ST. CLOUD, Minn. - All it takes is one minute for things to change as St. Cloud State snapped a 1-1 tie by scoring twice in a 1:11 span early in the third period to hand the Miami hockey team a 4-2 loss on Friday night.
The RedHawks drop to 9-12-6 overall and 5-8-4-2 in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play.
The first period was fast paced as both teams had chances establishing pressure. Miami's puck possession created a couple good looks, one in transition by Anthony Louis that Jeff Smith got a blocker on about six minutes in. Past the midway point, deft puck movement set up Josh Melnick inside the right circle, but his wrist shot went a hair wide, leaving it scoreless as the period wore on.
St. Cloud State (14-14-1, 8-10-1-0 NCHC) had a counterpunch over the next few minutes which culminated in a big stop by Ryan Larkin on a point blank redirect by Patrick Newell. Miami ended up with a 10-7 advantage in shots with a couple other good opportunities, highlighted by another Josh Melnick look from the right dot that Smith smothered. Neither team got a puck past the other side's goaltender as the teams remained scoreless following 20 minutes.
On the first shift of the second period, Melnick got fed in the middle and just missed over Smith's glove. Later in the shift, Carson Meyer got free in the high slot but was stopped by Smith's glove.
Sustained RedHawk pressure eventually drew a penalty as they went to work with a man advantage 2:48 into the middle stanza. After pressuring for a good chunk of the power play, the Red and White converted when Gordie Green redirected a Louie Belpedio point shot, gathered his own rebound and fired it home for his sixth goal of the year with 4:04 expired in the second period. Kiefer Sherwood also picked up an assist on the go ahead goal.
After withstanding an initial push back by the Huskies, the RedHawks got back to work pressuring the net. Melnick had a good look set up by Green that Smith stopped. Later on, both Willie Knierim and Anthony Louis generated chances on the backhand that narrowly missed the frame.
The Huskies enjoyed an extended shift in the RedHawk zone late in the period and went on their first power play with 5:48 left in the middle stanza. Green had the best chance of the first half of that man advantage when he went in for a breakaway that was stopped by Smith. After a clear, MU took a penalty well away from the play with 30 seconds left on the kill, causing a 5-on-3 for SCSU. While Miami did kill off the first penalty, Ryan Poehling redirected a Dennis Cholowski point shot with 2:59 left in the second to tie the score at 1-1. That is where the score stood at the second intermission with MU holding a 19-16 shot advantage.
Mikey Eyssimont gave St. Cloud State a 2-1 lead just 2:35 into the final frame when he got fed at the left circle in transition. The forward toe dragged into the middle and eventually beat Larkin with a wrist shot to put the Huskies on top for the first time. SCSU made it 3-1 just 1:11 later when Robby Jackson redirected a point shot through traffic.
An offensive zone penalty by SCSU opened the door for MU, putting it on the power play for the second time. However, Miami was only able to generate one look, a Sherwood one-timer that Smith turned aside. The Huskies took another penalty with 10:52 left, but managed to kill off another RedHawk man advantage.
With time winding down, St. Cloud State again left an opening for Miami by taking a third penalty of the period with 2:03 left. The RedHawks, who pulled Larkin for an extra skater with 3:18 left in the third, again left six skaters on the ice to push for a tie. Eventually it paid off as Sherwood roofed a one-timer with 33.9 seconds remaining to make it 3-2. Belpedio and Louis both drew assists on the goal that made it a one-shot game.
An icing by SCSU seconds later give MU a faceoff in the offensive zone, but the comeback bid was quashed when Jimmy Schuldt fired into the empty net with 13 seconds remaining to seal the game away.
Miami ended up with a slim 32-30 edge in shots while both teams converted on half of its power plays as MU went 2-for-4 and SCSU was 1-for-2. Larkin stopped 26 of 29 shots while Smith turned aside 30 of 32 Miami attempts. Sherwood (1 goal, 1 assist) and Belpedio (2 assists) both put up multi-point games.
These teams finish up their series on Saturday night with the puck dropping at 8:07 p.m. ET.