For the third straight contest, Miami was tied after 20 minutes and completely imploded in the second period.

After allowing 10 goals in the middle frames in its series at Denver, Omaha ran off three second-stanza tallies against MU en route to a 4-1 win over the RedHawks at Baxter Arena on Friday.

Miami (7-14-2) extended its losing streak to four, allowing 23 markers during that span.

The RedHawks went 3-1 vs. UNO last season and were 7-2-1 against the Mavericks in the teams’ last 10 meetings.

The series finale is at 8:07 p.m. on Saturday.

RECAP: Just 60 seconds into the game, Omaha (12-9-2) scored on a 2-on-1 when Tyler Mueller fed a streaking Matt Miller in the slot, and he played the puck to the tape and punched a shot over sprawled-out Miami goalie Ludvig Persson.

Thomas Daskas (photo by Cathy Lachmann/VFTG).

The RedHawks tied it with 6:54 left in the opening stanza when Max Dukovac threw a puck from the right faceoff circle to the left side of the cage and Thomas Daskas was able to deflect it in off the blade of his stick.

But Omaha took over with three goals in a six-minute span of the second period.

Victor Mancini blasted a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that Persson steered into a wide open Jimmy Glynn, who was able to control the puck and jam it home 4:36 into that frame, making it 2-1.

The Mavericks extended their lead to two 3:36 later when Tyler Weiss stole the puck along the half wall and centered into the slot to Jake Pivonka, who wired a wrister just inside the glove-side post.

Fast-forward 68 seconds and Jack Randl carried the puck into the zone on the left wing on a 3-on-2 and fired a pass to the top inside edge of the right faceoff circle to Miller, who controlled it then whipped it past Persson.

STATS: It took three games, but Miami finally scored its first goal of 2023. That came after RedHawks opponents netted 15. Happy New Year.

Daskas’ marker was his second of the season with both coming in the last five games.  

Dukovac picked up the lone assist, his second point in six contests.

— Omaha entered play ranked third in Division I on the power play (27.5 percent) but Miami was 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.

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— In three games this calendar year, the RedHawks have been outscored, 18-1. And 13-0 in the second period.

— MU tied its second-worst shot output of the season with just 19, including just three in the third period and only six shot ATTEMPTS in the final 20 minutes, when the team should’ve been pressing to get back into the game.

The RedHawks have generated just 58 shots in three games, their worst three-game stretch since they were mired in that 0-8-1 slump in late January of last year.

THOUGHTS: In October when Miami was 4-1-1, chatter around the program was that the team had bonded quickly. See how happy these guys are to be on this team and how well they get along?

Of course that information wasn’t wrong, the RedHawks had seemed to jell within a few series, but VFTG said at the time that the team cohesiveness will be tested when things aren’t so hunky dory.

Like when you’re coming off a 14-0 shellacking in a weekend set in Denver.

The response in this game wasn’t exactly what Miami fans were hoping for.

Yes, there were good moments in this game, like the final 17 minutes of the first period when the RedHawks played very well.

But seriously, you not only can’t stop the bleeding after allowing the go-ahead goal, you surrender two more then call it a night?

The RedHawks have snapped out of similar funks before and need to do so again immediately.

— MU wasn’t ready from opening puck drop in this game.

Omaha should have scored half a minute in but a loose puck rolled on Randl in the slot.

Then the Mavericks did score. Then Joey Cassetti was whistled for elbowing and the Mavericks reviewed for a possible major penalty.

The first three minutes could have gone been catastrophic, but the A-plus chance didn’t materialize, the Cassetti penalty was kept a minor and Miami killed the resulting penalty.

The RedHawks settled in and were the better team for the balance of the period, with the exception of the final shift.

Miami continued to match the Mavericks’ intensity the first five minutes of the middle frame but the UNO go-ahead goal seemed to crack the RedHawks.

— Persson made two unbelievable saves, one on the 2-on-1 and another on a breakaway that denied while sprawled on his stomach.

But he gave up a big rebound on the second goal and should’ve stopped one of the final two, so overall he wasn’t a factor in the loss.

— The forwards combined for 14 shots on goal, with Daskas leading the team with three. Daskas has been one of the hardest-working skaters on the team since he rejoined the lineup regularly, but 11 SOG by the other 11 members of his corps is atrocious.

— Dukovac made an amazing play on the Miami goal, winning a battle behind the net, eluding another defender then ultimately firing the puck to Daskas for the deflection. After a strong start then a lull he appears to be closer to that October form.

However, he did turn the puck over in the offensive zone in the second period, leading to the go-ahead goal. So a very mixed bag.

LINEUP CHANGES: Blake Mesenburg returned from his undisclosed injury after missing four games, replacing Artur Turansky, who had dressed in six straight and 20 of Miami’s first 22 contests.

On defense, Zane Demsey was back after being scratched last Saturday. Nick Donato was not in the lineup after playing in three straight following his upper-body injury.

STANDINGS: Miami is now 2-10-1 in the NCHC with seven points. The last-place RedHawks are six points behind Minn.-Duluth for seventh and 15 back of Western Michigan for the final home-ice slot in the NCHC Tournament.

All eight teams have played 13 league games and have 11 remaining.

MU is now ranked 45th in the PairWise rankings, just one ahead of Enrico Blasi-coached St. Thomas.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Last place means a series at Denver to open – and likely close – NCHC Tournament play for Miami.

The RedHawks are six points out of seventh, and Minn.-Duluth and North Dakota are the teams immediately ahead of MU in the league standings. Good times.

Regardless of opponents or standings, this level of play is nowhere near acceptable. Giving up 15 goals to start 2023 before getting your first?

Hopefully coach Chris Bergeron and his staff can get this ship righted and quickly, because the schedule doesn’t get any easier down the stretch.

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One thought on “Omaha extends MU losing streak to 4

  1. Maybe MU could schedule some exhibition games against D3 schools to get some wins rest of this season. Do mites only play one period? Might be the sweet spot for us, since that’s as long as our guys seem to have any fight. Obviously, we are simply outclassed in the NCHC and have been for years. Change is needed one way or the other. “Change the players or change the players.”

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