OXFORD, Ohio - Sophomore forward Alex Wideman tied the game with 2:13 to go in regulation, forcing overtime, and then netted the shootout winner, as the 5th-ranked Miami University hockey team earned a 2-2 draw against No. 16 Northern Michigan Saturday night at Steve Cady Arena, before earning the extra point in the CCHA standings with the shootout win. The RedHawks improved to 6-2-2 overall and 3-2-1-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, while the Wildcats dropped to 4-4-2 and 1-3-2-0 in league play.
Wideman pulled the RedHawks even late in the third period as he beat NMU goalie Jared Coreau under his right arm from the bottom of the left circle to tie the game at 2-2. He then secured the shootout win in the third round as he again beat the junior netminder stick-side on a quick wrist shot. Sophomore Cody Murphy and senior Joe Hartman assisted on the game-tying goal.
"Murphy saw me on the wing and threw it a little bit ahead of me and I skated into it," Wideman said about the equalizer. "To be honest, I didn't even aim it, I just threw it on net and good things happen when you throw pucks at the net. I didn't see it (go in) until I was behind the net. In that situation, you aren't going to get a pretty goal. You're going to get a gritty goal or a lucky goal like that."
Sophomore forward Austin Czarnik scored Miami's first shootout goal in the second round after freshman Riley Barber had his attempt saved. Freshman goalie Jay Williams denied both of Northern Michigan's shootout attempts while he finished with 25 saves on 27 shots.
"Jay made some good saves and battled through some adversity," MU coach Enrico Blasi said. "As a coaching staff, we are really happy with the way our team stuck together."
Miami played catch-up from the get-go, as the Wildcats struck first at the 6:05 mark in the opening period. Northern Michigan's Ryan Kesti found the back of the net from a tough angle just below the left circle. The sophomore forward received a pass from defenseman Wade Epp and ripped a hard wrister into the far right corner of the goal.
The RedHawks, who beat the Wildcats 5-2 Friday night, evened the score on the power play 12:27 into the first.
With a 5-on-3 advantage, Barber sent a pass across the zone to classmate Sean Kuraly, who one-timed the dish past Coreau. Wideman also tallied an assist on the play, giving him his second multi-point game in four games this season. The goal was Kuraly's second of the season, both coming on a man advantage.
The Wildcats, with a 5-on-3 power play of their own late in the first period, banged in a goal to put NMU up, 2-1, as Stephan Vigier scored on a rebound near the far post with 2:40 left in the opening frame. Both teams finished 1-for-4 on the power play while Coreau made 31 stops on 33 shots.
Both teams failed to score in the second period, however, the RedHawks put on the pressure late and carried that momentum into the third, setting the stage for the late-game drama.
"Before the third period in the locker room, there was no doubt in our minds we were going to win that game," Williams said. "We just had to keep going, keep fighting."
Next up, Miami hosts Michigan State in a two-game set Friday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17. Friday's contest starts at 7:35 p.m., while Saturday's begins at 7:05 p.m. at Steve Cady Arena.