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College Hockey:
Miami maintains composure, plays to tie with Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Overtime was not enough to find a winner as No. 3 Miami and No. 8 Providence skated to a 4-4 tie on Saturday night.

Riley Barber (two goals) and Austin Czarnik (three assists) paced the RedHawks, while Kevin Hart and Ross Mauermann each contributed a goal and an assist for the Friars.

Providence coach Nate Leaman summed up the game quite simply.

“It was a very good college hockey game, it was a fast college hockey game and a very physical college hockey game,” Leaman said.

Sophomores Ryan McKay (Miami) and Jon Gillies (Providence) manned the crease for their respected teams, with McKay stopping 24 shots and Gillies turning aside 37.

For the second straight game, overtime was required between the two teams.

The first period started very slow compared to last night, but the pace did not last.

Eight minutes into the period, Gillies robbed sophomore Sean Kuraly of a sure goal when he reached across the goalmouth and gloved the puck heading into a wide open net. Kuraly and the entire Miami bench raised their arms to celebrate, but no red light came on and a review confirmed that the puck never entered the net.

Four goals were scored in a span of 1:26 starting with an individual effort by Providence senior captain Steven Shamanski. After a RedHawks’ defenseman fell at the blue line, Shamanski made a move around the last man back before deftly slipping the puck through the legs of McKay. The unassisted goal marked his first tally of the season.

Leaman not only praised Shamanski’s highlight-reel goal, but also his two-way game.

“Oh man, he was a horse,” said Leaman. “We were matching [Shamanski] and [Kyle] McKenzie against Czarnik and Barber and they weren’t coming off the ice. Shammer is one of those players who plays better with 26-28 minutes a night. We knew he was in store for a big game when he got that goal to get him going.”

Just 27 seconds later, sophomore Noel Acciari broke into the Miami zone on a delayed penalty call. He snapped a shot that squeaked though McKay and into the net. The unassisted goal was also his first of the season.

Just 15 seconds into a penalty on junior Alex Wideman, Barber capitalized on a great pass from Czarnik and buried a shorthanded goal for his seventh goal of the season.

Mauermann answered the shorthanded goal by scoring on the same power play 44 seconds later. Sophomore Nick Saracino curled off the boards and set up Hart with a one-timer from the middle of the point. McKay handled that shot, but Mauermann made no mistake with the rebound on his fourth goal of the season.

The Friars entered the second with a 3-2 advantage after a late power-play goal by Wideman. He snapped a shot that deflected off of Gillies’ glove before finding the back of the net. Barber and Czarnik recorded assists on Wideman’s second goal of the season.

The Friars scored on the power play just under four minutes into the second. The same three players from the previous power-play marker combined for Hart’s tally that stretched the lead back to two goals at 4-2. Saracino passed the puck to Mauermann along the boards. Mauermann passed it to the right point where Hart skated to the middle before shooting through traffic for his second goal of the season.

At 14:41 of the second, junior Blake Coleman made a strong net drive just as a Miami penalty came to an end. The puck sat in the slot and senior Bryon Paulazzo was able to get just enough behind the puck to slide it into the net. It was Paulazzo’s fourth goal of the season.

With sophomore Stefan Demopoulos in the box for boarding, Barber connected for his second of the game at 4:53 of the third. Czarnik slid the puck over to Barber, who snapped a quick shot off the glove of Gillies and into the net. Barber’s eighth goal of the season was also his third of the weekend. Sophomore Matthew Caito also registered an assist on the play.

For the second straight night, his team entered the third trailing, but Miami coach Enrico Blasi was pleased with his team’s resilience.

“We had to battle back,” Blasi said. “I thought we did a good job of fighting back, clawing our way back. Any time you end up with a tie against a pretty good team, you have to be pleased. It could have easily been worse in the first period. I thought we held our composure there.”

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