RedHawks Drop Heartbreaker in Overtime

Follow @MiamiRedHawks and @MiamiOH_Hockey on Twitter

March 11, 2018

Box Score | PDF Box Score

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – In a do-or-die situation, the Miami hockey team fought until the end against No. 1 St. Cloud State, but saw its season end in overtime with a 4-3 setback in game three the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Playoffs on Sunday.

Sunday’s result gives the Huskies (24-7-6) the series win and sends them to the Frozen Faceoff next weekend,

The Huskies controlled offensive zone play in the early going, firing four of the first five shots, but Ryan Larkin was sharp and turning aside each of the attempts. With seven minutes gone by, Karch Bachman got a step on the defense, but David Hrenak was able to deny his backhand attempt.

Nearing the midway point of the first, Grant Hutton stepped in from the right point with a lot of space and blasted a slap shot that beat David Hrenak top shelf for his 13th goal of the year and third goal of the weekend. Kiefer Sherwood and Gordie Green each picked up the assist on the play that made it 1-0 Miami (12-20-5) with 10:29 left in the first.

The Huskies followed that shift by drawing a penalty and got their first power play of the night and put some pressure on the MU net, but Larkin was able to fend off the surge to keep the lead intact.

Miami got a power play of its own in the latter stages of the first and in the waning seconds of the man advantage, Alec Mahalak fed Scott Dornbrock for a one-timer that Hrenak stopped. However, he couldn’t control the rebound and Casey Gilling managed to slip one in for his ninth goal of the year to put them up 2-0 with 3:38 to go until intermission.

The Huskies outshot the RedHawks 15-10 in the opening frame and put on a surge at the end of the frame. SCSU hit a post late and had a rebound look for a goal, but Larkin scrambled back to cover the puck as MU carried the 2-0 lead into the break.

A RedHawk penalty just 1:14 into the period allowed the Huskies to get on the board as Jimmy Schuldt scored just 12 seconds later on a one-timer from the point to cut the score to 2-1. The RedHawks answered immediately after as a forward faceoff win by Zach LaValle gave Karch Bachmana seam. The sophomore sped to the net and got around Hrenak forehand to backhand for his seventh of the year to rebuild the two-goal bulge.

The Huskies continued peppering Larkin, outshooting the RedHawks 13-5 in the middle stanza. Miami’s sophomore goaltender continued to stand tall both with saves and deft plays, like a poke check on St. Cloud’s Jack Poehling when he was fed in midway through the period.

SCSU’s pressure did get it a goal closer before the horn, however, as Mikey Eyssimont brought the puck around from behind the net and fired a perfect shot through traffic to cut the lead to 3-2 after 40 minutes.

The Huskies continued to pressure the RedHawk zone and while MU killed off a penalty midway through the third, Judd Peterson redirected a point shot to tie the score with 5:52 remaining in regulation. After spending most of the third period with just two shots, MU got a couple good looks in the final minute of regulation, including a blast by Hutton that Hrenak kept in front of him to send the contest to overtime for the second night in a row.

Teams played back and forth in the overtime generating some rushes at both ends. The RedHawks had the first break seven and a half minutes into the session when a fortuitous bounce sent the puck to Sherwood behind the net, where he fed Gilling in front. However, the shot went a bit high. The Huskies then went the other way and Eyssimont netted his second of the night 8:14 into the overtime period to send them to St. Paul.

St. Cloud State ended up with a 42-22 shot advantage and went 1-for-4 on the power play while Miami scored on its lone man advantage. Larkin stood tall with 38 saves while Hrenak finished with 19 stops.

Miami’s 2017-18 season comes to an end and the 2018-19 schedule will be announced in April.