OXFORD, Ohio — Capitalizing off momentum from Friday’s 3-2 victory over the Lake Superior State Lakers, the Miami RedHawks completed the sweep, 6-2, in Goggin Ice Arena on Saturday.
With the victory, the RedHawks claimed their third sweep, having defeated Nebraska-Omaha, 3-2 and 6-2, last weekend and Bemidji State, 4-2 and 4-2, in non-conference action the previous weekend.
Lake Superior came out strong, looking to avenge Friday night’s loss. The two teams battled back and forth during the first period, with most of the scuffles taking place in the RedHawk zone. The Miami squad was the first to strike a blow, capitalizing on its first power-play opportunity of the game. After a scrum in front of the net, junior forward Mike Glumac was able to find the back of the net with help from freshman forward Derek Edwardson and senior forward Pat Leahy.
The Lakers were quick to strike back with a power-play goal of their own. RedHawk forward Nick Jardine spent only eight seconds in the box for checking from behind before Laker defenseman Ryan Knox put Lake Superior on the board.
Lake Superior took advantage of its second five-on-four situation when Chris McNamara tipped the puck past Miami goaltender David Burleigh to give the Lakers the 2-1 lead at 12:12 of the first period.
The Lakers drew a penalty 46 seconds into the second period, giving Miami the chance to even the game. At 1:26, senior Pat Leahy teamed up with junior Jason Deskins and freshman Derek Edwardson for the RedHawk goal to tie the game.
Less than two minutes later, Miami seized the lead with yet another power-play goal. Senior Gregor Krajnc, rebounding shots by Edwardson and Deskins, one-timed the puck high over Laker netminder Scott Murray’s right shoulder to put the RedHawks up, 3-2.
The Lakers nearly tied up the game with 1:38 left in the period. The puck whizzed past Miami’s David Burleigh and the goal light came on, but the referee waved off the tally, ruling that Lake Superior’s Ryan Knox had batted in the puck.
With less than 10 seconds remaining in the period, the RedHawks widened their lead with their first even-strength tally of the game. Deskins picked off the shot for the 4-2 lead.
Both teams fought through the third period — Miami fighting to keep its lead and Lake Superior struggling to overcome the two-goal deficit.
It looked to be a scoreless third period, but Miami’s Evan Cheverie changed that with just 1:15 left in the game when he stole the puck away from Lake Superior defenders and fired it into the net.
Lake Superior coach Scott Borek pulled Murray for the sixth skater, and the teams went to the Miami zone for a faceoff. RedHawk senior Gregor Krajnc snagged the puck and charged into the Laker zone alone for the unassisted empty netter.
Coaches and players from both teams agreed that the penalties and power plays were critical throughout the game. The Lakers went 2-for-2 on the power-play, while the RedHawks capitalized on three of their six chances.
“Those two power-play goals early in the second period were probably the turning point for us,” Lake Superior coach Scott Borek said. “It’s hard to recover from a penalty-kill situation when you give up a goal.”
“I knew that this would be a specialty teams game,” Miami coach Enrico Blasi said.
Miami freshman Derek Edwardson agreed, saying special teams “can win or lose you a game.”
With three assists on Saturday, Edwardson has scored in seven of his last eight contests for the RedHawks. Deskins, who racked up a goal and two assists, has now recorded three consecutive multiple-point games.
Miami faces off against sixth-ranked and undefeated Western Michigan next weekend.