COLUMBUS, Ohio - After rallying in the third period to earn a 1-1 overtime tie against in-state rival Ohio State, sophomore Austin Czarnik scored in the shootout to give the No. 5 Miami hockey team the extra point in the standings Friday night at Value City Arena. The RedHawks (10-3-4, 7-3-3-3 CCHA) improved to 3-0 in CCHA shootouts this season while the Buckeyes (7-5-5, 6-2-3-1 CCHA) are now 1-2 in shootouts this year.
Strong defense and goaltending led the way for both teams as freshman goaltender Jay Williams stopped 22 shots for Miami and all three shootout attempts while OSU netminder Brady Hjelle made 28 saves. The RedHawks finished with a 29-23 edge in shots.
"For 65 minutes both teams left it all on the ice. They worked hard. They had their chances, we had our chances, both goalies played great," Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said. "It was just a typical rivalry game with Ohio State. It's always a one-goal game; it's always a battle right down to the wire. It's fun to play, the nerves are there and it's exciting."
Neither team found the net in the opening 20 minutes. Czarnik fired a hard shot from the slot on Miami's first shift of the game but Hjelle was there to make the save. Miami had another chance on a bouncing puck in front of net a few minutes later but the shot hit the side of net.
After the 'Hawks controlled play for the first 10 minutes, the Buckeyes then generated chances of their own over the final 10 minutes, including a wrister from close range after a turnover that Williams stopped with his glove, one of 10 saves in the period.
The second stanza saw Miami come out more aggressive, as senior Curtis McKenzie and sophomore Alex Wideman both hit the post in the opening minute. The RedHawk attack was unable to dent the scoreboard, however, despite a 14-6 shot advantage in the period. OSU earned a power play late in the frame, but Williams made a big glove save midway through the kill to keep Ohio State off the board.
The Buckeyes broke the deadlock 3:52 into the third period on a shot by defenseman Devon Krogh. OSU sent the puck into the offensive zone and junior defenseman Garrett Kennedy dove to prevent a breakaway but his swat of the puck went right to Krogh in the right circle where he fired a wrister that squeaked underneath the arm of Williams and trickled over the goal line for a 1-0 Ohio State lead.
Miami pulled even at 1-1 with 7:17 remaining in regulation when McKenzie finished a one-timer in the slot on the power play. Freshman defenseman Matthew Caito got the puck to classmate Riley Barber behind the net, where he circled around and fed McKenzie in front of net for his fifth goal of the year.
"When we went down, we had to score. Our power play has not been doing that great of a job, in fact it's been struggling," Blasi said. "So for them to bear down and make some plays and Curtis to bury it, that's a huge goal for us."
The game remained level after 60 minutes as the contest went into overtime, despite a 26-19 edge in shots for the RedHawks. In the extra session, OSU earned a power play but Miami was able to kill the penalty and the game ended tied at 1-1, forcing a shootout.
Both goaltenders made a save in the first round of the shootout before Czarnik went high to beat Hjelle in the second round. Williams then kept his pads tight to stop Riley Simpson's attempt and put Miami up, 1-0, through two rounds. Wideman hit the post in the third round, which would have sealed it, but Williams made another pad save on Ryan Dzingel to clinch the 1-0 shootout win and extra point in the CCHA standings.
The RedHawks finished 1-for-2 on the power play, their first man advantage goal since Dec. 1 at Alaska, while going a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Miami and Ohio State square off again Saturday night at Value City Arena with puck drop set for 8:05 p.m.