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#9 Miami University Outlasts Ohio State 2-1

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#9 Miami (18-8-2, 13-5-2 CCHA) broke a 1-1 stalemate 1:38 into the third period thanks to a Ray Eichenlaub goal. After taking the lead, Miami held off a flurry of scoring chances by Ohio State (9-10-5, 7-7-4 CCHA), surviving four OSU power plays to win 2-1. The victory not only ensured the weekend series for the RedHawks but also the season series. Playing five games in a little over a month, Miami won the season series 2-1-2.

Furious back-and-forth action does not even begin to describe the first period. Each team scored a goal and combined for 23 shots and penalties while clashing frequently in an intense 20 minutes. That’s exactly the type of play expected in a rivalry matchup.

Just like Friday night, Miami was the first to light up the scoreboard on a Ryan Jones goal. Jones exited the penalty box and quickly raced to Miami’s zone, joining teammates Nathan Davis and Dane Hetland. Davis, Miami’s leader in points with 41 points, skated into OSU’s zone and lost the puck in front of the net. Hetland swooped in but was unable to get good wood on the puck; however, he was successful in pulling Buckeyes’ netminder Joseph Palmer out of the net. The puck finally found its way to Jones. Jones gained control of the puck with his skate, allowing him to score into the open net.

It did not take long for the Buckeyes to respond. OSU answered a little over two minutes later at 5:06 on an even-strength, unassisted goal by forward Tommy Goebel. Goebel scored after a costly Miami turnover in their zone. Marty Guerin was unable to handle an Eichenlaub pass, and Goebel jumped all over the puck, rifling a shot from the right circle over RedHawks’ goalie Jeff Zatkoff’s right shoulder. Goebel also had a goal Friday night in the 4-4 tie in Columbus.

After a scoreless second period, where both teams let scoring chances come and go, OSU’s forward Bryce Anderson came within inches of giving the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead. The left-handed forward skated up the right boards before firing a shot over Zatkoff’s right arm, hitting the left post, and rolling behind Zatkoff and out of harm's way.

At the time it appeared that Anderson’s shot hit the net and bounced out; however, replays showed the puck clearly hit the post. Even though the Central Collegiate Hockey Associate has the technology to review all goals this season, the officials elected not to review the sequence, much to the chagrin of Buckeye’s head coach John Markell.

Markell, still visibly upset after the contest, rhetorically asked, “Why do we have video equipment? I am disappointed that something that was reviewable was not reviewed.” Markell paused, and then added, “Every goal is reviewed in the NHL because they have the equipment. This season, we do too, and it should have been reviewed.”

To add more insult to injury for Markell and his Buckeyes, Eichenlaub’s goal came right after Anderson’s near miss. The sophomore defenseman took a pass from freshman forward Jarod Palmer in Miami’s zone and skated the length of the ice on a 3-on-1 attack. In OSU’s zone, Eichenlaub weaved his way to the left of the net before unleashing a laser over Palmer’s right arm, giving Miami the decisive goal.

Eichenlaub had three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in the weekend series, earning a second star Friday night and a first star today. The modest Wilmette, Illinois native deflected praise afterwards, saying, “[my teammates] had a lot to do with it.”

After skating to a 4-4 tie Friday night, the RedHawks did a much better job defensively, cutting down on the odd-man rushes and shots on goal. Miami’s coach Enrico Blasi said the squad worked on that aspect during Saturday’s practice. “We practiced pretty hard yesterday. You can’t give a team that many chances.”

Markell complimented the RedHawks’ performance, saying, “We weren’t given as many odd-man rushes today. I thought our power play was tough, but Zatkoff stood tall.”

NUMB3RS:

• Miami snapped OSU’s four-game win streak and six-game unbeaten streak.

• Miami was outshot 39-27 Friday night, but won the shot-on-goal battle 32-27 Sunday.

• The RedHawks rank second nationally in penalty killing at 90.4 percent, worst only to Vermont’s 90.8 percent.  Miami held OSU scoreless in <strike>eight</strike> 10 power play opportunities this weekend.

• Miami also won last year’s season series 3-1-1. 

• With the win, Miami moves within a point of CCHA leader Notre Dame (29).  OSU remains tied for fifth with Nebraska-Omaha.   

• This coming weekend Miami will travel to South Bend with the conference lead on the line for a pair of games against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  OSU will visit Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for a weekend series with Lake Superior State.

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