OXFORD, Ohio – The USA Under-18 National Team broke a 2-2 tie in the final minute of regulation to send Miami to a 4-2 loss in exhibition play on Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday’s exhibition was the RedHawks’ first game since Dec. 7, ending a 23-day layoff.
Miami got the game’s first man advantage just 1:42 into the game when Jack Dougherty commited a five minute major penalty and game misconduct. MU fired four shots on goal, but none got past USA goaltender Edwin Minney.
The RedHawks killed off a minor penalty of their own a little over halfway through the first period to keep the game scoreless. After opening the game with a 6-2 lead in shots, USA put some pressure on the MU defense. USA opened the scoring when Dylan Larkin found Anders Bjork in transition to put the RedHawks behind 1-0 after the first period.
Early in the second, a strong shift by Max Cook led to a dangerous shot from the slot. His effort created a Miami power play with 15:59 left in the middle stanza. The senior’s effort was rewarded during the man advantage when he redirected an Anthony Louis shot past Edwin Minney at the 5:05 mark. Austin Czarnik also picked up a helper on the tying goal.
USA regained the lead just over five minutes later when Alex Tuch picked up a loose puck and fired a puck past Jay Williams from the right circle to make it a 2-1 game. The U-18 team took the one-goal lead into second intermission.
It took only 10 seconds for the RedHawks to tie it up after coming out of the locker room for the third period. Czarnik worked the puck to Alex Wideman behind the net, who in turn found Johnny Wingels pinching into the right faceoff circle. The freshman stepped into a one-timer and blasted a rocket into the top shelf to tie the score at 2-2.
The RedHawks outshot the U-18 team 6-1 in the first eight minutes of the period, but Blake Weyrick stood tall after Wingels’ goal. The teams played even strength for the entire third period and the contest appeared destined for overtime, but Bjork finished a play in front with 51 seconds remaining to put the Americans ahead once again at 3-2. USA put the game away when Ryan Hitchcock, who assisted on Bjork’s winning goal, scored on the empty net from the neutral zone.
Miami outshot Team USA 29-27 overall and went 1-for-2 on the power play while killing off USA's lone power play. Williams and Ryan McKay split time in goal, with Williams stopping 15 of 17 USA attempts and McKay making eight saves of his own.
The Red and White resume regular season play with a trip to Western Michigan on Jan. 10-11.