Czarnik plays role of OT hero as Miami downs Providence


For the second time in as many nights, the Miami RedHawks and Providence Friars found that 60 minutes of hockey was not enough.

Saturday’s game did conclude with a winner, though, as Austin Czarnik scored his second goal of the game 3:35 into overtime to give the RedHawks a 4-3 victory.

Czarnik said he tried not to let the pressure of the moment get to him as he lined up for his overtime winner.

“I was scared that the puck was going to jump over my stick honestly when [freshman Riley Barber] hit me,” said Czarnik. “I was freaking out, but luckily I just shot it and it went in.”

The first period alone saw more scoring than in all of Friday’s 1-1 stalemate.

Miami (3-0-1) scored first off the stick of Barber at 6:48. Barber’s third career goal was initially waived off by the referee, but the play was reviewed at the next stoppage and the puck was ruled to have entered the net before bouncing back out, rather than off the post.

Providence freshman defenseman John Gilmour netted the first goal of his career at 7:54 to knot the score back up just seconds after the review that had put Miami on the board. It came during four-on-four play with Gilmour squaring up between the circles and beating RedHawks’ freshman goalie Jay Williams.

Miami did go back in front just before the end of the period. Sophomore forward Blake Coleman took a feed at center ice and streaked into the offensive zone, firing a laser shot passed the Friars’ freshman goaltender, Jon Gillies, at 18:59.

With momentum truly swinging back and forth on a whim, the Friars (1-2-1) tied the score once again at 4:58 in the second period. Senior Tim Schaller scored his first goal of the season seconds after the Friars killed off a penalty. As freshman Steven McParland stepped out of the box, he corralled the puck and sent it to Schaller, who sniped it into the twine behind Williams from just inside the blue line.

Czarnik put Miami back in front by a 3-2 count at 11:56 in the same period as he carried the puck into the zone and wristed it passed Gillies from between the circles for his first goal of the season.

The scoring stalled there for a long while, as neither team managed to take advantage of multiple scoring opportunities in the final period.

The RedHawks were forced to play the final minutes back on their heels when Coleman was assessed a five-minute major for charging with only 5:52 left to play. Miami effectively killed the penalty despite sustained attacks by the Friars even before Gillies was pulled for an extra attacker, but as Coleman stepped back onto the ice, Providence freshman Noel Acciari stuffed the puck by Williams for his first career goal, tying the game once more with only 48 seconds remaining.

Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said his message to the players entering the extra period was simple.

“Just go out and win it,” Blasi said. “I thought Coleman’s line right after [Providence] scored when they had that two-on-one, we got a lot of momentum from that. We kept playing. And then anytime you get the puck on No. 7’s stick [Czarnik], he’s pretty dynamic.”

As time ticked down in overtime, it seemed another draw was in store until Czarnik broke though once more, beating Gillies one final time.

Providence coach Nate Leaman felt that in a game that see-sawed back and forth, getting a quick start would have been critical.

“What hurt us was a slow start,” said Leaman. “We played from behind all night. I’m proud of the guys coming back in the third period to tie the game, but it’s tough to play on the road from behind.”