Oxford, OH – The #1 ranked SCSU Huskies returned to NCHC conference play on Friday, November 30th and found themselves in a run and gun game with the Miami University RedHawks. The teams combined for 74 shots on goal and 6 first-period goals ultimately settling for a 4-4 overtime tie. Scoreless after the five-minute overtime session and the obligatory three on three overtime session, Blake LIzotte finally settled things quickly in the required shootout on the Huskies first attempt to earn the extra league point. Entertaining for the fans for sure at Steve Cady Rink but most likely frustrating for the SCSU coaching staff to see its team lose some races for the puck, allow a short-handed goal and see Miami’s Casey Gilling score a bad-angle goal with about seven and a half minutes remaining to tie the contest. And despite firing 33 shots on backup goaltender Jordan Uhelski the Huskies could only beat him twice in the 4-4 final.
Scoring was early and often in the first period with Robby Jackson (Walker | Perbix) lighting the lamp a mere 1:08 into the first period. Jackson beat Miami starter Ryan Larkin with a move at the goal mouth and the puck appeared to go over the goal line but play went on for about a minute before a review of the play took place and Jackson was awarded his 4th goal of the season for a 1-0 SCSU lead. The Huskies hardly had time to celebrate as the RedHawks Scott Corbett scored 9 seconds later off a shot from between the dots that may have been slightly deflected and beat Smith high to tie the game. Less than two minutes later Miami’s Bray Crowder was whistled for slashing and Jackson (Poehling | Schuldt) added another SCSU score at 4:16. Jackson took a feed from Poehling and he beat Larkin top-shelf with a rocket of a wrist shot from the top of the circles. But again, the one-goal lead was fleeting as instead of capitalizing on a Grant Hutton penalty they yielded a short-handed goal to Monte Graham, his first goal of the year unassisted at 5:36. While battling along the back wall, the puck escaped Jimmy Schuldt and slid to an all-alone Graham and he hammered it past Smith for a 2-2 contest. Miami goaltender Larkin left the game nine minutes into the contest following a collision at the goalmouth and backup Jordan Uhelski, a transfer from Alabama-Huntsville was inserted. SCSU capitalized on another power play at 13:34 when first-year forward Sam Hentges (Newell | Walker) beat Uhelski from the left slot for another one-goal lead at 3-2. But, the resilient RedHawks,despite being outshot badly, tied the game again on a nice effort by Karch Bachman at 17:40 for his 7th goal of the season. Karchman chased down a loose puck into the SCSU zone and beat Smith with a wrist shot top shelf from the left circle. SCSU had an 18-9 advantage in shots in period one yet the game was tied 3-3.
The Huskies started the second period strong with the Miami defense allowing them to free-wheel in the RedHawks zone but they were unable to beat Uhelski. However, it required a RedHawk timeout at 16:44 to regroup. Three minutes later, the Huskies regained the lead at 18:58 on a nice play by Patrick Newell (J Lizotte). Newell attacked the net and fashioned a nice toe drag and beat Uhelski with a backhand for a 4-3 SCSU advantage. Once again, the Huskies had a huge advantage in shots 14-8 but still only held on to a one-goal lead after 40 minutes of play.
Period three fell into the domain of the goaltenders as Uhelski turned back a lone break by Ryan Poehlng and Smith stopped an opportunity by Karch Bachman that was nearly identical to a shot he converted earlier in the game. Karchman, a Florida Panthers draftee had an outstanding game for the RedHawks and was their most effective player all evening. A much closer game in the third period found each team trading rushes up the ice and the goaltenders keeping the game tied. But, the RedHawks Casey Gilling finally knotted the game at 12:54 with a goal from a bad angle shot from outside the left circle. Each team traded 11 shots on goal in the period as the game remained tied at 4-4 to end regulation.
A scoreless five-minute overtime had the RedHawks outshooting the Huskies 2-1. The squads skated to another scoreless three on three session for the extra league point but despite a shot off the post by Blake Lizotte and a nice save on Jack Ahcan by Uhelski it remained tied at 4-4 leading to the obligatory shootout. Miami’s Casey Gilling failed on his opportunity but Blake Lizotte made quick work of his handing the Huskies the extra league point. The game officially ends in a 4-4 tie.
Coaches comments: ” I’m not sure how to take that first period said coach Blasi. “They are a skilled hockey team but we had a resilient group tonight and kept coming back and finding a way. I thought the second period was a little better and the third period was our best period of the night. All in all, we ended the game really well. We just have to make sure tomorrow night we continue with that effort and determination.” Concerning the play of goaltender Uhelski Blasi said ” It’s a tough spot for any goaltender to come in halfway through the first period. Seeing a potent team like that coming at you in waves – that’s a tough position to be in and he handled himself well”
” We have to put this one behind us and get ready for the next game. We got better tonight and that’s the most important thing” said Blasi.
For the game, SCSU outshot Miami 44-30. The Huskies were 2 for 3 on the man-advantage while the RedHawks were 0 for 3. SCSU’s Smith stopped 26 of 30 shots on goal while the combination of Ryan Larkin and Jordan Uhelski turned aside 40 of 44. SCSU had 48 faceoff wins vs 22 for the RedHawks. The Huskies blocked 22 shots while Miami blocked 8.
Robby Jackson (2-0-2), Patrick Newell (1-1-2), Nolan Walker (0-2-2) all had a multiple point game for SCSU.
Stars of the Game: #1 Jackson (SCSU) #2 Uhelski (Miami) #3 Newell (SCSU)