Providence scores late to spoil Miami's rally

Friars score late to spoil RedHawks' rally (Miami Univ Athletics)

OXFORD, Ohio (WKRC) - After falling into an early deficit, the Miami hockey team put together a furious rally, but No. 5/11 Providence scored just before the final horn to pull out a 3-2 win on Saturday night.

The RedHawks (0-2) dug out of a 2-0 hole in the third period, but a Friar (2-0) tally with 0.9 seconds left secured them the weekend series.

Things got off to an inauspicious start as a five minute major and game misconduct penalty put the RedHawks shorthanded just 26 seconds into the contest. Miami did yeoman’s work over the first three minutes of the penalty kill, even generating a good shorthanded chance for Gordie Green that Hayden Hawkey made a stop on. That was followed by Ryan Larkin making an impressive stop on Scott Conway during a 2-on-1 rush for Providence.

With under two minutes left on the power play, the Friars struck twice in a 26-second span with Vimal Sukumaran finishing a back door play and Erik Foley scoring afterwards to make it 2-0.

After the penalty expired, the RedHawks then got an opportunity to work with an extended power play as the Friars were whistled for a five-minute major and game misconduct. The long power play generated three shots on goal, but did not bring Miami any closer as the score sat at 2-0 midway through the first. Not much was generated in the middle of the ice with five-on-five play the remainder of the period as PC went to the dressing room with a 7-4 shot advantage and the two power play tallies.

Offense was hard to come by for Miami for the first seven and change of the second period as it got only one shot through to Hawkey over that span. A PC penalty with 7:31 gone by gave MU another man advantage that it nearly capitalized on early when Louie Belpedio flung a shot through traffic, but the puck hit the post and Providence eventually killed off the penalty.

The RedHawks’ third power play was the charm, however, as Grant Hutton one-timed a blast from the left point inside the far post with 6:57 to go in the middle stanza to cut the gap to 2-1. Scott Dornbrock fed the puck into Hutton’s wheelhouse after Ben Lown dug the puck out of traffic in the middle to earn assists on the play that cut the deficit to 2-1.

PC got one power play in the latter stages of the frame, but strong positional play and a big stop by Ryan Larkin moving laterally kept it a one-shot game after 40 minutes.

The RedHawks entered the third period again hunting for an equalizer trailing by a goal and got it with 6:57 gone by when Hutton gained the zone and skated around to the half wall before feeding Casey Gilling at the point. His shot hit a Friar body and redirected in to tie the score at 2-2. Larkin also picked up an assist after feeding Hutton with the puck behind his own net at the start of his rush.

That tying tally energized Miami further as it carried play in the Providence end for large stretches of the final stanza, eventually earning a power play with 5:13 remaining. The Friars managed to kill off that man advantage to keep the game tied entering the latter stages of regulation.

As time wound down, the puck slid into the Miami zone and Providence got the puck to the middle for a shot that whistled wide of the net. The rebound got to the near half wall and a shot get redirected into the net by Kaspar Bjorkqvist with 0.9 seconds left to allow PC to escape with the win after MU’s valiant rally.

The Friars ended up with a slight shot advantage at 22-20 and they went 2-for-5 on the power play compared to the RedHawks’ 1-for-5 figure. Larkin made 19 saves for MU while Hawkey made 18 stops for PC.

Miami plays its next three contests on the road, beginning with an exhibition at the USA National Team Development Program on Oct. 13. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.

Information provided by Miami University Athletics

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