Miami University’s exit from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
The RedHawks, headed for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference next season, took a 6-2 beating from Michigan in the CCHA semifinals on Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.
“Let’s not forget this is the team that won the CCHA regular-season championship, so let’s not feel sorry for ourselves here,” MU coach Enrico Blasi said. “I’m still proud of them. I know that they can play better. I know we learned a big lesson tonight, and we’ll move forward.”
Forward is the NCAA tournament. Miami (24-11-5) will be a No. 1 or 2 seed when the 16-team field is revealed on ESPNU at 9 p.m. on Sunday, and the RedHawks certainly hope their next game is at the Huntington Center in Toledo.
“We’ve moved on already,” Blasi said. “We have a lot of young guys in that locker room that haven’t been in this situation. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. Now we’ve got a game to get ready for next week.”
MU played a scoreless first period with Michigan (18-18-3) before the Wolverines roared to four goals in the second stanza, three in a span of 131 seconds.
Michigan, 8-0-1 with 40 goals in its last nine games, got outshot 35-27.
“When you look at the score, you’d think it was a one-sided game, but it really wasn’t,” Wolverines coach Red Berenson said. “We were fortunate to score the first goal (a shorthanded tally by Andrew Copp). I think they’ve only given up one shorthanded goal all year.
“When you’re playing a game like that, you’d hate to play them from behind. Even though we ended up having a pretty good second period, I thought they out-chanced us, outshot us and were the better team for the most part. But the puck was going in for us.”
Blasi pulled goaltender Ryan McKay (12 saves) in favor of Jay Williams (nine saves) when it became a 4-0 affair, and Sean Kuraly and Curtis McKenzie marked goals in the losing effort.
Copp collected the first two goals for Michigan, and Alex Guptill added a pair. Luke Moffatt and A.J. Treais also scored in support of goalie Steve Racine (33 saves).
The Wolverines will play Notre Dame for the championship Sunday afternoon. The Fighting Irish ousted Ohio State 3-1 in Saturday’s first semifinal.