OXFORD, Ohio - Sophomore forward Cody Murphy recorded a pair of power play goals for his second multi-goal game of the season Friday night, as he led the sixth-ranked Miami hockey team past Bowling Green, 2-1, at Steve Cady Arena. With the victory, the RedHawks (14-6-5, 9-4-4-4 CCHA), who trailed 1-0 after one period, remained unbeaten in their last 15 games against the Falcons (8-12-5, 5-9-3-1 CCHA).
Murphy scored the first of his two power play goals just 51 ticks into the second stanza to knot the game. Freshman defenseman Matthew Caito fed Murphy in the left circle, where he sent in the initial shot, which was saved. But freshman forward Riley Barber took a hack at the rebound and the puck popped right to Murphy just outside the crease, where he was able to bury the puck up high before the Falcons could clear.
"I took a snap shot and the goalie made a nice save with his glove," Murphy said. "Curtis (McKenzie) and Barber went to the net and they were whacking at it and somehow or another the puck came out to me for basically a one-timer, which was nice because the goalie was laying on his stomach."
A little less than eight minutes later, Miami took the lead with its second power play score, as Murphy banged home another rebound on the doorstep. This time, senior forward Curtis McKenzie's shot from the goal line was blocked, but the puck found its way to the far post where Murphy was waiting. Caito picked up his second assist of the night on the play.
"The second one, they don't get any easier than that. That was all Curtis there. He had a lot of poise," Murphy noted. "The shot came in from the point and [Curtis] curled the rebound from behind the net and I just kind of stood there for a one-timer again. It was a good effort by Curtis."
Murphy, a Highwood, Ill. native, now has six goals on the season. It was his third career multi-goal game, as he matched his career high with the two tallies.
With the win, MU coach Enrico Blasi earned his 300th career victory, becoming the first Miami hockey coach to reach the milestone. During his 14 seasons with the RedHawks, he has tallied a 300-190-53 overall record and has been named CCHA Coach of the Year four times, was the National Coach of the Year in 2005-06 and has led his alma mater to two Frozen Four berths.
"The guys surprised me with the game puck and it's just a number but it represents a lot of what has happened over the last 14 years," Blasi said. "Obviously a lot of good people and great coaches. We've had great assistant coaches and great support from not only our fans but our administrations, our ADs, our assistant ADs. It really boils down to the players, all the guys leading up to this and this team is a special team."
Bowling Green scored its lone goal with 3:24 remaining in the first period. Mark Cooper tipped a shot from the point by Ryan Peltoma past freshman goaltender Jay Williams, who finished with 21 saves on 22 Falcon shots.
Both teams had eight shots apiece after the first frame, but Miami took control in the second frame with a solid defensive effort. The RedHawks allowed only four shots on goal in the middle period and went into the third with a 20-12 advantage. Falcons' goalie Andrew Hammond totaled 24 saves on 26 Miami shots.
The 'Hawks finished 2-for-3 with the man advantage, while killing all five Bowling Green power plays. McKenzie was whistled for a five-minute major and game disqualification for hitting from behind with less than nine minutes to play, but Miami used strong defense to thwart the extended man advantage.
BGSU pulled Hammond in the closing minute and had a brief 6-on-4 advantage in the final seconds but senior forward Marc Hagel blocked a shot at the buzzer to secure the win.
Due to the disqualification, McKenzie will sit out of Saturday's game against Bowling Green, as the RedHawks go for a weekend sweep. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. at Steve Cady Arena.