OXFORD, Ohio — Miami University was on spring break, but that fact wasn’t obvious on Saturday night at Goggin Ice Arena when junior Todd Grant scored the game-winning goal to advance No. 9 Miami (22-12-4) to the CCHA Super Six for the first time since 1996-97.
The RedHawks needed overtime to put away 11th-seeded Laker Superior State (9-20-7), 2-1.
As on Friday, freshman Matt Christie put the RedHawks on the board first when he scored his team-leading 21st goal of the season at 5:47. A loose rebound in the slot fell in Christie’s direction, and he one-timed it into the upper corner of the goal. Senior Derek Edwardson had the first shot on goal that was turned aside by LSSU netminder Jeff Jakaitis.
A defensive lapse in the zone resulted in a goal against Miami when the Lakers’ Colin Nicholson tallied a goal at 9:03 in the second period. Steve McJannet caught a break when a misplayed Miami pass ended up on his stick to the left of the goal, but was stopped when freshman netminder Brandon Crawford-West made a sprawling pad save. However, the rebound was not cleared and Nicholson was there to even the game, 1-1.
After a scoreless third period, Miami entered its seventh overtime contest of the season. Jakaitis time and time again made heartstopping saves in the extra period to keep the Lakers in the game.
However, at 12:05 Grant rifled a shot into the upper corner of the goal that won the game for the RedHawks, and resulted in the emptying of the Miami bench.
Jakaitis, who made 11 saves in overtime, made an initial save on a shot by freshman Geoff Smith and directed the puck behind the goal. Smith beat both LSSU defensemen to the puck and zipped it to Grant in the slot. Grant ended the sudden-death period with his 13th goal of the season.
The RedHawks, having finished second in the league during the regular season, have a bye into the semifinals on Friday, March 19.