OXFORD, Ohio — Miami was playing from behind before the opening faceoff, as starting goalie Ludvig Persson was scratched due to illness.

Logan Neaton stopped 38 of 40 shots in his absence, but once again the RedHawks were unable to generate offense, as they fell to No. 15 Omaha, 3-1 at Cady Arena on Friday.

Miami extended its winless streak to 10 games (0-8-2) and has not won a game this calendar year.

The series finale is at 5:05 p.m. on Saturday.

RECAP: The game remained scoreless until Omaha (16-10-3) defenseman Jonny Tychonick went in for a breakaway and stuffed a forehander through the five hole with 6:32 left in the second period.

Matthew Barbolini (photo by Cathy Lachmann/VFTG).

With 13:12 left in regulation, the Mavericks’ Matt Miller tipped a shot from the blue line through Neaton’s pads on the power play to make it 2-0.

Miami (7-18-4) cut the deficit to one when Matthew Barbolini redirected an incoming slap shot from Axel Kumlin at the right point past UNO goalie Simon Latkoczy with 3:57 left.

But the Mavericks’ Cameron Berg skated in and deposited an empty netter in the closing minutes to seal it.

STATS: It’s 10 for the Big Guy.

After netting goals in the final three games of 2022 and nine overall in the first half of the season, Barbolini had not scored in 2023. He continues to lead Miami in goals (10) and is eight points clear of the field in points (22).

P.J. Fletcher and Kumlin both earned assists, the first for each since that New Year’s Eve loss vs. Niagara. Fletcher has 10 helpers, third-best on the team.

— Miami was 15-for-53 on faceoffs (.283). Horrendous.

— The RedHawks, in their worst scoring drought in program history, have been held to seven goals in nine games (0.78) while allowing 39 markers.

— Miami is now last in all of Division I in goal differential. The RedHawks have been outscored, 107-57 for a 50-goal disparity, meaning they average a 1.72-goal loss each game.

Bentley is second-last at minus-43.

THOUGHTS: For the third straight game, the effort for Miami was definitely there. But the RedHawks didn’t get any puck luck the first 40 minutes and a better Omaha team took advantage of its opportunities.

If that Barbolini-Joey Cassetti surge to the net didn’t end up in a puck that lay flat on the ice next to the goal line after getting by Latkoczy, the outcome could’ve been different.

But the Mavericks had more Grade-A chances as well, such as a side open slap shot from the inside edge of the faceoff circle and a rip that was blocked in front of the open net by Zane Demsey.

Miami is currently outmatched by every other team in the NCHC and needs to outplay its conference opponents every night to have a shot at earning wins, and it didn’t do enough to pick up a rare league ‘W’ in this game.

— After a poor first five minutes, the RedHawks matched UNO for the balance of the first two periods but didn’t come out with the same energy in the third period and were unceremoniously deposed.

— Too many bad, bad passes in this game. Blown odd-man chances and breakouts and quality scoring chances against were the end result. UNO finished with 41 shots, the second-highest SOG allowed by Miami this season.

LINEUP CHANGES: MU coach Chris Bergeron went with the same 19 skaters that earned a tie at St. Cloud State last Saturday, and his lone change was in net due to Persson’s illness.

STANDINGS: With just nine league points, Miami is 14 points clear of Colorado College, Minn.-Duluth and North Dakota, who are all tied for fifth place in the league. That means the RedHawks will face the top seed in the NCHC Tournament, which will likely be Denver.


Logan Neaton (photo by Cathy Lachmann/VFTG).

FORWARDS: D. Again, good effort, and coincidentally, the period when it wasn’t was the period in which Barbolini scored, but Miami just wasn’t good enough overall up front. And they won 15 faceoffs the entire game, going 5-15 in the circle the first period. Liked Fletcher’s effort, liked William Hallen taking another step forward and the fourth line played very well. Power play wasn’t nearly good enough for mid-February.

DEFENSEMEN: C. Kind of a mixed bag. Kumlin generated the shot that went in and Omaha was limited in its quality scoring chances. It seemed like Miami D-men lost too many 1-on-1 battles when Mavericks drove the net and made too many poor passes in its own zone.

GOALTENDING: B. The first goal came on a breakaway and the second was tipped in. Neaton’s rebound control was very good. There was a lot of chaos in front of the Miami net and he managed those broken-play situations well overall. For whatever reason he has thrived against Omaha.

FINAL THOUGHTS: After such a competitive first 40 minutes, it felt like the third period was a let-down.

Miami’s lack of scoring — now setting all-time program milestones — seems to have affected team confidence.

This team has been in freefall since that New Year’s Eve loss in the closing seconds vs. Niagara, and the RedHawks have are now winless in 10 straight games and will the underdog in all seven-plus games they play the balance of this season.


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