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Saturday, February 7, 2015

No. 8 Miami holds on to defeat Western, 4-3




Within a 40-second stretch late in the second period, Miami's Kevin Morris (4th Goal) Sean Kuraly (13th Goal ) put Miami ahead 4-0.

Despite Western Michigan's late rally, Kuraly's goal turned out to be the difference in Miami's 4-3 win at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill.

Miami moved to 16-9-1 and 9-6-1-1 in the NCHC, while WMU dropped to 11-11-4 and 4-8-4-3.

After a lengthy 1-hour, 40 minute delay, the RedHawks and Broncos took to the ice with small patches of water reflecting off of the Soldier Field stadium lighting.

Miami coach Enrico Blasi talked about being able to manage to long delay.

"I warned the players earlier that we have to expect the unexpected and try to stay focused," Blasi said. "We tried to keep them in a routine every half-hour, but after the third one, they called my bluff. Thank god we got the game in."

WMU coach Andy Murray gave no excuses to the circumstances as his team came up short.

"There's no moral victories in sport, but I did like the battle of our team in the third period," Murray said.

As the first period progressed, so did the pace despite the choppy ice conditions.

The first goal of the game came as Miami's Alex Wideman (Sixth goal of the season) tipped in the centering pass from Alex Gacek at 13:28 of the first period. Chris Joyaux also got credit for the assist.

Despite WMU showing signs on the offensive end, Miami's Riley Barber (12th Goal) silenced the run on a power-play goal at 9:26 and was assisted by Louie Belpedio to go up 2-0.

After Miami scored two more goals, Western struck with two of its own in a 37-second stretch from Josh Pitt (First) and Aidan Muir (Fifth) in the third period.

On Muir's goal, Miami defenseman Ben Paulides stepped on Kuraly's lower right leg and threw one of his gloves to the ice, hopping to the bench in immense pain.

Blasi updated Kuraly's injury after the game.

"He's going to be fine," Blasi said. It was a deep cut close to the tendon and lost some blood, but he will be okay."

Sheldon Dries' tenth goal with 45 seconds would be Western's last as it could not rally in time against Miami.

Looking Ahead:

On Feb. 13, Miami will host Colorado College for a two-game series, while Western Michigan travels to Omaha, Neb., to take on conference-leader Nebraska-Omaha for a pair of contests.


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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

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