OXFORD, Ohio — Miami sophomore goaltender Ryan McKay turned aside all 20 shots put on net by the visiting Golden Griffins of Canisius, while junior Alex Wideman scored twice in the RedHawks’ 3-0 victory Friday night.
It was McKay’s fifth career shutout.
The RedHawks were slow out of the gate, but McKay said they were able to take control of the game by playing to their strengths.
“As the game progressed, we started making smarter simpler plays – moving it off the glass a lot more, little chip plays in the areas for our forwards,” McKay said. “That’s the strength of our team. Our forwards are fast. That’s the idea, to get the puck to them.”
The RedHawks scored once per period, with Wideman potting the first two. The first came on a power play at 16:08 in the opening frame. He took a shot from near the blue line that slipped by Canisius junior goaltender Keegan Asmundson. His second came at 7:48 in the second period. Freshman Anthony Louis sped down along the boards around a Canisius defender with a broken stick and passed to Wideman between the circles and Wideman buried his shot into the twine.
The Golden Griffins went into the first intermission with an 11-8 advantage in shots on goal and had several near-misses while keeping the RedHawks from establishing a rhythm.
Miami was a different team after that, outshooting Canisius 32-9 over the final two periods.
Miami coach Enrico Blasi said he liked how his team collected itself after an uneven opening period.
“We started off a little too loose,” he said. “I thought we got better in the second period and I thought our third was probably the best for all of our objectives, making sure that we possessed the puck and don’t force things.”
Miami junior Blake Coleman was the final skater to light the lamp, finding the back of the net at 7:02 in the third period. He had a wide open-look into the net after sophomore defensemen Matt Caito rifled a shot that bounced off the glass and back over top of the cage before Asmundson could adjust.
Canisius coach Dave Smith said he felt the Griffins were simply on the wrong end of some bad breaks, meaning there won’t be much to adjust for Saturday’s rematch.
“They get a goal on a broken stick, two-on-one, I don’t know how you script that one out and do many things differently,” Smith said. “In the third, they get another one off the end-boards, you don’t see those things happen often. There’s a funny story in there, but not for our side.”