After scoring just once in its first two games, Miami found the net three times on Sunday.
Unfortunately for the RedHawks, they allowed two more goals than they scored, falling to No. 3 Minn.-Duluth, 4-3 at Baxter Arena in Omaha on Sunday.
Miami (0-3) dropped its third straight game to open the season and is 0-10 since Jan. 10 away from Cady Arena.
The RedHawks went ahead for the first time this season, 2-1 in the first period, but the Bulldogs (3-0) netted the next three goals and never relinquished the lead.
RECAP: UMD opened the scoring 4:07 into the first period when Noah Cates skated into the zone along the boards and fired a pass through crease to Kobe Roth, who slammed the one-timer into the net.
Miami tied it just 11 seconds later when Derek Daschke threw the puck toward the net, and Monte Graham was able to knock the rebound home to tie the score.
The RedHawks took the lead with 12:15 left in the first period when Jack Clement threw a puck toward the net from the blue line, and Daschke corraled the loose puck and wristed it home.
Minnesota-Duluth’s Quinn Olson tied it when he skated into the zone and beat Miami goalie Ben Kraws on the glove side from the top of the faceoff circle.
The Bulldogs took the lead for good when Luke Loheit ripped a Roth one-time feed home from the top of the faceoff circle on a 2-on-1 3:08 into the second frame.
Cole Koepke roofed a backhander off a Miami turnover in the slot to make it 4-2 with 10:34 left in the second period.
Crowder cut the lead to one with 5:16 remaining in the stanza when he one-timed a Casey Gilling pass home from the inside of the faceoff circle.
Roth tapped in an empty netter to seal the UMD win with 46 seconds remaining.
STATS: Daschke led all RedHawks with two points on a goal and an assist.
— Graham scored for the first time in nine games, and Crowder netted just his second career goal.
— Matthew Barbolini earned an assist for his first career point.
THOUGHTS: The loss to Omaha was frustrating because it felt like if Miami truly was playing better, it should be able to beat an unranked team that has consistently finished in the bottom half of the NCHC standings.
This loss is easier to accept because it’s against a team that has won back-to-back national titles and is ranked in the top five in Division I by every measure.
Seeing a 2-1 lead turn into a 4-2 deficit still wasn’t enjoyable, and Miami certainly made its share of unforced errors.
It’s so much tougher to evaluate players via computer monitor vs. in person, as we’ve been fortunate enough to do for almost two decades.
That said, a few players definitely seem like they’ve stepped up their game from 2019-20.
— John Sladic may be the most improved skater, as he seems quicker this season and his puck control has been significantly better. It’s stunning he doesn’t have any points, but if he keeps playing like he has he should end up in the team’s top five.
— Linemate Chase Pletzke committed a horrible turnover that resulted in a goal, but he has worked extremely well with Sladic on his line, and also seems a little faster, a little more confident in 2020-21.
— Scott Corbett has never put up big points totals, but he has always been solid defensively and physically – an area Miami has lagged in recently – but he seems to more engaged in the offensive end of the game this season. He is tied for the team lead in points with two.
— Really like Matt Barry’s game right now as well. He seems to be always either buzzing around the net or controlling the puck in the offensive zone. Barry leads the team with two assists.
— Graham is another unsexy guy who just continues to improve. He wins faceoffs, plays great defense, wins physical battles, and he may continue to see his stock skyrocket the next two seasons.
— Can’t forget the defense: Bray Crowder has is becoming an elite blueliner, as he seems to have taken a huge step forward in defending along the boards as well as keying power plays.
— Speaking of Crowder, he and Hampus Rydqvist have been on the second power play unit, while Daschke and four forwards have comprised the first.
There are others too, but those guys have stood out the most through three games.
— Kraws allowed one soft goal but made some outstanding saves as well. He has definitely shown an improvement overall this season.
— Defensive breakdowns seem down overall as well, but Miami has been inconsistent about denying high-percentage chances early this campaign.
— The scheduling days and times are tough for someone who has to work weird hours instead of being in the hub – where he wants to be – so please bear with us during these next couple weeks as story postings and statistical updates may be slower than normal.
LINEUP CHANGES: Miami came back with Kraws in net, and coach Chris Bergeron recently said he plays to rotate Kraws and freshman Ludvig Persson until one proves worthy of starting every night.
Up front, Michael Holland dressed in place of Ryan Savage, who was injured in Game 2.
On defense, Robby Drazner returned to the lineup after sitting out Game 2, and senior Alec Mahalak sat.
STANDINGS: With the one point it earned via the overtime loss against UNO, Miami is tied with Denver for fifth in the league. DU is also 0-3 with an overtime loss, Western Michigan is 0-3 and Colorado College has yet to play a game in the pod.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Miami has been competitive in every game, has played the game the right way for the most part, but it would be nice if that translated into the win column once in a while.
Obviously the schedule is murder, and hopefully that will make this team that much stronger post-bubble.