OXFORD, Ohio — Miami was 1-14 in its previous 15 games against St. Cloud State and was outscored, 26-4 in its last three meetings, including a 7-3 loss on Friday.

But in a complete trend reversal, the RedHawks cashed in three times on a major power play en route to 5-0 win over the No. 4 Huskies at Cady Arena on Saturday.

The game was scoreless with five minutes remaining in the second period when St. Cloud State’s Brendan Bushy delivered a center-ice head shot to Miami’s John Waldron, and he was assessed a game-altering five-minute major and a game misconduct.

Ludvig Persson (photo by Cathy Lachmann/VFTG).

In a span of 3:31, the RedHawks had taken a three-goal lead and added a pair of late insurance goals to blow it open, earning the series split.

Goalie Ludvig Persson did the rest for MU, stopping 36 shots and earning first star of the game after allowing seven goals a day prior.

It was just the second home win for Miami (6-10-2), snapping a seven-game, 68-day winless streak at Cady Arena (0-6-1).

The RedHawks are off for the next weekends and resume play on Dec. 30-31 vs. Niagara.

RECAP: Miami opened the scoring just 16 seconds into the decisive major, as Axel Kumlin skated through the right faceoff circle and wired a bad-angle shot just under the near crossbar.

The RedHawks’ second goal was initially waved off. Joey Cassetti carried the puck from along the boards to the faceoff dot and fired a shot that beat goalie Dominic Basse high to the glove side, but it went in and out of the net so quickly the officials didn’t see it hit twine.

Just 74 seconds later, Kumlin set P.J. Fletcher up for a one-timer from the right faceoff dot. The blast was initially saved, but Matthew Barbolini cleaned up the rebound by backhanded the loose puck home from the top of the crease.

Miami took a four-goal lead with 3:35 left in the game when Fletcher fed a pass through the slot to Waldron, who ripped a slap shot through Basse from the top of the left faceoff circle, again on the power play.

St. Cloud State pulled Basse in the closing minutes, and the RedHawks’ Ryan Savage and Fletcher forced a turnover in their offensive zone, and Fletcher connected with William Hallen in the slot for an empty netter with 1:52 to play.

STATS: Persson’s shutout was the fifth of his career, tying him with Dan Kodatsky for eighth on Miami’s all-time leaderboard.

He made 36 saves in the win, the second-most of his career in a shutout performance.

P.J. Fletcher (photo by Cathy Lachmann).

— Fletcher led all scorers with three points, all on assists. It was his first career three-assist game and his second three-point game as a RedHawk.

Barbolini, Kumlin and Waldron finished with two points apiece, all going 1-1-2.

Waldron, a favorite for NCHC Rookie of the Week, finished the weekend with four goals and an assist and has six goals in five games.

It was the first career multi-point game for Kumlin, also a freshman as well as a defenseman, and it was his second goal.

Barbolini picked up multiple points for the second straight game and the fourth time this season. He’s 3-7-10 in his last eight games.

— Cassetti snapped an eight-game goal drought, and Wallen’s tally was the first of his career. Max Dukovac, Ryan and Red Savage also added helpers.

— Miami finished 4-for-7 on the power play, its first four PPG game since a 7-1 win over Connecticut on Oct. 28, 2017 (the RedHawks haven’t scored five goals on the man-advantage since Nov. 24, 2007 vs. Canisius, and their all-time record of seven was set in 1978 vs. Missouri).

The RedHawks also were perfect in four penalty kills a night after going 1-for-4 on the PK.

— Miami’s five-goal winning margin in a shutout was its largest since a 6-0 win over Colgate on Oct. 27, 2018.

THOUGHTS: From the perspective of someone who does some form of write-up of every Miami game, it’s hard not to get sucked into in-the-momentism, riding a win too high or overly doom-and-glooming a loss.

That temptation is even harder to avoid with this bipolar team, which looked ready for another early spring break Game 1 and serious league contenders less than 24 hours later.

The potential has been there the first 10 weeks, and we’ve been treated to glimpses of this team’s prowess with wins at Lowell and North Dakota, but because of the obvious upswing in talent over past seasons, it’s been easy to get frustrated during the ample down times.

This was a trophy win for the program and something every player on the team should be proud of.

— What Persson did was nothing short of remarkable. Granted on Friday his team didn’t help a ton up front, but he after struggling in seemingly every aspect, he was a completely different player on Saturday, stopping all 36 shots he faced after giving up seven goals on 29 shots a day earlier.

— Demsey knocked Joel Molenaar out of the game with a devastating but totally clean hit in open ice. Molenaar seemed to cross up his skates during the brutal collision and struggled to get off the ice after a lengthy delay. He did not return.

Joey Cassetti (photo by Cathy Lachmann/VFTG).

— Cassetti was escorted from the ice after a SCSU slap shot hit him in the head. He was also down for some time and also did not come back.

— In our unsung forward effort segment, we first highlight Ryan Savage, who sprawled out and skidded down the ice in an attempt for an empty-net goal, and his efforts resulted in Hallen’s marker.

Savage also held the puck in on a hard clearing attempt during the major power play, which ultimately led to a goal. This was one of Savage’s best efforts this season.

— Loved how Waldron beat the press. With three St. Cloud State penalty killers aggressively pressing at the points, Waldron brilliantly flipped a puck across the points with three defenders on him, and Kumlin was able to retrieve the puck, penetrate and pick the corner unabated.

— SCSU did dominate the third period, and Miami did turn the puck over too many times in that frame, but that’s the only knock on the RedHawks’ performance. The Huskies led, 18-5 on the shot counter in the last 20 minutes.

LINEUP CHANGES: Up front, Frankie Carogioiello returned up front in place of Thomas Daskas, who had dressed in 11 straight games.

Defensively, Alex Murray was back on the ice in place of Robby Drazner.

STANDINGS: Miami is stuck in last place in the NCHC with seven points, five behind North Dakota. All eight teams have played 10 of their 24 league contests.

The RedHawks are No. 35 in the PairWise.


FORWARDS: A. All 12 seemed to contribute in every way. The power play forwards especially thrived, and I loved seeing Hallen finally get in the goal column after two-plus months of hard work.

DEFENSEMEN: A-. This corps was integral in preserving the shutout. Jack Clement really stood out and Hampus Rydqvist redeemed a mercurial Friday performance. Demsey took a big step forward this weekend.

GOALTENDING: A+. Persson was exceptional, from rebound control to lateral movement. He showed his mental strength by deleting his effort from less a day prior from his memory.

FINAL THOUGHTS: If Miami would’ve been swept by St. Cloud State, it would’ve carried a 12-game record of 1-10-1 into Christmas Break and the Niagara series in three weeks, and a three-month homeless winless streak

But instead the RedHawks carry the momentum and confidence from a signature win into the holidays.

Hopefully it can maintain that confidence through the upcoming down time and keep up the same level of energy heading into 2023.


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