Relentless RedHawks Rally to tie Black Bears

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Oct. 21, 2016

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OXFORD, Ohio - Anthony Louis netted a pair of goals, including a power play tally with 4:30 left in regulation as the Miami hockey team rallied for a 3-3 tie against Maine at Steve `Coach' Cady Arena on Friday night.

Louis' two goals were the senior's first of the year as the RedHawks (1-1-2) extended their unbeaten streak to three games while playing 70 minutes of hockey and going to a shootout, which the Black Bears (3-1-1) claimed, for the second-straight outing.

"Going through these situations, having to come back, playing into overtime, these are going to be building blocks for us down the road," head coach Enrico Blasi said. "I am really encouraged with the effort and how we came back. Tomorrow we have another opportunity to get better."

The first power play of the night went to Miami just 1:18 into the contest, the RedHawks got two shots on goal during the man advantage, but Rob McGovern steered them both away to keep it scoreless. Miami nearly got on the board about four and a half minutes in when Louis made a man miss in the neutral zone to gain the zone with numbers. From there, he tried to set up Carson Meyer with a back door feed, but the pass was just out of reach.

Miami got some more good opportunities when the ice opened up with 4-on-4 just over seven minutes in. The best came when Gordie Green got fed on the off wing during a 2-on-1, but McGovern moved across to blocker the shot aside. The Red and White got an abbreviated power play 11 and a half minutes in that was cut short by a power play, eventually giving the Black Bears a brief power play of their own that the RedHawks controlled play in the offensive zone for.

Maine got on the board with 5:36 left in the first period as a giveaway near the Miami goal set up Peter Housakos all alone in front, where he scored on the backhand to make it 1-0. That goal seemed to energize the Black Bears as they ended up taking the shot lead at the end of the frame, getting a late power play with 1:58 left that Ryan Larkin needed to make a big time stop on a down low feed to Blaine Byron to leave the score 1-0 after 20 minutes.

After being outshot 12-10 in the first period, the RedHawks came out of the dressing room with a surge. Miami salted away what remained of its carry over penalty and went to work, firing 17 shots on goal over the ensuing 20 minutes compared to just four by Maine. The Red and White went on the power play just 1:13 into the frame and nearly tied it up as Green had an opportunity at the right wing, but his shot hit the post.

The Black Bears ultimately killed the penalty, but the RedHawks continued to pressure the goal and ultimately some consistent possession in the offensive zone paid off as an off balance Kiefer Sherwood regained his footing to track down Karch Bachman's flip of the puck behind the goal. After winning a battle at the wall, Sherwood slipped the puck back door to Grant Hutton, who pinched in from the left point for his second goal of the season, evening the score at 1-1 5:29 into the middle stanza.

Maine regained the lead a minute and a half later as Miami got pinned in its own end for an extended shift. The puck eventually squirted to Mark Hamilton at the point, where he flung a wrist shot that Mitchell Fossier tipped in to make it a 2-1 game.

MU went to work on another power play 10:27 into the frame, the Maine nearly extended the lead as a neutral zone turnover created a breakaway for Byron that Larkin made a crucial stop on. While that power play did not score, Josh Melnick became a one-man cycling show, working the halfwall and corner at the left wall before eventually shaking his man and feeding Louis for a one-timer that trickled over the line for his first tally of the season, evening the score at 2-2. Carson Meyer also earned an assist on the tying tally. While Miami had numerous opportunities as the period wore on, the score remained deadlocked at the second intermission.

The third period saw even more Miami territorial domination as it outshot Maine by a 13-4 margin. As the period wore on, MU started stringing shifts together in the offensive zone to continually wear down the Maine skaters, but McGovern kept the Red and White at bay.

A defensive zone turnover by MU proved costly with 6:26 to go as Cedric Lacroix gathered an outlet feed at the half wall. Once he settled the puck down, he fired an angled shot perfectly into the top corner at the short side to give the Black Bears their third lead of the night.

Undaunted, the RedHawks again battled back and a penalty with 4:47 to play opened the door for them to mount a comeback. A feed to the point deflected off a Maine stick, but Louie Belpedio managed to grab the puck out of the air, settle it down and feed Louis at the right wall. The senior cut into the middle and with a path to the goal, beat McGovern glove side for his second goal of the evening, tying the score at 3-3 with 4:30 to play in regulation.

The Red and White went on another power play with 31 seconds left in the frame, but it ended up having to carry over into overtime. Belpedio managed to get one shot off in the first minute and a half, but Maine killed the man advantage off. Miami's best chance came roughly midway through the period when Sherwood got a step on the Maine defense for a clean entry down the right wing. The sophomore got inside the right dot for a heavy wrist shot that just missed the target. Despite a 42-21 edge in shots at the end of 65 minutes, the contest wore on as a tie into the 3-on-3 overtime.

Maine got the bulk of the shots in the 3-on-3 overtime, outshooting Miami 4-1. Larkin stopped each attempt, however, and the contest went to a sudden death shootout. After both teams went scoreless in the first round of the shootout, McGovern made one more stop in round two before Nolan Vesey ended it with a shootout goal.

In addition to outshooting the Black Bears 42-21, the RedHawks went 1-for-8 on the power play while killing off all three Black Bear man advantages. Louis' two goals marked his third career multi-goal game while Sherwood posted his second multi-point effort of the season with two assists, the sophomore recorded multiple points just once in his freshman campaign. McGovern turned aside 39 of 42 shots while Larkin stopped 18 of 21 shots.

These teams conclude their weekend series on Saturday night in Steve `Coach' Cady Arena. Puck drops at 7:05 p.m.