Oh, how sweep it is.
Miami hockey hosted Omaha on Senior Weekend and swept the Mavericks right out of the Goggin Ice Center. The RedHawks won, 3-0, Friday and completed the series sweep, 4-0, Saturday.
They were led by their core group of seniors, who were playing their last home games in Miami uniforms. Senior captain Gordie Green finished the weekend with four total points, tallying a goal and an assist in both games. Senior goaltender Ryan Larkin was impenetrable in both games, tallying 48 total saves over the series.
Friday’s game opened up right away, with both teams creating quality scoring chances early in the first period. The physical level of play increased, as both teams grew more comfortable throughout the first period.
Miami started the scoring late in the first period, with senior forward Karch Bachman scoring his ninth goal of the season. A great sequence of offensive zone possession gave Green enough time to pass the puck across the face of goal for an easy tap in for Bachman.
As the game progressed, it became clear that the RedHawks were in complete control.
Freshman forward Ryan Savage netted his sixth goal of the season on a Miami powerplay in the second period.
With continued constant pressure throughout the third period, the RedHawks showed determination to finish the night strong. The game was put on ice when Green scored on the powerplay in the third period.
“Our process was good tonight,” Miami head coach Chris Bergeron said. “We were locked in on competing. I thought our self-inflicted stuff was contained, as egregious as it has been. I look at the game tonight and think that our process was very good.”
The second game of the series began with constant pressure from the RedHawks, showing they were determined to finish the last home series of the season in dominant fashion. Although there were no goals scored by either team in the first period, it did not take long for senior defenseman Grant Frederic to open the scoring in the second period.
Once the RedHawks smelled blood in the water, there was no turning back. Miami dominated the rest of the game. Savage scored the only goal of the second period during a RedHawk powerplay. A quick faceoff win in the offensive zone led to the puck finding its way to the front of the net where Savage put it home.
Junior forward Casey Gilling and Green put the RedHawks in complete control by each scoring a goal in the third period. Gilling found the back of the net on a floated puck into the zone that the Maverick goaltender never saw coming. Green’s goal was scored after a Bachman breakaway that was originally there but was then tapped into the back of the net by Green.
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“What a job the guys did this weekend to be able to bounce back after a weekend like last weekend at Denver,” Larkin said. “It is inspiring, and hopefully we can keep it rolling and be a team that no one wants to see come playoffs.”
The RedHawks play their last regular season series next weekend, March 6 and 7, on the road against Western Michigan. Both games will be available online on NCHC.tv.