OXFORD, Ohio — Oxford, Ohio was buzzing about the Miami RedHawks recent winless streak. The RedHawks went into this weekend’s series against the Western Michigan Broncos having lost three of their last four games. The RedHawks took the ice against the Broncos Saturday looking to get some momentum going into their home-and-home series against Ohio State next week and did just that, sweeping the Broncos.
“Tonight, we played with a lot of energy,” said Miami coach Enrico Blasi. “We played the way we finished the third period off (Friday night).”
The RedHawks started the game off with a bang, scoring two times in the first six minutes. Andy Miele started things off by firing one past Broncos’ goalie Jerry Kuhn at 4:06 in the first period. Pat Cannone got in on the fun about a minute and a half later when he put one past Kuhn off of assists from Justin Mercier and Nino Musitelli.
With about three minutes remaining in the period, Musitelli scored a power-play goal. Before the arena’s announcer could even finish the call, Miami drove down the ice and Ryan Jones put the RedHawks fourth goal past Kuhn off of an assist from Tommy Wingels. Nathan Davis made the Broncos pay when he put a fifth one in, this time against the Broncos’ new goalie Riley Gill.
“They capitalized and jumped on us right away,” said Western Michigan coach Jim Culhane. “I think they create a harsh environment here that enables them to do this kind of thing. We tried to weather the storm and start off the game well, but obviously we didn’t do that. The energy they were able to establish last night really carried over into tonight.”
“It’s good because it gives you more energy,” said Blasi, “You can start to play your game and you don’t have to deviate from your game plan. I thought our guys did a real nice job in the first period.”
The RedHawks took the ice in the second determined not to let up an inch against the Broncos. Miele got his second goal of the night when he put one past Gill at the 5:19 mark of the period. Miami’s Brian Kaufman scored the RedHawks’ second power-play goal of the night late in the period.
The Broncos finally got themselves on the scoreboard when Jordan Collins scored a power-play goal off of assists from Cam Watson and Brian Bicek. The goal made the score 7-1 as the final seconds of the second period ticked off of the clock.
Miami’s Brian Kaufman scored his second goal of the night at the 12:52 mark of the third period. Wingels and Jones were both credited with assists on Kaufman’s goal.
“We’ve got a day off and then we start to prepare for Ohio State, which is a rare Tuesday game,” said Blasi. “This week, all we’re really doing is playing games. We’ve got two games left in the regular season before we’ve got the playoffs.”