Photo by Angelo Gelfuso
By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer
The Miami University women's hockey team opened conference play with a bang as it swept the University of Michigan with 5-2 and 4-0 victories. The RedHawks (6-0, 2-0 CCWHA) lead their league with 12 points, four more than second place teams Davenport University and Robert Morris University.
"It was a good weekend for us, getting the four points in the start of conference play," head coach Scott Hicks said. "We dominated early in Friday's game, but we let our foot off the gas in the third. We have another conference opponent coming up against Davenport and we have to work on being more consistent. This weekend, it wasn't just one person dominating; a lot of people stepped up and we got production from all three lines. It's important for us for our depth to come through for us."
Miami took a 1-0 lead 34 seconds into Friday night's game, as freshman defender Becca Senden buried a slap shot. The 'Hawks added to the lead when sophomore right wing Rachael Booth scored on a power play with one second left in the first period. Shots in the period were 15-3 in favor of the RedHawks.
Senden found the back of the net again in the second period after 1:19 elapsed and freshman forward Alyssa Vissali scored off of a pass from sophomore forward Jordan Hanson around the midway point of the period to give the 'Hawks a 4-0 lead. The RedHawks tacked on 21 shots on goal to up their shot lead to 36-11.
Michigan struck first in the third period with a goal 2:20 into the period, but Miami responded with a goal off a wrist shot from junior forward Izzy Smith. The Wolverines added another goal before the period ended.
Sophomore goaltender Emalee Wills stopped 17 of the 19 shots she faced en route to her third win of the season. Sophomore right wing Kaley Mooney led the team with two assists on the night.
For the first time all season, the RedHawks were held scoreless in a period, as they failed to score in the opening frame Saturday. Shots were 11-8 in favor of the home team as Michigan stood toe-to-toe with the defending national champions in the period.
Sophomore center Katie Augustine drew first blood in the game with a power play goal at the 11:19 mark in the second period and the 'Hawks scored again five minutes later as Hanson scored off an assist from sophomore right wing Cassidy Guthrie.
Smith found the back of the net again at the 10:24 mark of the third period via an Augustine assist. Senior defender Lindsey Ellis rounded out the scoring by connecting on a wrister late in the period to put Miami up 4-0.
Freshman goaltender Carly VanOrden recorded the first shutout of her career and her third win of the season as she stopped all 27 shots she faced.
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"Friday, we were more upbeat, had more energy, and were more prepared because we played Michigan last season," Smith said. "We knew what we had with our team and put specific people on the penalty kill to get some odd man rushes, and keep them in their zone. After scoring the first goal, they had a hard time keeping up with our high tempo until we got tired in the third period. Saturday, they kept up with us in the first period, but we were able to get going and Carly VanOrden picked up the shutout."
The RedHawks round out their season-opening home stand with games against Davenport 10 p.m. Friday and 5:15 p.m. Saturday.