March 11, 2011
By Drew Davis
OXFORD, Ohio – No. 7 Miami scored four unanswered goals, including three in the third period, to erase an early deficit and skate to a 4-1 victory over Alaska in the best-of-three second round of the CCHA Tournament Friday night at Steve Cady Arena. The RedHawks (20-9-6) are now just one win away from a trip to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit to play for the CCHA Championship.
Miami controlled play for the opening minutes of the game, playing stifling defense. The RedHawks held Alaska without a shot for the first 10 minutes of the opening frame.
The Nanooks (16-16-5) struck first however on their first shot of the game at 10:02 of the first period when Bryant Molle took a pass from Cody Kunyk and beat Miami goaltender Cody Reichard from just inside the blue line for the 1-0 Alaska lead.
Miami scored the equalizer at 5:06 of the second period when junior Chris Wideman found the back of the net on a long slap shot on a power play. Senior Carter Camper set the play up from the point, moving toward center and drawing the Nanook defense toward him before dishing to Wideman on his left. Wideman settled the puck and fired his shot past Alaska goaltender Scott Greenham from the top of the left circle for the 1-1 tie.
Junior Patrick Tiesling lit the lamp for the eventual game winner at 3:15 of the third period with his second career goal. Freshman Max Cook set the play up from the front of the net. Cook took a pass from senior Justin Vaive just outside the crease and tried to settle the puck. As he tried to gain control, Greenham came out of the net to poke the puck away just as Cook got control and centered to Tiesling in the slot for the 2-1 Miami lead.
The RedHawks took a two-goal advantage with 8:49 to play in the game when sophomore Reilly Smith found senior Andy Miele for the one-timer and the 3-1 Miami lead. With the goal, Miele extended his point streak to 14 games and topped the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career. Junior Trent Vogelhuber earned the second assist on the play.
Vogelhuber set up the last goal of the game when he took a long pass from sophomore Joe Hartman and raced around the back of the goal from right to left. As he skated back toward the blue line along the boards, he sent a perfect cross to Smith in the right circle for the one-timer and a 4-1 Miami lead.
Reichard finished with 17 saves on 18 shots for his 13th win of the season. His counterpart, Greenham, finished with 32 saves on 36 shots. The RedHawks were 1-for-5 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. Miami has now killed off 38 of its last 39 penalties.
The RedHawks meet the Nanooks again on Saturday at 7:05 in game two of the series at Cady Arena. A Miami win ends the series and sends the RedHawks to Detroit. MURedHawks.com will have a live blog of the game available here.