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Brotherhood sweeps Colorado College on senior weekend

D7516 Hockey vs Colorado
D7516 Hockey vs Colorado

By Harrison Schwarz, Staff Writer

Nine seniors closed out their last regular season home series in the Goggin Ice Center on a high note, as the Miami University hockey team (15-14-3, 9-11-2-2 NCHC) swept Colorado College (6-25-1, 4-17-1-0 NCHC) with 3-0 win Friday and 4-0 win Saturday.

Senior goaltender Jay Williams put on a clinic, stopping 55 total shots on goal in two shutout performances. He ties Connor Knapp for fourth on Miami's all-time wins list with 46 career victories.

"It was a tremendous performance by the team," Williams said. "If you look at the guys blocking shots, we really limited their grade A scoring chances and their second and third opportunities. The wins are huge. It keeps us alive and it's exciting."

Saturday's victory moves Miami above .500 for the first time since Nov. 7. It also keeps them in a fourth-place tie in the NCHC standings with University of Minnesota-Duluth at 31 points. University of North Dakota leads the conference with 53 points.

Nine seniors were recognized prior to Saturday's game: forwards Alex Gacek, Sean Kuraly, Kevin Morris and Andrew Schmit; defensemen Matthew Caito, Chris Joyaux, Michael Mooney and Taylor Richart; and goaltender Jay Williams.

"There were a lot of tears before the game and I remember looking around and seeing some of the younger guys had tears in their eyes, and I said, 'guys we aren't dead,'" Morris said with a laugh. "But, it means that we're doing our job and passing on the legacy. Hopefully those guys can carry that on into the future. It was definitely a special moment for the senior class."

Richart had a career weekend, scoring two goals in as many games after previously scoring just one goal in his Miami career.

Physicality was the main theme in Friday's game. A combined 13 penalties were called, including a 10-minute misconduct penalty on junior forward Anthony Louis, a five-minute interference call on sophomore defenseman Scott Dornbrock and a 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct call on CC freshman defenseman Ben Israel.

Offensively, the game started out slow until Miami went on the power play 8:13 into the first period. Twenty-seven seconds into the power play, Kuraly swung a pass over to freshman forward Kiefer Sherwood, who one-timed a shot into the net from the left circle.

Richart made it 2-0 when he delivered a shot into the back of the net from the point off a well-placed pass from freshman forward Josh Melnick 9:27 into the second period.

"The goal felt good," Richart said. "Usually I'm not the one to score. I saw an opening and I put my head down and I shot it."

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Melnick put the game out of reach for Colorado College after he wristed a shot into the net from the slot with 1:32 left in the game.

The Tigers outshot Miami 31-26, but the RedHawks killed seven CC power plays Friday evening.

Miami was even more dominant Saturday.

After a scoreless first period, Richart put the 'Hawks up 1-0 when he wristed a puck over the shoulder of the Tiger's goalie 13:04 into the second period.

Morris got a three-goal third period started when he received a centering pass from freshman forward Jack Roslovic. He smacked a shot through traffic into the net 11:04 into the period to make it 2-0.

Less than 90 seconds later, Sherwood made it 3-0 after backhanding a rebound into the net.

Junior forward Anthony Louis scored an empty net goal at the final buzzer to make the final score 4-0.

"The weekend was pretty special," Morris said. "The people around us made it special. We have an unbelievable support group with the families, our hockey staff, the teachers, and the fans."

The RedHawks outshot the Tigers 44-24 on the evening and went 1-for-4 on the power play while killing off all three CC power plays.

Melnick put up his fourth and fifth multi-point games of the season with a goal and an assist Friday and two assists Saturday. Roslovic also had a multi-point game Saturday with two assists.

Miami enters the final regular season series tied with University of Minnesota-Duluth for the fourth and final home ice advantage spot for the NCHC Playoffs. The teams play a winner-take-all series next weekend in Duluth, Minn.

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