play shortly after it added to its lead, Miami got a golden opportunity to draw closer when two penalties 1:02 apart gave it a two-man advantage with the second penalty a five-minute major. The Huskies killed off the first penalty and with 6:26 left, the RedHawks pulled Ryan Larkin for an extra skater with 2:44 left on the major penalty. That added pressure did not result in a goal for the Red & White as Smith continued to make big stops, but the Huskies put the game away with an empty net tally by Jackson with 4:02 left.

The Huskies ended up narrowly outshooting the RedHawks (30-28) and both teams killed off every penalty with MU going 0-for-4 on the power play and SCSU finishing 0-for-3 with the man advantage. Larkin stopped 25 of 29 shots while Smith made 26 stops at the other end.

Miami finishes its weekend series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the game as the team will be signing autographs.