COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Miami University hockey team’s power play broke out of its slump in a big way, striking four times in a 6-1 win at Colorado College on Saturday.
With the victory, MU snaps a five-game winless streak and moves to 10-11-3 overall (4-9-1-1 National Collegiate Hockey).
The Tigers (3-17-4, 3-8-3-1 NCHC) scored eight minutes in when Cody Bradley converted a centering feed from Charlie Taft at the top of the crease to put the RedHawks behind 1-0.
CC buzzed around the MU net for long stretches of the first period, but Jay Williams stood tall in keeping the Tigers from getting another goal in the opening frame. The sophomore finished the period with 16 saves as the Tigers outshot the RedHawks 17-3.
Despite the territorial edge, a CC penalty with 6:13 left opened the door for MU’s power play to make a difference. The Red and White special teams responded five seconds later as Riley Barber wristed a shot through traffic in the slot for his 15th goal of the year, evening the score at 1-1. Austin Czarnik and Matt Caito earned assists on the play. That goal ended Miami’s 0-for-27 slump with the man advantage.
Forty-four seconds after the tying goal, the Tigers went to work on a power play of their own. The RedHawks’ special teams helped again, not allowing a single shot in a successful penalty kill that left the teams locked in a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes of play.
The RedHawks created a pair of strong opportunities early in the second period. A Taylor Richart shot from the right side was kicked out to the left circle, but a follow up shot was fanned on with CC goalie Josh Thorimbert getting back into position. A few minutes later, the puck was worked to Barber in the high slot for a one-timer that went wide. The puck bounced back to Barber for a shot that Thorimbert stopped.
Miami’s special teams came to the forefront again when Barber flung a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle into the far corner of the net for his second of the night 6:30 into the second period.
The floodgates opened from there as less than two minutes later, Justin Greenberg pounced on a rebound off a Matt Joyaux point shot and banged the puck in for his first-collegiate goal with 11:37 remaining in the period. Cody Murphy also earned an assist on the goal that made it 3-1 Miami.
A pair of CC penalties put MU on a 5-on-3 midway through the period. The Red and White’s big night on the power play continued when Anthony Louis sniped a one-timer into the top corner at the 10:32 mark. Barber and Michael Mooney assisted on the goal with Mooney’s helper good for his first collegiate point. It took 28 seconds for the RedHawks to score on their fourth-straight power play as Matthew Caito’s shot from the point redirected off a Tigers’ stick and into the net for his second goal of the year with 9:02 left in the middle stanza.
The RedHawks weren’t done yet as Louis ripped a pass through the seam to a pinching Ben Paulides, who picked the corner for his second goal of the season. Bryon Paulazzo also assisted on the goal after digging the puck out from the boards and getting it to Louis. MU was whistled for a major penalty with 3:26 remaining in the period, but held CC off the board to take a 6-1 lead into the locker room after two periods.
Miami killed off the remaining 1:34 of the carryover penalty to start the third period. In fact, it was MU’s penalty killing unit’s time to shine in the final frame. The RedHawks successfully killed off a 5-on-3 that elapsed 1:53 midway through the period. Miami kept Colorado College off the score sheet the rest of the night.
CC finished the game with a 39-21 advantage in shots on goal, but MU’s special teams proved the difference. The Red and White finished 4-for-5 on the power play and killed off all five of the Tigers’ chances with the man advantage.
Twelve RedHawks notched at least one point with four posting multi-point outings. Barber (two goals, one assist) and Louis (one goal, two assists) tallied three points apiece while Czarnik (two assists) and Caito (one goal, one assist) finished with two. Louis’ three-point night is a season best for the freshman while Caito recorded his first multi-point game of the season.
Williams made a career-high 38 saves to post his fourth win of the year while Thorimbert made 15 saves for CC.
The RedHawks are off until they host a two-game series against Western Michigan that begins on Feb. 7. That game is televised on CBS Sports Network and begins at 7 p.m.