RedHawks dominate Falcons in 10-2 victory

BOWLING
GREEN, Ohio
— One night after clinching the CCHA regular season title Miami
sent a message dominating last place Bowling Green in a 10-2 victory.

While the scoreboard was clearly in favor of Miami all
night, the physical play on the ice took precedent as 186 penalty minutes were
handed out by the officials. With just 37 seconds left in the second period,
Bowling Green’s Max Grover plowed through Miami goalie Connor Knapp inciting a
minor brawl behind the RedHawk net.

“We’re going to take care of our goalie, we
weren’t trying to be cheap but is they’re going to take a shot at our goalie
we’re going to send a message,” Miami’s Brandon Smith said.

While Smith felt his teammates were just defending
Knapp, Bowling Green captain Kyle Page felt the fisticuffs could have been
avoided.

“I think he [Grover] was just finishing the play,
he dumped it in on the goalie and it looked loose,” Page said. “In my
opinion he was just completing the play.”

Eight players received penalties for the incident
leading to a third period which saw Bowling Green insert third string goalie
Phil Greer and Miami head coach Enrico Blasi ejected. On his way to the locker room, Blasi took his time to
wave to the crowd and then took a bow in the direction of referee Kevin Hall
before finally stepping off of the ice.

“Apparently he didn’t like what I had to
say,” Blasi said of the ejection.

Prior to Blasi’s ejection he and Bowling Green coach
Dennis Williams were seen exchanging words between the benches.

“It was just the heat of the battle,”
Williams said. 

While Williams and Blasi verbally assaulted each
other, the game was already a forgone conclusion after Miami put together four
second period goals on a night when nine different RedHawks had at least two
points.

It was a far cry from Friday’s night contest when the
teams played a close back-and-forth game ending in a 3-2 victory for the
RedHawks.

“The definitely brought it up a gear, ten goals
on thirty-two shots is a pretty good shooting percentage,” Williams said.

For the second straight night Miami jumped out to an
early lead, as Pat Canone was able to poke a loose puck between Bowling Green
goalie Andrew Hammond’s pad and the right post just 2:54 into the game.

Miami struck again just 3:42 later as Reilly Smith
came out of the penalty box and was sprung for a breakaway by a pass from Andy
Miele. After receiving the pass Smith deked twice before sliding the puck under
Hammond’s right pad.

Bowling Green almost cut Miami’s defect in half twice,
first Kai Kantola fired a shot over the glove of Knapp, but it came after a
whistle was blown for offsides. Then with 2:03 remaining the Falcons had a flurry of
chances at the goal mouth while on the power play, but Knapp was able turn away
three shots in succession.

Miami doubled their lead in a span of 46 seconds in
the second period as Curtis McKenzie scored on a deflection in front and Jarod
Palmer banked one off Hammond’s pad and in. The quick strike prompted Bowling Green to change
goaltenders, bringing in junior Nick Eno. Hammond had stopped 9-of-13 shots
before getting pulled.

The change seemed to give Bowling Green some life as
they finally broke through with 8:25 remaining in the second period. Jordan
Sameuls-Thomas was able to jam home a rebound after the initial shot by James
Perkin during a 5-on-3 advantage.

Despite the Falcons power play goal, Miami didn’t let
up as they regained their four-goal lead on a wrist shot by Brandon Smith after
a turnover in the Bowling Green zone.

Miami’s lead increased to 6-1 by the end of the second
period as Chris Wideman beat Eno with a wrist shot after Palmer made a nice
spin move to keep the puck away from the BG defense.

“We kept our composure in the second period and
they didn’t,” Reilly Smith said.

Miami scored four more goals in the third period,
while Ian Ruehl added Bowling Green’s second goal of the game with 2:12
remaining to reach the final score of 10-2. The RedHawks scored 10 goals on 32 shots against three
different Falcon goalies, while Knapp stopped 19 of the 21 shots he faced to
get the win.

Miami will celebrate their regular season CCHA title
after next Saturday’s game with Nebraksa-Omaha, while Bowling Green will host
Notre Dame next weekend.

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