By John Lachmann
Miami ended a disappointing regular season on a high note.
Junior forward Blake Coleman scored both goals as the RedHawks edged Denver, 2-1 at Magness Arena on Saturday.
After a scoreless first period, Coleman deflected a shot by freshman defenseman Trevor Hamilton to open the scoring.
But just 37 seconds later, Denver’s Zac Larraza wristed in a rebound shot to tie the score.
After blocking a shot, Coleman went in for a breakaway and netted the decisive goal with 12:27 left in regulation.
The one-goal lead held up as Miami dominated the third period, outshooting the Pioneers, 24-7.
Coleman finished with all four RedHawks goals on the weekend and the last five Miami tallies. Since returning from his upper body injury, Coleman has eight goals in six games.
RedHawks sophomore goalie Ryan McKay made 32 saves in the win.
Miami, which finished last in its conference, will travel to St. Cloud State for a best-of-3 series in the first round of the inaugural NCHC Tournament.
The first game will start at 8:35 p.m. on Friday and the Saturday and Sunday games will begin at 8:05 p.m. Sunday’s game will only be played if necessary.
ANALYSIS: We saw a lot of the old RedHawks in the third period. 24 shots? That hasn’t happened in any period in the past few years.
St. Cloud is going to the NCAA Tournament if Miami beats the Huskies, 20-0 both nights this weekend. So the RedHawks are on their last lifeline while this series is nowhere near as desperate for St. Cloud State.
Watching the third period on Saturday made me wonder: Where was that intensity the first 101 periods of this season.
It’s irrelevant now. The only thing that’s relevant about it is whether Miami can carry the momentum from this game into northern Minnesota.