Miami ended its seven-game losing streak but kept its winless string alive.
After suffering their worst home loss in Cady Arena history last weekend, the RedHawks skated to a 3-3 tie at No. 5 St. Cloud State on Friday.
The Huskies (18-8-1) won the shootout in the 10th round to earn the extra league point.
Miami is winless in its last eight.
The series concludes at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
RECAP: Miami (7-17-3) took the lead five minutes into the game on a 4-on-4. P.J. Fletcher whipped a pass through the slot to Zane Demsey, who put two shots on goal that were stopped by goalie Dominic Basse, and Fletcher jabbed the rebound home from inside the left faceoff circle.
St. Cloud State tied it less than two minutes later, as a pass from the left point caromed off a skate in the slot and was backhanded in by a sprawling Aidan Spellacy.
Veeti Miettinen snuck in a bad-angle shot from the left half wall that snuck past RedHawks goalie Ludvig Persson with 6:16 remaining in the second period, giving the Huskies their first lead of the game, 2-1.
Miami tied it with 3:29 left in that frame, as Axel Kumlin unleashed a slap shot from the blue line that beat Basse on the stick side.
Then the RedHawks regained the lead with 16:36 left in regulation when Max Dukovac sent a pass into the slot to William Hallen, who pulled it back and whipped it into the side of the net.
The Huskies tied it at three when Jami Krannila stole the puck in the neutral zone, skated in and centered a pass to Mason Salquist, who batted the bouncing puck out of the air on his backhand.
Miami outshot SCSU, 4-1 in a 3-on-3 overtime that included 34 seconds of 4×3 power play time for both teams, and Red Savage was denied by Basse on a breakaway in the closing seconds.
St. Cloud State’s Micah Miller scored the lone goal in the 10th round of the shootout to secure the second league point.
STATS: After being held without a point his first 14 games, Hallen has three goals and an assist in his last 10.
Fellow Swede freshman Kumlin scored his third goal, taking the team lead among defensemen.
Fletcher snapped a 21-game scoring drought, although he did register seven assists in that span.
— Dukovac is actually the hottest RedHawk offensively, as he picked up his third point in four games on a helper. That’s pretty impressive considering Miami scored two goals in the month of January.
— Both Joey Cassetti and Ryan Savage earned assists and snapped six-game points droughts.
— Shut-down defensemen Demsey and Jack Clement, as well as blossoming freshman forward Frankie Carogioiello all registered their third helpers of the campaign.
— Miami gave up a shorthanded goal for the second straight game and has allowed five SHGs this season, the most of any NCHC team and the fourth-worst total in the NCAA. But…
— The RedHawks were 8-for-8 on the penalty kill, including 1:57 of a two-man advantage. The last time Miami killed off at least eight penalties without allowing a goal was Oct. 8, 2016 vs. Providence.
Miami hasn’t had a better PK night since Jan. 23, 2010 against Alaska, when it finished 10 of 10.
— With the RedHawks only earning one point, they have been mathematically eliminated from potential home-ice advantage for the first round of the NCHC Tournament.
Miami’s point in this game was its eighth of the season, and with seven league games remaining, the most the RedHawks could earn is 29. Four teams already have at least 30.
THOUGHTS: Crazy game.
Obviously, Miami far exceeded the expectation of almost all sane people considering the RedHawks’ disastrous January and the steaming pile that was 19-1 weekend in this building a year ago.
We’ve said this before: Games like this when MU plays well it makes it even harder to understand the extreme negative outcomes we’re seeing far too often. But hey, Miami fans should be delighted with this result.
It’s absolutely a step ahead for a program that was pushing the proverbial point of no return after the North Dakota series.
— In terms of flow, Miami seemed to hang with St. Cloud State most of the game, with the exception of the stretch after the final media timeout of the third period, when the Huskies dominated.
With 7:41 left in regulation, the RedHawks led by one and were headed to the power play, which is a major position of strength. Instead they allowed a shorthanded goal to tie it and appeared gassed the final few minutes of reguation.
But Miami was rejuvenated when overtime began, generating four of the five total shots on goal.
— The ice appeared to be a major factor, especially the slot area right outside the blue point at both ends.
This might have been a mere footnote in this game, except it was magnified when skater after skater couldn’t even generate a decent shot in the shootout. Yes, Persson and Basse were good as well, but teams should convert more than five percent of their combined penalty shots.
Miami had two 2-on-0s (!!!!) — the first two such situations for the RedHawks in recent history — and couldn’t even generate Grade-A chances on either.
Salquist’s tying goal was amazing but happened because the puck skipped through the slot.
It feels like this game would’ve been a shootout — not just a game that ended in a shootout — with better ice.
— Lots of credit to Basse. He kept St. Cloud State in it and was the first star of overtime.
— Yes, Miami did finish 8-for-8 on the power play, but three of those advantages were very short, as the RedHawks negated their first two man-advantages by taking a penalty, leading to short opportunities for St. Cloud State on the back end.
That happened in reverse in overtime, when the Huskies were whistled 34 seconds after a Miami minor.
But the RedHawks did kill a 1:57 two-man advantage, which almost always results in a goal.
— Miami seemed to like the 4-on-4, scoring two of its three goals with both teams short a skater.
— Another weird play: St. Cloud State appeared to tie the score at three, but it was waived off when Miami coach Chris Bergeron challenged the initial ruling on the ice for goaltender interference and won.
The RedHawks didn’t skate hard to the faceoff dot to negate an icing and were beaten there, ultimately resulting in that would-be tally. Would’ve looked really bad had the goal counted — the contact wasn’t egregious and could’ve gone either way.
— Speaking of waived-off goals, Persson knocked the net off for the second time in the game seconds before a St. Cloud State wrap-around that would’ve otherwise counted.
He was warned at the end of the second period and dislodged it again in the third, earning him a delay of game penalty.
— Overall, Persson allowed a bad second goal but the first and third were unstoppable shots, and he was excellent in the extra sessions as well.
It certainly appeared he has put any recent struggles behind him.
— Really liked Fletcher in this game. On the first goal, he stole the puck, made the feed to Demsey for the two point-blank chances then cleaned up the rebound.
— Love Matthew Barbolini (or is it Barboli or Bobolini, according to the SCSU crew?), but he finished with three penalties and a minus-2 rating. Miami needs for him to regain his offensive form.
LINEUP CHANGES: Cassetti returned from injury and Dukovac was back after his one-game suspension. John Sladic and Blake Mesenburg did not dress.
On defense, Robby Drazner was back in the lineup, and Nick Donato was scratched.
Persson and backup Logan Neaton have both started two of the last four games, and with Persson back in form, he’s the likely starter in Game 2.
STANDINGS: Miami is 12 points behind seventh-place Colorado College, which has two games in hand over the RedHawks.
MU remains 46th in the PairWise.
SUMMARY: This is the type of game Miami fans might’ve enjoyed much more if the team wasn’t in desperation mode.
The RedHawks deserve a ton of credit for putting last weekend behind them and tying in a building very few opponents earn points in.
Apparently, Saturday’s 8-0 loss to the seventh-ranked team in the conference that was playing without three of its key skaters was a burning bush moment for Miami.
In no way is it acceptable for this scenario to play out in back-to-back seasons, especially in seasons three and four of a rebuild, but hopefully this performance shows that this team is tired of getting pounded routinely.