Denver tops Miami to force split
OXFORD, Ohio (WRKC) - Defending national champion and No. 4/5 Denver scored a couple of first period goals and held off a third-period charge to top Miami 4-1 on Saturday night.
Saturday's result gives the RedHawks (9-9-2, 4-5-1-0 National Collegiate Hockey) their third-straight series split.
After Miami got on the board early on Friday, it took 50 seconds for Denver (12-6-4, 6-4-2-1 NCHC) to jump ahead as Jared Lukosevicius got fed in transition and buried his ninth goal of the season to make it 1-0.
Denver had a 6-1 lead in shots through the first 11 minutes and change as Ryan Larkin was tested on a couple quality bids by Logan O'Connor about nine minutes in.
A Miami penalty with 8:24 remaining in the first period put Denver on the power play and another minor 57 seconds later made it a two-man advantage for DU. While MU managed to kill off the first penalty, it was unable to reorganize itself afterwards as Lukosevicius got fed for a backdoor goal, making it 2-0 with 6:18 left in the opening frame. That's where the score stood at intermission as Denver outshot Miami 13-2 in the frame.
Offense remained difficult to come by for Miami in the second period, though it kept Denver from adding to its lead. Both teams had one power play, but MU had only three shots on goal and remained behind by a pair after 40 minutes.
The Pioneers made it 3-0 35 seconds into the third as Dylan Gambrell scored on a net mouth scramble shortly after a power play expired.
Looking for an offensive spark, Miami pulled Larkin from the crease for a sixth skater with 15:04 left and the strategy generated MU's first sustained attack of the night. After several minutes in the offensive zone, MU capitalized with a delayed penalty in progress as Casey Gilling flung a puck into the middle where Scott Dornbrock tipped it out to Kiefer Sherwood at the left circle, where he buried his fourth goal of the year to pull within 3-1 with 10:08 left.
Denver killed the ensuing power play, despite some more Miami pressure. The RedHawks again went to the well with 6-on-5 play after a Pioneer icing with four and a half minutes remaining. MU again put pressure on the DU net, but could not draw closer as Henrik Borgstrom scored on the empty net with 36.4 seconds remaining to seal it.
With a 20-shot third period, Miami pulled the final shots within 33-25 in Denver's favor on the evening. The Pioneers went 1-for-5 on the power play while killing off all three RedHawk man advantages.
Miami returns to the ice on Friday when it opens a weekend series at Omaha. Puck drop for game one is at 8:07 p.m. ET.
Information provided by Miami Univ Athletics.