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Brotherhood splits series with Minnesota Duluth

Photo by Lauren Olson, Photography Editor

By Grace Remington, For The Miami Student

A Blake Coleman goal in overtime capped a two-goal deficit Saturday to give the No. 5/5 Miami University hockey team a 4-3 win over No. 6/6 University of Minnesota Duluth after Friday's 3-2 loss.

"My eyes lit up when I saw Louis had the puck," the senior forward Coleman said. "I just tried to give him a target. I didn't see it until it hit my stick. It was a pretty exciting one."

The weekend split moves Miami (19-10-1, 12-7-1-1 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) into sole possession of second place in the league with 38 points.

Junior defenseman Matthew Caito started the Red and White revival Saturday with a goal at the 1:26 mark in the second frame. The RedHawks tied the game on power played goal by junior forward Sean Kuraly 2:18 into the third period with a score on the power play. Freshman defenseman Louie Belpedio set up a 2-on-1 for sophomore forward Anthony Louis and Coleman to complete the comeback victory.

"We actually called that play on the bench," Louis said. "Louie told me he was going to throw it hard off the glass. I said 'alright I'll get the puck, no matter if I have to beat the icing or go through the guy.'"

The RedHawks outshot the Bulldogs (19-12-1, 11-8-1 NCHC) 49-22 Saturday. Junior goaltender Ryan McKay had 19 saves for his third win of the season. MU went 1 for 5 on the power play, while UMD connected on 2-of-4 man advantages.

"We were playing with a lot more intensity and determination tonight," head coach Enrico Blasi said. "I'm really proud of the way our team hung in there. The guys could've quit after 3-1, but they kept coming."

The 'Hawks completed the comeback without junior forward Riley Barber, the team's second-leading scorer. Barber was a healthy scratch, but Blasi said he wasn't trying to send a message.

"I'm not sure I was trying to send any type of message," Blasi said. "We know what we have in our locker room. We know how we do things and the standard that we set. We just have to hold each other accountable to that standard."

Friday's loss came after UMD struck twice in the third period. Duluth outshot Miami 32-31 overall and 16-8 in the third frame. The 'Hawks were 0 for 4 on the power play and 2 for 4 on their penalty kill. Junior goaltender Jay Williams had 29 saves in his fifth loss.

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The RedHawks hit the road this weekend for a series with the University of Denver.

With two weekends left in the regular season, the race for the NCHC title is getting tighter, but Blasi is focusing on one game at a time.

"We don't worry about what other teams are doing and what the standings are," Blasi said. "That's a recipe for disaster. Right now we are going to focus on Denver for Friday, and then we'll go from there."