Miami was 15 seconds away from extending its unbeaten streak to three games for the first time in 3½ years.
But Colorado College’s Hunter McKown completed his hat trick in the final seconds of 3-on-3 overtime as the Tigers edged the RedHawks, 4-3 at Ed Robson Arena on Friday.
Miami (6-21-2) dropped to 2-4-1 when leading after two periods and is 2-10-2 in its last 14 meetings vs. CC.
RECAP: With 24 seconds left in the first period, McKown opened the scoring when he carried the puck up the half boards, reversed course, penetrated the net and flicked a quick wrister past RedHawks goalie Ludvig Persson from the inside edge of the faceoff circle.
Miami tied it four minutes into the second frame when P.J. Fletcher blasted home a one-time feed by Matt Barry from the right faceoff dot on the power play.
The RedHawks took the lead, 2-1 on the man advantage with 26 seconds in that stanza as Chase Gresock set up Barry for a similar one-time tally off a feed through the slot as well as multiple defenders.
Colorado College (8-18-3) tied it 3:01 into the final frame when Tyler Coffey won the battle to a loose puck, skated in on the left wing and fed a pass through the slot to a wide-open Brett Chorske, who kicked it to the blade and roofed it over Persson.
Amazingly, Miami netted a third PPG on a pass through the high slot, and a one-time slapper to the short side. This time it was Gresock setting up Fletcher, whose first goal was nearly the identical spot just below the right faceoff dot with 12:12 left in regulation, giving the RedHawks a 3-2 lead.
But four minutes later, McKown struck again to tie it, beating Persson high to the glove side from the top of the left faceoff circle.
Then with 15 seconds left in overtime, he skated across the high slot, whipped it across his body and past Persson on the stick side to win it.
STATS: Fletcher scored twice and assisted on Miami’s other goal for a career-best three points, including his time in Quinnipiac.
It was also his first Division I two-goal contest. Fletcher has three goals in two games.
— Gresock finished with two assists, giving him multiple points in all three contests since he has returned from injury and a 2-5-7 line in that span.
— Barry went 1-1-2 and has six points in five games on three two-point efforts.
— Derek Daschke and Matthew Barbolini earned assists, giving both five points in five games.
— Persson’s 45 saves are the third-highest total of his career.
— Miami had only taken two major penalties this season, but it was whistled for two more in this game, and both were accompanied by game misconducts.
— Red Savage (first period) and Alec Capstick (second period) were both ejected, resulting in five-minute power plays.
Remarkably, Miami has not allowed a goal on any of its major kills this season (14:40 overall).
(Bizarre irrelevant stat: In those three games they’ve been assessed a major, while RedHawks opponents are 0.0 percent on those extended opportunities but are 54.5 percent on minors. So it’s like Miami puts so much emphasis on the major kill it is vulnerable on later chances.)
— Believe it or not, MU’s 38 shots were its most since its 4-0 home win over UNO on Feb. 29, 2020.
THOUGHTS: [heartbreaking loss template]
It’s the proverbial two steps forward (Omaha last Friday and last Saturday) and one step back (the finger-through-the-toilet-paper final 13 minutes in this game at Colorado College).
It’s late in the season and we’ve all seen this film several times since October, and the ending is always tragic, so we’ll keep this monologue short and complain about other things for a change.
Suffice to say the team competed well for the most part, took some ill-advised and costly penalties and was once again done in by the NCAA’s latest overtime gadget: The all-or-nothing 3-on-3.
(That’s 0-4 for MU in the extra stanza this season, if you’re counting)
The theater will again be open on Saturday, and the chance of Miami putting on another quality performance is excellent.
But some of us may want to cover our eyes for the ending.
[/heartbreaking loss template]
— If Red Savage’s major in this game is the bar for a checking from behind major – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing – then why did we waste four minutes of our lives last week waiting for the official call when he was planted face-first? Supposedly Red could still taste paint chips from the half circle base boards at Cady Arena on the trip to Colorado Springs.
In that case the INITIAL call should’ve been 5+10, or at the very least, or if four officials couldn’t decide that in real time, one 15-second glance from any angle would’ve been suffice to confirm that call.
But four minutes to bump up the call last week based on this much-less-obvious example? Now two more long reviews in this game?
It’s getting to the point that even too-many-men penalties are going to starting getting reviewed for potential majors.
— On a related note, game time on the official NCAA box: 2:48.
That actually sounds a little high, (though not nearly as inflated as the listed attendance of 3,517) but that’s coming off the RedHawks’ alarming 2:54 regulation contest last weekend.
Bottom line: Too many replays, and I would argue that the new faceoff process that was meant to speed the game up is actually doing the opposite.
— Preface this note by stating that it’s wonderful that AT&T Rocky Mountain is broadcasting both games this weekend (that’s Ch. 683 on DirecTV), but someone please, please tell the production van to stop playing 16-year-old-on-ADD-channel-surfing with the camera shots while the puck is in play?
Or at the very least give a viewer warning before the game that those with epilepsy might want to abstain from viewing or risk a potential seizure?
Ten minutes into coverage made one reminiscent of the Gilligan’s Island crew during the opening credits.
And it really killed the Miami-of-Ohio-on-every-reference drinking game, as several key moments of the game were missed due to impromptu projectile vomiting.
Pro tip: Please stop trying to reinvent hockey video production. A teary-eyed George Lucas isn’t going to knock on your door tomorrow and anoint you the next Disney production czar for magically breaking the code on creating the ultimate hockey fan viewing experience.
(Even if he did he’d have everyone’s hockey sticks edited out with Walkie Talkies)
There’s a reason all live action in every end-to-end goal-type sport on the planet is shown to fans through the center-field/ice camera lens and then left there until a stoppage.
Not only was it impossible to follow the play at all with the constant shifting viewpoints, this ensuing headache is proving hard to shake.
— If there was a third assist option, it would’ve gone to Barbolini on Barry’s goal, when he bulled his way to a faceoff win then helped secure the puck behind the net and sending a pass along the wall to Fletcher, setting the goal in motion.
— What a power play effort by the top unit. Miami finished 3-for-3 and it seemed like Miami may have seen a weakness on film to capitalize on three cross-the-slot one-time passes.
— Persson seemed to fan on the tying goal, and a screen may have played a role in the overtime winner. He made several great saves and another highlight-reel post-to-post stop.
— Big loss with Red Savage booted early. Yet somehow the power play went 3-for-3 without him. Capstick being sent to the showers early for a high hit left Miami with 17 skaters.
It wasn’t a great night for either Savage brother, as Ryan Savage was held without a shot.
Red Savage’s major was the right call for sure, Capstick’s could’ve gone either way.
LINEUP CHANGES: Just one: Bray Crowder returned on defense after sitting last Saturday.
Nick Donato did not dress.
Fellow blueliner Robby Drazner, who suffered an upper-body injury last Friday, did not make the trip and may not return this season, which would be a major loss for Miami.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Given a choice between devastating blowout loss and devastating close late-game loss, I guess the latter is preferable?
Head or gut?
The RedHawks have suffered from far too many similar head and gut shots this season, but at least in this game it felt like Miami could hang with its opponent, and the team has played quality hockey five straight games.
Two awful choices, but this type of ‘L’ definitely beats the emotions following each night of 19-1 weekend.