At least when Miami allowed seven goals on Friday, it scored three goals of its own.
MU hung with No. 7 Denver for the first period, but the Pioneers blew it open in the second in a 7-0 win over RedHawks’ at Magness Arena on Saturday, sweeping the four-game season series and outscoring the RedHawks, 14-3 for the weekend.
Miami’s winless streak was extended to 11 games, tied for the eighth longest in its history.
RECAP: The game was scoreless until the 14:23 mark, when Denver’s Emilio Pettersen centered a pass to Cole Guttman for a one-time blast into the top corner from the hash marks on the power play.
The Pioneers (19-8-5) struck for four more tallies in the second period, blowing it open.
Ian Mitchell gave the Pioneers a two-goal lead with 13:07 left in the middle frame when his seeing-eye wrister from the right point found the top corner of the net.
On a 3-on-2, Pettersen corralled a pass from Brett Stapley and went top shelf, as Miami goalie Ben Kraws was unable to get across in time, making it 3-0 with 9:19 left in that stanza.
Griffin Mendel beat Kraws on a wrister from the high slot with 4:04 remaining in the period, and Pettersen scored again, skating around a Miami defender and Kraws before tucking it in the net with 92 seconds to play in that frame to make it 5-0.
Justin Lee extended Denver’s lead to six on a blast from the top of the faceoff circle on the power play with 7:07 remaining in regulation, and Stapley capped off the scoring 72 seconds later when he batted home a one-time feed through the crease from Kyle Mayhew.
STATS: The last time Miami (6-19-5) allowed seven goals back-to-back games was actually against Providence in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, followed by its opening-night loss to the Friars that fall.
— The RedHawks have not given up seven or more goals in both games of a weekend series since Feb. 14-15, 1992 at Michigan.
THOUGHTS: The first period it seemed like Miami decided it would give an honest effort, but when Denver extended its lead to two, then three in the second period, the RedHawks gave up and led the Pioneers score as often as they wanted.
Having watched this team go into Bowling Green, ranked No. 10 at the time, and manhandle the Falcons on their own ice, then play tie No. 1 North Dakota on national television and lose by just one to the Fighting Hawks the next night, it’s just baffling to see this team spiral to level it’s at now.
And the root of Miami’s struggles is unclear, which is what makes it so frustrating. Was it confidence? Apathy? Altitude? Denver scouting? A combination of some or all of these?
Clearly Denver is a talented team, more talented than the 2019-20 RedHawks. But not 7-0 better. Not 14-3 for a weekend better. Not 55 shots on Friday better.
The final scores and those stats say more than could ever be written here.
LINEUP CHANGES: Other than the continued rotation in net, Miami made two changes to its starting 19 skaters: One up front and one on defense.
Carter Johnson, who had dressed for nine straight game, sat this one out and was replaced by Brian Hawkinson, a scratch for four consecutive contests.
On the blue line it was Alec Mahalak back on the ice after missing the series opener. Andrew Sinard did not skate.
STANDINGS: With Colorado College winning, Miami slipped into last place in the NCHC, one point behind the Tigers.
Mathematically, the highest spot the RedHawks could achieve in the conference tournament is sixth, as Omaha currently owns that spot, 10 points ahead of MU. Those teams play each other next weekend.
Miami still holds the No. 42 spot in PairWise despite having the ninth-worst winning percentage in Division I.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not every one of the non-seniors on this team will be back this fall.
When a coach inherits a team, he typically does not retain players that don’t fit into his system, and it’s becoming clearer by the day that the coaching staff and a portion of this team are not on the same page.
Hopefully this team is aware of that, as the balance of the season could determine whether some players remain RedHawks beyond 2019-20.