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College Hockey:
Coleman hat trick salvages split for Miami against North Dakota

— Miami junior Blake Coleman recorded a hat trick for the RedHawks to power his team to a 6-2 victory over visiting North Dakota, salvaging a split of their inaugural NCHC series. The RedHawks charged out to a 5-0 lead early in the second period, avenging Friday night’s 4-2 defeat.

The RedHawks got on the board quickly and often, with junior Cody Murphy scoring at 2:24 with a wrister from the top of the faceoff circle. Coleman picked up his first of the night at 15:02 when he scored unassisted off a faceoff from the left of UND’s sophomore goaltender, Zane Gothberg.

After being issued a game misconduct in Friday night’s loss, Coleman said the team wanted to establish a physical presence early on.

“I think we had a lot more jump, a lot of energy [tonight],” he said. “Guys were kinda fired up from the bad performance last night. We talked about staying in the moment, and I think our team responded really well.”

The game soon had the look of a blowout, as the RedHawks scored three times in quick succession early in the second period. At 3:40, sophomore Riley Barber took the last touch on a loose rebound in the crease for a 3-0 Miami lead. Coleman then completed his hat trick with goals against two different goalies. He was waiting at the backdoor to poke in a puck that trickled between Gothberg’s legs at 5:37, and then beat Clarke Saunders top-shelf just 14 seconds later on the first shot the senior netminder saw after coming on in relief of Gothberg.

Miami coach Enrico Blasi was pleased to see Coleman bounce back.

“No question, Blake played well tonight,” he said. “We need everybody contributing. I thought Blake’s line played really well tonight, in terms of keeping things in front of them, and they got rewarded with some goals. And that’s the way to play.”

UND finally got on the board with a goal at 16:09 in the period when sophomore Colten St. Clair put one past Miami’s sophomore goaltender Ryan McKay coming off a faceoff. A second was added at 6:05 in the third period by freshman Gage Ausmus, the first of his collegiate career.

Any faint hopes of a UND comeback were snuffed by Miami’s junior captain Austin Czarnik, who capped the scoring with a goal in the slot at 10:44 in the period.

North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said the difference in the game was in the details.

“We gave up a couple of faceoff goals, we gave up a couple of goals where we were weak in front, and we didn’t get any at the other end. We didn’t get to any rebounds, and there was quite a few of them laying around there.”

McKay made 34 saves to earn his second victory. Gothberg stopped 11 of 16 shots, while Saunders saved 23 of 25 in relief.

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