OXFORD, Ohio – Sean Kuraly’s goal in the seventh round of the shootout secured an extra point for the Miami hockey team following a 2-2 tie with Nebraska Omaha on Friday night.
The RedHawks (9-9-3, 3-7-1-1 National Collegiate Hockey) pick up two points in the conference standings after going to a shootout for the first time this season.
UNO’s (8-11-2, 5-4-2-1 NCHC) Brock Montpetit had the game’s first real opportunity when he was fed on the rush and quickly fired a shot that rattled off the MU post just under two minutes into the game.
Offense was at a premium for the first half of the opening period, with the teams combining for just four shots (3-1 UNO) after about 10 minutes of play. That all changed when Kevin Morris won an offensive zone faceoff to Anthony Louis at the left wing half wall. Louis cycled the puck behind the goal and worked a cross-crease pass to Bryon Paulazzo. The senior forward finished the pretty feed and drilled the puck into the net for his third goal of the year at the 10:13 mark to put the RedHawks ahead 1-0. That tally was the only strike of the opening frame as both teams fired three shots on goal.
A carryover Miami power play did not yield another goal to start the second. Shortly after the man advantage expired, the RedHawks found themselves shorthanded for the first time. MU’s penalty killing unit stood tall, not yielding a single shot on goal and creating a nice opportunity of its own when Riley Barber fired a shot in transition that Ryan Massa turned aside.
Austin Czarnik put the Red and White up a pair after John Doherty intercepted a Maverick clearing attempt and fired a shot off a UNO player. The rebound came right to Czarnik in the slot and he promptly wristed home his 10th goal of the season with 10:49 remaining in the second period. The assist to Doherty was the sophomore’s first-collegiate point.
The Mavericks answered 42 seconds later when Montpetit chipped in a centering feed from Austin Ortega to bring them within 2-1 at the midway point of the game. The RedHawks did not attempt another shot on goal after Czarnik’s tally, but still held a 2-1 advantage after 40 minutes of play.
While UNO entered the third period with 1:17 left on a power play opportunity, Montpetit committed a tripping penalty just three seconds into the period to move the teams to four aside. Neither team found the net during that span and then UNO killed off a 46-second MU power play to keep it a one-goal game.
MU was sent to the box again at the 5:15 mark and appeared to be on its way to another successful penalty kill. With the UNO man advantage winding down, the puck worked around the boards and hopped over Ryan McKay’s stick as he tried to play it behind the net. Jaycob Megna gathered the loose puck and centered it to Ortega, who slipped the puck into the net as McKay tried to get back into the crease. That goal left the score tied at 2-2 with 12:58 left in regulation.
The RedHawks got two more opportunities with the man advantage in the third period, but only managed four shots on goal during the third period. McKay made nine saves to keep the score tied and send MU to its first overtime game in conference play.
Miami got another crack on the power play with 1:05 left in the extra session, but was unable to get a shot through to the net. The Mavericks took the only two shots on goal in the five-minute overtime.
After both teams came up empty in the first shootout round, Czarnik wristed in a shot and McKay made a solid stop to give the RedHawks a 1-0 lead after two shooters. After MU was stopped in its third try, it appeared Miami claimed the extra point when Josh Archibald’s initial shot appeared to be stopped, but the puck ended up trickling into the net to keep the shootout going.
A Red and White miss left Montpetit with a shot to give the extra point to the Mavericks, but McKay stood his ground to move the shootout to a fifth round. Cody Murphy buried his chance to put the RedHawks up 2-1, but Nick Seeler scored on his try and continued the competition.
A goal scorer in regulation, Paulazzo put up a nifty move in the sixth round of the shootout and fooled Massa with a spin move, but his rising backhand shot went off the post and gave UNO another shot to claim the extra point in the standings. McKay would not allow that to happen as he stopped Jake Guentzel cold to send it to an NCHC record seventh shootout round.
From there, Kuraly calmly carried the puck in and ripped a shot past Massa to once again give the RedHawks a chance at a shootout win. This time, McKay made the stop on Michael Young to give MU a valuable two points in the standings.
The Mavericks outshot the RedHawks by a 27-13 margin and went 1-for-4 on the power play over regulation and overtime. MU finished 0-6 with the man advantage.
McKay stopped 25 of 27 shots for the Red and White while Massa turned away 11 of the RedHawks’ 13 shot attempts.
These teams finish their weekend series on Saturday night. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.