By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer
The Miami University women's hockey team kept its stranglehold on the CCWHA standings this weekend with a 1-1 tie and a 5-2 victory over Adrian College in conference play at the Goggin Ice Center.
The RedHawks (12-0-1) have 25 points on the season, while Grand Valley State University is in second place with 15.
"This weekend was a challenge for us," head coach Scott Hicks said. "Adrian's a pretty good team and we were able to live with the tie on Friday night and make some adjustments on Saturday. On Friday, we were have trouble penetrating the offensive zone and getting quality chances. On Saturday we were able to get penetration while having an effective forecheck and creating some turnovers. We realize from this weekend that there are teams that can play with us, so we'll have to be mentally and physically ready to go when we step out on the ice and not get caught up with our own press clippings of how good we are."
In the first matchup against Adrian, the teams played scoreless hockey for two periods before sophomore right wing Rachel Booth drew first blood in the game with 6:12 left in the third. Junior defender Morgan McGrath and sophomore forward Jordan Hanson picked up assists on the play. The Bulldogs responded with a goal of their own less than three minutes later to force an overtime in which neither team could come away with a win.
Miami held the shots on goal advantage in the game, as it had 39 shots to Adrian's eight. The team's penalty kill was effective on four occasions, although it was unable to capitalize on the power play, as it had four opportunities of its own.
The second contest turned out to be a different story. as Adrian struck first at the 6:42 mark of the first period. But sophomore center Katie Augustine scored off passes by sophomore right wing Kaley Mooney and junior forward Izzy Smith about seven minutes later to even things up. Junior center Haley Williams then exploded for three goals in the second, each coming off passes by Booth. Her three goals including a shorthanded goal with 8:57 left in the period.
The Bulldogs refused to go out without a fight, as they punched in a power play goal early in the third period. However, freshman defender Becca Senden sealed it with a score at the 17:17 mark off dishes by sophomore right wing Cassidy Guthrie and freshman forward Alyssa Vissali.
The 'Hawks continued to show their shooting prowess as they recorded 36 shots on goal, compared to the 15 by Adrian.
Freshman goaltender Carly VanOrden has yet to taste defeat in goal for Miami. However, the team was again 0-4 on the power play, while the Bulldogs were 1-4 on their opportunities.
"We knew coming in Adrian was going to be competitive," Williams said. "We played a good game on Friday and they played a good game, so I guess you could say that's the way the puck bounces. On Saturday, we had to come out harder and show who wanted it more and we definitely wanted it more. On Friday night, I injured my knee a little bit and might taken it too easy and after it was 1-1 on Saturday, something needed to happen and fortunately we were in position to put it in. It'll be another big weekend with No. 2 Liberty, since they'll come even harder than Adrian and we'll have to be well prepared so we can defend our ranking."
The RedHawks continue their homestand at the Goggin Ice Center this weekend as they host Liberty University 9:15 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday.