ESTERO, Fla. – Senior forward Andy Miele scored twice and junior forward Alden Hirschfeld had a goal and an assist to lead sixth-ranked Miami to a 4-1 victory against No. 9 Maine Wednesday night at Germain Arena in the opening round of the 11th annual Florida College Classic. With the victory, the RedHawks (11-5-3, 8-4-2-1 CCHA) defeated the Black Bears (8-5-4, 6-3-2 Hockey East) for the first time in six tries.
With the win, Miami advanced to the championship game of the Florida College Classic where it will face St. Cloud State, who defeated Cornell 4-3 in overtime in the first game. The ‘Hawks won and tied at St. Cloud State earlier this year.
Miami head coach Enrico Blasi, who was already the school’s winningest coach, collected his 250th career win. MU improved to 579-578-97 in program history, marking the first time since Nov. 9, 1984 (110-109-9) that Miami’s all-time record was above .500.
In addition to two points from Hirschfeld and Miele, who stretched his point streak to a career-best nine games, sophomore forward Reilly Smith added a pair of helpers. Junior goalie Cody Reichard moved into fourth on Miami’s career goalie wins list as he made 14 saves to earn his seventh victory of the season. The ‘Hawks out-shot Maine 30-14, the first time all year the Black Bears have been outshot.
The RedHawks controlled the first period, outshooting the Black Bears 17-4. Miami nearly took the lead when senior forward Justin Vaive gathered the puck in front of an open net but his backhand attempt was snared by the glove of Maine goalie Dan Sullivan, who totaled 30 stops.
Vaive did get the ‘Hawks on the board late in the opening period as he deflected a blast from the blue line by junior defenseman Cameron Schilling with just 49 ticks left on the clock. Miami’s goal came on its second power play of the frame as Vaive notched his fourth score of the year by redirecting the puck through Sullivan’s legs.
After the RedHawks killed a 5-on-3 Maine power play midway through the second period, Miele put Miami up 2-0 at the 12:47 mark of the second stanza. Junior defenseman Will Weber forced a turnover inside Maine’s zone and fed the puck to Smith at the blue line. Smith then fed a streaking Miele on a breakaway, who beat Sullivan back-hand, top shelf for his ninth tally of the season.
Miele struck for the second time 3:22 into the third period, again on the breakaway. Sophomore forward Curtis McKenzie fed Miele in the neutral zone where he beat a defender and charged to the net, faking Sullivan to the backhand side before wrapping it around with the forehand to make it 3-0.
The Black Bears got on the board on the power play as Robby Dee beat Reichard five-hole with 7:50 remaining in the final frame. Miami answered with another power play goal to make it 4-1, as Hirschfeld slammed home a rebound with less than five minutes to play after Smith’s initial shot was stopped. Senior forward Carter Camper also picked up an assist, tying him with Miele for the national lead with 23.
The RedHawks finished 2-for-4 on the power play while Maine was just 1-for-6.