By John Lachmann
In a season that has seen a lot of lows for Miami, Saturday was the lowest.
The RedHawks suffered their most lopsided loss under Coach Enrico Blasi, falling 9-2 to North Dakota at Engelstad Arena.
UND scored four times in the first 13 minutes, led 6-1 less than three minutes into the second period and 8-1 with seven minutes left in the middle stanza.
Miami sophomore center Sean Kuraly found the net with 4:43 left in the first period to cut the lead the three, 4-1, and sophomore forward Riley Barber made it 8-2 with 2:41 left in regulation.
The RedHawks (10-15-3) return home for their final four home games of the season. They host No. 4 St. Cloud State this weekend and Minnesota-Duluth on Feb. 28 and March 1 before wrapping up their regular season at Denver the following week.
MORE MISERABLE CRAP: This team is like that friend or relative many of us have who can’t kick a certain destructive habit. We want to do something for him or her but can’t and just have to wait for that person to hit rock bottom.
And sometimes when we’re encouraged after seeing mild improvement that he or she has bottomed out and is on the way to recovery, that person hits a new low.
It doesn’t get much lower than a seven-goal loss (that could’ve been nine if it wasn’t for two waved-off goals early) to drop this team to 1-8-1 in its last 10.
Let’s take a look at the aftermath of this latest setback:
-- The last time Miami lost to a team by seven goals was 16 years ago. Michigan State beat the RedHawks, 7-0 on Jan. 31, 1998 while Mark Mazzoleni was at the helm for Miami. Blasi had never lost a game by seven goals prior to Saturday.
-- Miami had not allowed nine goals in a game in over nine years. Ohio State beat the RedHawks, 9-3 on Oct. 21, 2004.
-- Miami needs to win out to avoid its first non-winning regular season since 2004-05.
-- The RedHawks are currently tied for 41st out of 59 Division I teams in the PairWise ratings, which determine who goes to the NCAA Tournament (typically with at-large bids a rankings of 12 or 13 ensures a team of getting in). Ahead of them are Bentley, Bowling Green, Mercyhurst, Alaska-Anchorage, Clarkson and Rensselaer.
TRIAGE UPDATE: Well, junior forward Blake Coleman told the online world he was making the trip to North Dakota but he did not play either night.
Hopefully the passage of another week mean he’ll be in the lineup this weekend. Miami has scored more than two goals in one of its last nine games, so obviously the additional offense will be welcomed.
Junior forward Jimmy Mullin was still out, as was freshman defenseman Johnny Wingels. Mullin was at the Cady Arena on crutches last weekend and Wingels suffered an upper body injury on the last road trip.