OXFORD, Ohio — After a disappointing 4-2 loss last night in Oxford, the Miami RedHawks received the retribution they sought. The RedHawks found some solace as they skated to a 5-5 tie against the number two team in the land, the Michigan Wolverines.
Three out of four points coming in here is certainly better than the alternative, said Michigan head coach Red Berenson, Not many teams are going to do this. We feel maybe we could have gotten another point out of it. But you have to say the effort was there.
This is still a good hockey team, said Miami head coach Enrico Blasi, Michigan is a good hockey team. Last night they took it to us and you have to give them credit for that, but when two good teams go at it someones going to have to come out the loser, or in the case of tonight a tie. Dont think this is the end of the season, were still 25-4-1.
Michigan came into the confines of Steve Cady arena on Friday and opened things up with a bang. Saturday was no different as Michigans Travis Turnbull scored a power play goal after getting the assist from Brandon Naurato. The goal gave Michigan the quick one goal lead.
Miami answered back at the 8:15 mark as captain Ryan Jones scored a power play goal off of assists from Andy Miele and Mitch Ganzak. The roof covering the crowd in the Steve Cady arena erupted as the goal was scored. While the goal was scored Michigan sent another player to the sin bin as Chad Langlais got called for hooking.
After a melee around the Michigan net, Miami’s Miele put the puck across the line on assists from Pat Cannone and Jarod Palmer. For the first time all weekend the RedHawks took the lead against the Wolverines, and the Cady Arena crowd went crazy.
Going into the first intermission, Miami had the lead, 2-1. Both teams were playing aggressively the entire length of the first period. Miami was able to put more shots on goal in the first period of Saturdays game than they did in the first two periods of Fridays game. Michigan though had confidence going into the second, as they had not lost a single game in which they scored the first goal.
Michigan mounted a quick attack early on in the second period. Max Pacioretty was able to put the puck past Miami net-minder Jeff Zatkoff just 23 seconds into the period to tie things up at two apiece. The Wolverines were able to maintain pressure around the Miami goal for much of the first half of the second period.
Miami’s Brad Robbins broke the tie with a beautiful shot that went right past Michigan’s Billy Sauer and into the net about halfway through the period. Robbins had some help from Palmer and Justin Mercier.
Miami had many chances later to go up by 2 but were unsuccessful on each attempt. Michigan was able to answer back as Kolarik scored a goal 13 minutes into the second period. Chris Summer and Tristin Llewellyn were credited with assists on the play.
Miami’s Nino Musitelli got slapped with a five-minute major and a game misconduct for checking from behind. Michigan quickly took advantage of the penalty as Kevin Porter scored the fourth Wolverine goal of the night while each team was sporting four men on the ice. Kolarik and Pacioretty got assists on the goal.
The officials in this weekends series have not been afraid to blow the whistle. On Friday night Michigan tallied up 35 penalty minutes, in the third period alone. The majority of the final period of play on Friday was filled with either team playing either shorthanded or both teams sporting just four men on the ice.
For the third time in the night, Michigan scored within a minute after the period opening puck drop. This time Pacioretty put the puck past Zatkoff yet again. Kevin Porter was credited with the assist. Michigan’s coaching staff thought that the Wolverines had scored for a third time on Mussitelli’s five minute major for checking from behind almost a two minutes after they had gone up by two shortly after the period had begun, but after the officials reviewed the play they confirmed that no goal was scored.
Miami pulled back within one after an exciting, if not questionable, goal with about eight minutes remaining. Miele scored his third of the year and second of the night as the Cady Arena crowd once again, ascended into pure insanity in celebration of getting right back into it against their rivals to the north.
Miami tied it up with just over five minutes remaining in the third period. The tying goal was scored by Davis and was assisted by Palmer and Mercier. Daviss equalizer sent the Cady crowd into another signature RedHawk fan frenzy.
Both teams came close to putting a game-winner in the net, but after 60 minutes of play neither team was able to hold on for the win. With the game knotted up at five a piece an overtime period would be needed to decide what some are calling the game of the year.
It was two or three games all wrapped up into one, said Berenson, You knew Miami would come out strong in the first period, and they did. I thought we weathered the storm even though we were down a goal. In the second period we started playing better. I thought we had the momentum at that point, and even in the third period, there wasnt that much going on until that flunky goal that came off the glass.
In overtime both teams applied pressure and swarmed the opposing net each time they were in possession of the puck. A Wolverine bench penalty for having too many men on the ice with under 30 seconds left in the game gave Miami a power play. It wasnt enough though for Miami to pull ahead as the top two teams in the nation played to a 5-5 tie.
Were going to do the same thing weve always done, said Blasi, Were going focus on getting better and focus on Ferris State next weekend. Therere still six games left in the season, anything can happen.
The tie, accompanied by Bowling Greens loss to Alaska, gives Miami a first round bye in the CCHA Conference tournament next month.