ORONO, Maine — The University of Miami RedHawks converted just one of its 14 power-play chances in two losses to Providence College two weekends ago but the RedHawk power play came to life on Friday night against UMaine’s struggling penalty-killing units.
The RedHawks scored on four of their five power plays and used their superior speed to post a free-wheeling 7-5 victory at Alfond Arena.
Both teams are now 1-2 and they will conclude their series at 7 p.m. Saturday
The Black Bears simply had no answer for Miami’s speed through the first two periods as Miami manufactured a 7-3 lead.
The RedHawks spent much more time in UMaine’s zone than the Black Bears did in their zone and they also forced numerous turnovers and created several transition chances off the turnovers.
The Black Bears showed resiliency in the third period as they outshot Miami 12-3 and clawed their way back into it. But Miami hung on for the triumph.
“We didn’t skate in the first two periods,” said UMaine head coach Red Gendron. “We took penalties that were unnecessary and that caused us a problem. We didn’t manage the puck well and that caused us a problem.”
He was pleased that his team fought back in the third period but termed it nothing more than a “consolation prize and we don’t play for that.”
Miami coach Enrico Blasi thought his team showed progress from their first two games.
“They’ve gotten better. They did a lot of good things. And Maine did a lot of good things. It was a really exciting college hockey game,” said Blasi. “This is a tough place to play.”
Sophomore left wing Gordie Green had two goals and three assists to lead Miami and junior defenseman Grant Hutton had a pair of goals. Karch Bachman, Kiefer Sherwood and Louie Belpedio scored the other goals and Josh Melnick had three assists.
Mitch Fossier had a pair of goals for the Black Bears. Freshmen Veil-Matti Tiuraniemi and Eduards Tralmaks and junior Rob Michel had the other.
Ryan Larkin finished with 20 saves for the RedHawks. Rob McGovern stopped 29 shots and allowed six goals through two periods before Jeremy Swayman came on to play the third period and he stopped two of three shots.
Bachman and Green gave the RedHawks a 2-0 lead with goals just 19 seconds apart early in the first period and the RedHawks never trailed.
Bachman one-timed a Green pass past McGovern to start the scoring before Green took a Melnick pass and stickhandled around McGovern before neatly sliding it into the net.
Hutton scored the first of his two goals early in the wild second period to build the lead to 3-0 with a one-timer from the left circle but goals 1:31 apart by Tiuraniemi and Fossier pulled UMaine within on.
Tiuraniemi scored with a blast from the point while Fossier was credited with a goal when his centering pass glanced in off a RedHawk defenseman.
Hutton’s power-play goal 2:51 later off another one-timer restored the two-goal lead but Fossier answered 3:46 later by diverting a Patrick Shea pass behind Larkin.
But Kiefer Sherwood’s even-strength goal off a Mark Hamilton turnover made it 5-3 1:25 later as he finished off a two-on-one and Belpedio’s goal 1:10 after that capped the wild flurry and enabled the RedHawks to take a 6-3 lead into the second intermission.
The teams combined for six goals in a span of 10:43 in the second period.
Miami outshot UMaine 35-13 through the first 40 minutes and attempted a total of 60 shots to UMaine’s 22.
The final shots wound up 38-25.
Swayman hardly had time to get settled at the outset of the third period as RedHawks took just eight seconds to make it 7-3. Carson Meyer sent Green in alone and Green tucked it past Swayman.
Tralmaks scored a power-play goal with a slapper from the high slot and Rob Michel notched an even-strength goal off Larkin’s glove with 9:57 left but that was as close as the Black Bears were to get.