Mercyhurst jumped out to an early lead in its own building Sunday, but after that, the game was all Miami’s.
After that first Laker goal, Miami scored four unanswered on the way to a 7-4 win.
The RedHawk offense looked as good as it has all year. Miami’s forecheck was suffocating and they played well in transition, moving the puck up ice quickly and shutting down Mercyhurst often in the neutral zone.
Junior forward Chase Pletzke and senior forwards Matt Barry and Michael Regush made up a line that drove play and created chances all afternoon.
Barry and Regush each recorded a goal and an assist, and Regush finished a breakaway with a spectacular move to beat the Mercyhurst goalie.
Forwards Monte Graham, a senior, and Matt Barbolini, a sophomore, each contributed two points and played well on the defensive end. Graham started the game on the fourth line, but by the third period he was getting shifts with the top lines, using his speed and knack for being in the right spot to drive play.
Barbolini played more aggressively than he has all season and looked like one of the best players on the ice. He was rewarded with multiple penalty kill opportunities, and he played well there too.
Senior forward Jack Olmstead was in the right spot multiple times in the game and finished with three points. Junior forward Ryan Savage was all over the ice, finding space and creating shots for himself and teammates.
Senior defenseman and captain Derek Daschke played big minutes and was reliable as usual. He also led the team in shots on goal with five. Daschke and sophomore defenseman Robby Drazner were paired up, and they dominated play in all three zones.
6-foot-6-inch senior defenseman Andrew Sinard made an impact, using his big body and long reach to consistently break up plays in the defensive zone. Sophomore defenseman Hampus Rydqvist recorded a point for the third consecutive game.
Sophomore Ludvig Persson played well in net. He made some acrobatic saves on the way to stopping 26-of-30 Mercyhurst shots.
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The RedHawks head home now for their winter break before returning to Oxford shortly after Christmas.
Next, Miami plays Mercyhurst again, this time at home. The game is scheduled for January 4, 2022, at 6 p.m.