clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MAC Hockey: Miami Sweeps Western Michigan

The RedHawks took two conference games from Western Michigan in Oxford this weekend.

GS Photo/WMU Media File

Author's note: People new to Hustle Belt may think to themselves, "the MAC doesn't sponsor hockey!" They'd be right. But three MAC schools do have hockey programs, and we cover their exploits here, especially when they play each other.

The Western Michigan Broncos made the trip to Oxford's Steve Cady Arena to face the National Collegiate Hockey Conference-leading Miami RedHawks this weekend. After a close-fought 1-0 win on Friday, the RedHawks got their brooms out for a dominating 5-2 win on Saturday, sweeping WMU to maintain their spot atop the NCHC standings.

Friday's Game

The first night's action started quickly, with the Broncos' Aaron Hadley whistled for interference at 2:15 of the first period. Blake Coleman, assisted by Austin Czarnik and Louie Belpedio, cashed in on the power play to score his seventh goal of the season and put the RedHawks up 1-0 at the 3:20 mark.

That was it for the night's scoring. Miami's penalty killers took care of four Western Michigan power plays, and goalie Jay Williams stopped all 27 shots he faced on the way to his second shutout of the year. The game's three stars were Williams, Bronco goalie Lukas Hafner (who did, after all, stop 22 of 23 shots), and Coleman.

Saturday's Game

Saturday, in contrast, saw a scoreless first period despite four RedHawk power plays. Hafner was outstanding in the Western Michigan goal, stopping all fourteen shots he faced. The Broncos opened the scoring in the second period, jumping out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from Will Kessel, assisted by Chris Dienes. After a five-minute major and game misconduct on Western's Mike McKee, Miami answered with a goal of their own, as Anthony Louis, assisted by Matthew Caito and Sean Kuraly, converted the power play chance.

Louis's goal opened the floodgates for the RedHawks, who scored three more goals in the final ten minutes of the second. (Coleman, from Louis and Cody Murphy; Kuraly, from Caito; and Murphy, from Coleman and Chris Joyaux.) Miami took a 4-1 lead into the third.

As time ticked away, Coleman was whistled for elbowing with about three minutes left, giving the Broncos one last chance to get back in the game. With seconds left on the power play, Frederik Tiffels (assisted by Kenney Morrison and Justin Kovacs) scored to bring Western within two. But with ten seconds left on the clock, Riley Barber (assisted by Czarnik and Coleman) became the fifth RedHawk to score on the night when he fired one into the Broncos' empty net.

The final score was Miami 5, Western 2, and the game's three stars were Coleman, Louis, and Murphy.

With the sweep, Miami moved to 10-4-0 (6-2-0 NCHC), matching their conference win total from last season's rough go in the NCHC. Western fell to 3-8-1 (1-5-1-1 NCHC) on the year. The RedHawks and Broncos meet again in Kalamzoo on January 31, then play at Soldier Field as part of the Hockey City Classic on February 7.