OXFORD, Ohio – On a night where the 12th-ranked Miami hockey team nearly tripled up Denver in shots, it was the Pioneers who managed to down the RedHawks 3-1 at Steve Cady Arena on Friday night.
MU finished up with a 34-12 advantage in shots on goal, but fell to 8-7-2 overall and 2-5 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
Miami got a power play just over three minutes into the contest, but the RedHawks were unable to crack the nation’s top penalty killing unit, recording just a single shot during the man advantage.
The Red and White had the better of the puck possession over the first 10 minutes, taking the first seven shots on goal and holding an 8-2 lead in shots on goal at the midway point of the period. With the shots 13-2 in favor of the Red and White and time winding down, the Pioneers (8-5-2, 4-2-1-1 NCHC) mounted an attack and drew first blood when Ty Loney slipped a puck past Ryan McKay after some cycling by Trevor Moore and Josiah Didier with 2:58 left.
DU was not done there, getting a goal by Moore off a faceoff 53 seconds later to take a 2-0 lead into intermission. MU ended up owning a 13-6 edge in shots on goal.
The RedHawks came out of the locker room and outshot the Pioneers 4-1 over the first 11 minutes of play. Miami’s best chance came on a nifty play by Anthony Louis behind the goal line as he slipped the puck in front for a Max Cook shot, but Sam Brittain was there to make a big save to keep Denver’s lead at two.
The Pioneers got their first power play opportunity with nine minutes remaining in the middle stanza, but the RedHawk penalty killers stood tall, not allowing a single shot on goal. Miami ended up outshooting Denver 9-3 in the second period, but there was no scoring as DU maintained its 2-0 lead after two periods of play.
Miami continued to control play and finally was rewarded with 4:17 left when Alex Wideman poked home a rebound to cut the deficit to 2-1. Riley Barber and Austin Czarnik each assisted on Wideman’s seventh goal of the year.
That goal rejuvenated the RedHawks and one minute later Czarnik’s hard drive to the net drew a penalty, putting MU on the power play with 2:45 remaining in regulation. The Red and White man advantage created some good looks at the net, particularly when the puck got worked back door to Sean Kuraly, whose redirection beat Brittain but unfortunately hit the post and stayed out. The Pioneers got out of the power play unscathed and put it away when Grant Arnold scored on an empty net with 10 seconds remaining, one of only two Denver shots on goal in the third.
MU outshot DU 21-6 over the final two periods of play to finish with a 34-12 edge overall. The RedHawks went 0-for-3 and took five shots on the power play while the Pioneers did not score or take a shot on their lone chance with the man advantage.
Brittain was the biggest difference maker for the Pioneers, stopping 33 of the 34 shots he faced. McKay made nine saves on the 11 shots that came his way.
The RedHawks and Pioneers wrap up their weekend series on Saturday night at Steve Cady Arena. Opening faceoff is at 7:05 p.m.