OXFORD, Ohio – Another Friday, another shutout.
For the third time in his last four starts, Ryan McKay (30 saves) and the No. 8 Miami hockey team’s defense was impenetrable. On this occasion, the RedHawks skated away with a 2-0 win over No. 12 Wisconsin in front of a packed crowd of 3,452 at Steve Cady Arena.
This marks the fifth-straight time that Miami (7-3-1) has allowed two goals or less in a game.
Neither team could get on the board in the first period, though the RedHawks enjoyed a 14-9 edge in shots. The teams played 4-on-4 for two minutes after coincidental minor penalties. Both sides got an abbreviated power play in the last four minutes, but neither unit cashed in. Sean Kuraly was particularly strong on the second line, firing a team-high three shots in the opening period. Two of those chances came up close as he beat his defender wide and drove towards the net.
The RedHawks got on the board at the 10:51 mark of the second period when Cody Murphy tipped a faceoff forward that Blake Coleman reached for. Coleman’s sweep found Anthony Louis alone in the slot and the freshman beat Badger goaltender Landon Peterson top shelf for his fourth goal of the year. UW (3-3-1) ended up outshooting MU 10-8 in the period, but the RedHawks took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
The final 20 minutes of play were just as evenly contested as the first 40. The Red and White enjoyed a 14-11 edge in shots, but it remained a one-shot game for the majority of the final frame. Play went back and forth with both Peterson and McKay having turning aside any chances that came their way. Miami’s defense was once again positioned well in the shooting lanes, finishing up with 19 blocked shots.
MU’s defense kept UW from getting much speed in transition, but the Badgers had a final push in them all the same. With under two minutes left, Wisconsin had Miami pinned in its own end. The puck was pinned against the boards with under 30 seconds left when the RedHawks were whistled for a delay of game penalty.
The Badgers used the opportunity to call timeout and design a play with a 6-on-4 man advantage and 26 seconds left. UW ended up winning the faceoff and tried to work the puck in front. Chris Joyaux disrupted the centering feed and Riley Barber chipped the puck ahead to Austin Czarnik. The RedHawks’ captain flung the puck the length of the ice right into the empty net for his sixth goal of the year with 10 seconds left, securing the RedHawks’ third win of the season against a ranked opponent. That goal goes down as a short-handed tally.
MU outshot UW by a 36-30 count. The power plays were held off the board as both teams went 0-for-3. The RedHawks have killed off their last 15 opposing power plays.
McKay posted his third shutout in his last four starts. In this span, the sophomore has stopped 114 of 116 shots for a .983 save percentage. His counterpart, Landon Peterson, was also solid in stopping 34 of 35 shots.
The RedHawks and Badgers are back at it again on Saturday night. Opening faceoff is at 7:05 p.m.