OXFORD, Ohio – Western Michigan scored three goals in the first 11:01 to send the Miami University hockey team to a 5-2 loss at Steve Cady Arena on Friday night.
The result drops MU to 10-12-3 overall and 4-10-1-1 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
The Broncos (13-10-4, 7-7-1-1 NCHC) scored twice in a 16-second span less than two minutes into the game. A shot by Thomas Nitsche went wide of the net and bounced back in front to Shane Berschbach, who tapped the puck in at the net mouth just 1:21 into the contest. Sheldon Dries got behind the defense and scored on a breakaway on the very next shift to put the RedHawks behind 2-0.
Berschbach netted his second goal when he slipped by the MU defense and beat Ryan McKay for a power play goal with 8:59 left in the period. That goal ended McKay’s night as Jay Williams stepped into the Red and White crease.
MU got an opportunity on the power play with 4:20 remaining in the opening frame. The Red and White fired three shots at Bronco netminder Lukas Hafner, but were unable to get on the board with the man advantage. The RedHawks were outshot 11-10 in the first 20 minutes, but drew a Broncos penalty as time expired in the first to open the door after intermission.
The Red and White power play connected just 44 seconds into the second period. After Riley Barber dug out the puck on a faceoff, Matthew Caito swung the puck to Austin Czarnik. The captain fed a pretty saucer pass back door to Anthony Louis, who tapped the puck in for his sixth goal this season.
Another Miami power play 3:21 into the second period created some more chances, but ultimately no goal. Western Michigan scored on a power play of its own with 11:37 remaining in the second as Justin Kovacs one-timed a centering feed from the slot into the net to give WMU a 4-1 lead after two periods.
Both teams garnered a power play opportunity in the third period, but neither converted. The RedHawks climbed a bit closer with 4:44 left on the clock when Czarnik's faceoff win went to Ben Paulides, whose point shot beat Hafner and pulled them within 4-2. MU had an opportunity with an extra attacker and an offensive zone faceoff, but WMU’s Nolan LaPorte cleared the puck from his own blue line into the empty net to cap the scoring at 5-2.
Miami outshot Western Michigan 29-21 overall and went 1-for-5 on the power play while the Broncos connected on 2-of-5 attempts with the man advantage. Williams stopped 11 of 12 WMU shots in 48:20 in net while McKay made five saves in the first 11:01.
The RedHawks and Broncos wrap up their season series on Saturday night, beginning at 7:05 p.m. That game is televised locally on Time Warner Cable (channel 311 and 1311 [HD]).