By John Lachmann
Austin Czarnik needed four points to become the 46th player in Miami history to notch 100 career points.
He recorded five on Saturday.
The junior center and captain dished for five assists as the No. 13 RedHawks snapped their four-game winless streak, beating Bemidji State, 6-3 at the Sanford Center in the series finale on Saturday.
Czarnik became the 48th member of the triple-digit points club and the only current Miami skater. He has 31 goals and 70 assists in two-plus seasons.
Czarnik became the second RedHawk to record five points in a game this season. Sophomore forward Riley Barber scored four goals and set up another in a 6-3 win over Ohio State on Oct. 12.
On Saturday, Barber rolled up a goal and three assists, freshman forward Devin Loe and junior forward Alex Wideman scored twice each and junior forward Blake Coleman added a goal an assist.
Czarnik picked up his first helper while creating another media guide entry as he set up the fastest goal to start a game in team history, feeding Barber, whose initial shot was banged home by Loe 11 seconds in.
Current junior Jimmy Mullin scored 12 seconds into a 6-0 win over Michigan State in the first round of the playoffs at Cady Arena on March 9, 2012. Tim Huettl also found the net 12 seconds in, scoring Jan. 3, 1986 in a 10-4 win at Michigan-Dearborn.
Coleman made it 2-0 less than three minutes later, cleaning up a rebound off a shot by Czarnik.
But Miami (8-6-2) has struggled to hold leads recently, and less than 11 minutes later the score was tied at two on goals by Radoslav Illo and Jeff Jubinville.
Loe scored another rebound goal off a shot by Barber with 15:21 left in the second period, but again the Beavers (5-8-3) evened it on another goal by Illo on the power play.
Wideman scored off yet another rebound – this one off a shot by sophomore defenseman Taylor Richart with 14:40 left in regulation – putting the RedHawks ahead for good.
Barber extended the lead to two when he scored shorthanded just over two minutes later after Loe was assessed a major penalty, and Wideman one-timed a shot home to wrap up the scoring with 5:15 to play. Czarnik assisted on both goals.
Barber and Czarnik also finished plus-4.
Miami returns home to face Denver in the final regular season series of the calendar year. The opener will be at 7:35 p.m. on Dec. 6 and the finale will be played at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.
ANALYSIS: Miami had not scored goals in bunches in a while, and it was good to see the RedHawks break out of a semi-scoring slump.
It’s still disturbing to see Miami give up multi-goal leads, but at least this time the outcome when in its favor.
Coach Enrico Blasi proved he’ll try anything and bench anyone to break out of a funk, as he sat forwards Alex Gacek and Cody Murphy, and he played Loe on the first line, which obviously reaped benefits.
Congratulations to Czarnik, who joins an incredible club that includes former greats like Steve Morris, Rick Kuraly (Sean Kuraly’s father), Kevyn Adams, Kevin Beaton, Carter Camper, Dan Boyle, Jarod Palmer, Ryan Jones, Ken House, Blasi himself, Chris Bergeron, Andy Greene and Brian Savage.
He should be able to climb into the top 30 by season’s end.
Miami scored several goals off of rebounds, which is part poor goaltending and part resiliency on the RedHawks’ part.
It’s encouraging to see some of the bigger forwards have success. Coleman scored three times and set up a fourth goal, and Kuraly finished with three helpers.
Miami had been outscored, 7-0 in the third period during its four-game winless streak. The RedHawks ran off three unanswered goals in the final stanza on Saturday.
LINEUP CHANGES: Murphy sat for the second straight night and Gacek was benched, both players missing games for the first time this season. Loe played and freshman Justin Greenberg remained in the lineup.
On defense, sophomore Taylor Richart returned after sitting for two games and freshman Trevor Hamilton was a scratch for the first time this season.
Sophomore goalie Ryan McKay played in his eighth straight game and started his seventh in a row. It’s unclear if the injury sophomore Jay Williams suffered last week is why he has not returned to the ice.