By John Lachmann
Like Friday, No. 8 Miami scored the first goal on Saturday, but again the RedHawks lost, falling 3-1 at Nebraska-Omaha.
Miami (7-6-1) has lost three straight games for the first time since its five-game losing streak Oct. 15-28, 2011.
Sophomore defenseman Matthew Caito gave the RedHawks the lead with a power play goal with 9:18 left in the first period.
But the Mavericks (8-6) answered 100 seconds later with a man-advantage goal of their own by forward Ryan Walters.
Tanner Lane put UNO ahead with a shorthanded goal four minutes into the middle stanza.
Another power play goal extended the Mavericks’ lead, this one by Dominic Zombo midway through the third period.
All four goals in the game were scored on special teams – Miami was 1-for-5 on the power play, UNO was 2 of 5 and the Mavericks also scored shorthanded.
RedHawks sophomore goalie Ryan McKay faced 43 shots, stopping 40. Miami was outshot, 43-26.
The RedHawks are at Bemidji State on Friday and Saturday before returning home to host Denver.
ANALYSIS: Playing five forwards on 5x4 power plays is a controversial strategy, and it burned Miami on Saturday.
The Mavericks scored the go-ahead goal shorthanded with no RedHawks defensemen on the ice.
With the amount of firepower Miami has on offense, it’s been tough to understand how the RedHawks can score 11 goals in a six-game span.
Of the question marks facing this team entering this season, a lack of offense was never one them.
I agree with Coach Enrico Blasi in his Monday press conference that this is certainly not panic time. It’s a slump, and it’s coming fairly early in the season.
And it’s also coming at a time when Miami football is 0-11 and its winless basketball team lost to a Division III school over the weekend.
So there may be more scrutiny on the hockey program during this three-game losing streak than there would ordinarily be for those reasons.
Everyone knew the young and very small blueline corps was going to be a potential weakness on this team, and that was exploited this past weekend.
But there is still a lot of hockey left to be played this regular season, and every one of the players that pounded Ohio State and held its own against Providence, North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Wisconsin are still on this team.