Oxford, OH – Luke Jaycox scored the game-winning goal with 25 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Huskies to a 2-1 win over the Miami RedHawks at the Goggin Ice Center in Oxford, OH on Friday, December 6. The win was their first conference victory of the season and rewarded the team for a solid effort on the road. It wasn’t an easy result with the Huskies having to fend off four Miami power play opportunities including two in the final period. The Huskies now look to the rematch on Saturday as they attempt to earn their first sweep of the season.
A tactical first period had the Huskies outshooting the RedHawks 11-6 mainly on the basis of a late-period penalty to Miami’s Ryan Savage. The period was accentuated by a large number of icing calls – four on the Huskies and three on the RedHawks as the teams jockeyed for control of the puck. Miami had the first opportunity with Gordie Green getting behind the SCSU defense and skating in all alone on Hrenak. He had Hrenak beat but placed his shot off the right post. Puck possession was fairly even for the period and Miami was carrying a 5-4 advantage in shots with slightly over four minutes to play in the period. A shot off the post by Kevin Fitzgerald with 4:10 remaining in the period nearly gave the Huskies a lead and they finally cashed in at 17:19 of the period on a breakaway goal by Jami Krannila (Perbix | Ahcan), his second goal of the season. The Huskies caught the RedHawks defense sleeping and Perbix fed Krannila breaking in on Valentine with a stretch pass and he slid the puck under the Miami goaltender for a 1-0 lead. A kneeing penalty to the RedHawk’s Ryan Savage at 17:53 provided several grade A opportunities but, despite good movement on the power play the Huskies couldn’t beat Valentine for the second time in period one. The RedHawks nearly turned tables on the Huskies with a two on one break after Savage departed the penalty box but his shot from about twenty feet out reached Hrenak as the buzzer sounded.
The teams skated to a scoreless second period with the Huskies outshooting Miami 9-6 in the period. Nick Poehling had one of the key opportunities of the period by the Huskies with a wraparound attempt at 4:13 but Valentine was able to get his pad in the way. SCSU also failed to convert a four on two at 4:38 with a puck just out of the reach of Nolan Walker who was streaking in on goal. The teams traded penalties – two aside the balance of the period with Kuster whistled for a cross-check at 4:58, Miami’s Sinard at 10:17, SCSU’s Trejbal for tripping at 17:33 and finally the RedHawks Phil Knies for goaltender interference at 18:45. However, neither team was able to take advantage of their man-advantage and SCSU entered period three with a 1-0 advantage. The Huskies outshot Miami 9-6 in the period and failed to convert on slightly over two minutes of power play time.
The Huskies had 1:35 of Knies penalty carry over into period three but they were unable to generate much of an attack. The RedHawks knotted things up quickly after the expiration of the penalty – 17 seconds to be exact on Casey Gilling’s fourth goal of the season. But, it was Karch Bachman who seems to step up his game against the Huskies who made it happen. Bachman used his speed on the outside to drive to the net with Hrenak stopping the initial shop but Gilling there to bury the rebound. Things heated up after that with a nice save by Valentine on a quick shot by Fitzgerald from the left circle and shortly thereafter Hrenak making a big save on John Sladic off a two on one. The Huskies staved off consecutive penalties to Easton Brodzinski for holding at 6:44 and then Nolan Walker at 13:51 for tripping. Ryan Savage’s second penalty of the contest at 15:37 for hooking gave the Huskies a late opportunity and Easton Brodzinski nearly scored the go-ahead goal placing a shot off the post on the power play. With the game looking to enter an overtime session some offensive zone possession by the Huskies led to the late game heroics by Luke Jaycox. With Miami failing to pick up their defensive assigments, Jaycox was left all alone at the top of the right circle and Brodzinski keenly fed the puck to him and Jaycox unloaded a hard shot that beat Valetine for the sudden game-winner. This was the 5th career goal for the junior defenseman.
In his post game comments, Miami coach Chris Bergeron reflected on the game stating ” (we’re) not happy with the way we played tonight. We took two penalties on power play opportunities. We were completely undisciplined and that’s unacceptable. It was not even close to our best game. We were not good with the puck in our zone . We wanted to defend better and we wanted to earn the puck and make the next play. We did not and gave it right back to St. Cloud. Overall, it was not a good night for us.”
On the play of junior Grant Valentine Bergeron said ” Valentine played well but unfortunately the team in front of him was not very good. He was our best player by far tonight.”
“We had a lack of discipline and we are finding ways to lose games. This is a team that has had a bunch of losing the last few years and that’s showing it’s head too much.” said Bergeron.
SCSU outshot the RedHawks 28-21 for the game and in a solid effort by Hrenak he turned aside 20 of 21 shots to earn his third win of the season. His record improves to 3-6-4. Junior Grant Valentine took the loss for Miami stopping 26 of 28 shots on goal. Both teams were penalized four times and neither squad had any success on the man-advantage.
SCSU earned their first win in conference play and their record stands at 3-6-4 overall and 1-4-0 NCHC. Miami is now 4-9-3 overall and 2-4-1 NCHC.
Stars of the Game: #1 Hrenak (SCSU) #2 Valentine (Miami) #3 Jaycox (SCSU)