Miami beats Ala-Huntsville 2-1 on power-play goals
Miami of Ohio made Alabama-Huntsville pay for its penalties.
Curtis McKenzie and Cameron Schilling scored power-play goals and top-seeded Miami of Ohio dominated play in a 2-1 victory against Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals.
The Chargers (12-18-3) cut the lead to 2-1 with a power-play by Brennan Barker with 38 seconds left, about 7 seconds after pulling goalie Cameron Talbot.
On Sunday night, Miami will play Michigan, a 5-1 winner over Bemidji State in the second semifinal, on Sunday night for a spot in the Frozen Four.
The Chargers struggled to keep up with the quicker RedHawks (28-7-7), repeatedly drawing penalties. The RedHawks had nine power plays to five for Alabama-Huntsville. Miami also had 38 shots on net to17 for the Chargers.
``Nine power plays wasn't what we drew up there,'' Alabama-Huntsville coach Danton Cole said. ``They're dangerous. They keep putting the puck on the net and keep coming at you.''
McKenzie, who also had an assist, scored the first goal midway through the first period, firing in a pass by Carter Camper from behind the net.
``He made a great feed out to me and I caught Talbot cheating a bit there and just put it over his pads,'' McKenzie said.
Blasi said that goal calmed his team. Schilling made it 2-0 early in the second period when he partially fanned on a shot out front. The puck popped up, hit Talbot in the glove and fell into the net.
``Just a fluky goal,'' Talbot said.
Blasi said good things happen when players drive to the net.
``It was a fortunate bounce for us,'' Blasi said.
While Talbot repeatedly stopped Miami shots from right out front, the RedHawks limited Alabama-Huntsville quality scoring chances. Miami goalie Cody Reichard did make a nice skate save on a shot by Alabama-Huntsville defenseman Ryan Burkholder midway through the second period.
The RedHawks avoided the fate of last year's No. 1 seed, when top-ranked Notre Dame was upset by Bemidji State. It was just the second NCAA tournament appearance for the Chargers.