For the first time in 18 games, Miami outshot its opponent, finishing ahead of No. 6 St. Cloud State by one, 33-32.
But that didn’t translate to success for the RedHawks, as they allowed more goals than in any game this season, falling to the Huskies behind four Nolan Walker goals, 8-2 the at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Friday.
Miami fell behind, 2-0 in the first period but rallied to tie the score in the middle stanza. However, 14 seconds after potting the equalizer, SCSU regained the lead en route to running off the final six goals over a 25-plus minute span.
The RedHawks have lost 10 straight games to the Huskies and are winless in their last 13 (0-11-4) vs. SCSU.
Overall, Miami extended its winless streak to four games (0-3-1).
RECAP: St. Cloud State (11-6) took the lead 5:22 into the first period when a wrister by Ondrej Trejbal from the blue line deflected off teammate Will Hammer and found a wide open Jared Cockrell, who turned and whipped it home from the slot.
Less than two minutes later, the Huskies made it 2-0 on the power play when Walker skated into the high slot and wristed one past Miami goalie Ludvig Persson on his stick side.
Miami (4-10-2) had a goal waved off, as Jack Olmstead stole the puck, fired a shot and batted home the rebound, but the initial call was reversed as it was ruled the MU’s Casey Gilling bumped goalie David Hrenak.
The RedHawks’ Derek Daschke ripped one from just inside the blue line for a man-advantage goal midway through the second period to cut their deficit to one.
Miami tied it 59 seconds later when Matt Barry drew the defense to him – including SCSU’s Hrenak – by the goal line and backhanded a pass through the slot to Jack Clement, who buried it.
But Walker scored again 14 seconds after the equalizer to put the Huskies ahead for good. On a 4-on-4, he took a pass from linemate Micah Miller at the blue line, skater into the high slot and wristed one past Persson high to the glove side.
Walker capped off his hat trick when he batted home a loose puck at the top of the crease after a Zach Okabe shot from the high slot handcuffed Persson just 71 seconds later.
Sam Hentges made it 5-2 20 seconds after that goal, skating through the slot and wristing one across his body past Persson, who was then pulled.
In the third period, it was Veeti Miettinen wristing home a shot from the top of the faceoff circle 4:23 into the frame to extend St. Cloud State’s lead to four.
Miami turned it over along the boards, with Miller sliding a pass across the top of the crease to Walker for his fourth goal of game two minutes later, making it 7-2.
With 3:25 to play, Miller stole the puck in the Huskies’ defensive zone, skated by the Miami defense to the side of the net and slid a pass through the slot to Chase Brand, who hammered it home to cap the scoring.
STATS: The RedHawks snapped a 17-game streak of being outshot, edging the Huskies by one in that department, 33-32.
— Barry picked up two assists, extending his points streak to six games, the longest on the team this season. He is 0-8-8 in that span.
— Gilling also went 0-2-2, his first multi-point game of the season and 13th of his career.
— The last time Miami allowed eight goals was at Western Michigan on March 7, the teams’ last game of the season.
The RedHawks have not surrendered more than eight goals since giving up 11 at Omaha on Jan. 12, 2018.
— Defensemen accounted for both Miami goals, as Daschke netted one for the first time in five games, and Clement potted his second of the season, with his other tally coming six games ago.
THOUGHTS: It was 2-0, the RedHawks fought back to tie it, and 14 seconds later SCSU regained the lead.
Then scored again. And again. And again, etc.
That third goal by the Huskies, which made it 3-2 14 seconds after MU had tied it, seemed to truly demoralize the RedHawks, who were dominated for the final 29 minutes.
Kudos to Miami for fighting back and getting to that point, but once St. Cloud State kicked it up a gear the game was over.
— Funny that Huskies’ announcers thought that Olmstead’s goal should’ve stood. In earlier days, yes, but Gilling appeared to bump Hrenak at the top of the crease, affecting his ability to defend the shot. And Gilling was not pushed into the blue paint.
— Speaking of officiating and the SCSU television crew, they were also right about the extreme delay toward the end of the game when eight double minors were handed out for roughing.
There was under four minutes left in the game and clearly there were only two minor skirmishes, yet the review lasted several minutes.
As the Huskies’ crew rightly pointed out, extensive delays are becoming too common, and in this case, the four combatants were given four penalty minutes each, ending their nights. So why hold everyone up at that point in a lopsided game?
They also rightly pointed out that a time limit needs to be established on replays. If a wrong call isn’t obvious right away, it wasn’t that bad of a call.
— Persson made some solid early saves but struggled overall. The third goal was a stoppable wrister, No. 4 came on a bad rebound and the clincher was scored as he was mirroring the shooter, who shot across his body into the far corner to put the game out of reach.
— Kraws looked a little rusty, especially on the sixth SCSU goal, and he ended the night 10-for-13.
— Miami’s forwards did not score all weekend. Daschke, Clement, Bray Crowder and Rourke Russell accounted for all of the RedHawks’ tallies at St. Cloud State.
— Barry’s feed on the Clement goal may have been the best pass by a Miamian all season. With multiple defenders and the goalie chasing him at the goal line by the side of the net, he somehow managed to avoid all of them and the net with his backhanded flip to Clement.
Barry has been the best forward on the team this season.
LINEUP CHANGES: Miami coach Chris Bergeron went with eight defensemen and 11 forwards again.
Alec Capstick was scratched on the blue line, and Andrew Sinard and Dylan Moulton dressed.
Chase Pletzke was the forward casualty.
Kraws saw his first action in net since Dec. 20, as he relieved Persson in the second period.
STANDINGS: Miami and Colorado College are still tied for last place in the league with 15 points, although the Tigers have a game in hand over the RedHawks.
In range are Western Michigan, which has 19 points, and Denver at 21.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Sometimes less-skilled teams take beatings, and that’s what happened to Miami in this game.
St. Cloud State’s speed seemed to take over late, and with all of those late goals against epitomizing the RedHawks’ struggles all season in the third period, it raises the question about conditioning.
MU has been outscored, 20-9 in the final stanza in 2020-21.
If there’s good news, it’s that Olmstead, Crowder and Scott Corbett returned from injuries and played well.
Hopefully a seemingly healthier RedHawks team will perform better in Oxford next weekend when Duluth visits.