The RedHawks picked up their fourth consecutive win against Michigan State in East Lansing on Friday, 3-1.
Miami was forced to put its penalty kill to work early when Raymond Eichenlaub was called for interference at 4:20 of the first period. Michigan State earned a two man advantage when Will Weber was called for cross checking at 5:41. The RedHawk penalty kill, ranked second in the country coming into the game, continued to impress and stopped the early 5-on-3 Spartan advantage for the second consecutive night.
Both teams battled hard in the first period and came away even with each team unable to capitalize on the power play. Connor Knapp came up big in the first frame making seven saves.
Miami and Michigan State continued to be physical in the second period and the Red and White finally broke through when Justin Mercier picked off a puck near the blue line. Mercier took the puck the length of the ice and slipped it between the pads of Spartan goalie Jeff Lerg to give the RedHawks the 1-0 advantage.
For the period Miami killed off all three Michigan State power plays and Knapp posted nine more saves to push his two period total to16.
Michigan State came out hard in the third and Corey Tropp looked like he had a great opportunity to even the score but Knapp made a solid kick save and preserved the lead for Miami. The RedHawk offense would reward their goalie when Brandon Smith scored his first career goal at 9:40 of the third period. Andy Miele passed the puck up ice to Gary Steffes who fired a shot on Lerg and the Spartan goalie made the save and pushed in wide of the net. Brandon Smith was there and fired the puck toward the center of the ice it hit Lerg in the back and went into the net.
The Spartans would not go quietly and Tropp fired a shot on Knapp and it slipped through and pulled Michigan State within one. Tim Crowder would pick up the only assist on the goal. Michigan State was unable to even the score and pulled Lerg in the final minute. Carter Camper would make them pay as he picked up the puck behind the Miami net and fired a shot the length of the ice and scored on the open net.
Next weekend Miami returns to Steve Cady Arena to take on CCHA rival Michigan on Nov. 21-22. The game on Friday will start at 7:35 p.m. and will be televised on the Ohio News Network and the NHL Network. The game on Saturday will be televised on Comcast local and shown live on the NHL network in Canada and on a tape delay basis on the NHL Network in the United States.
Saturday night's game against Michigan State was the 30th career game for Andy Miele. Raymond Eichenlaub and Kevin Roeder each played in their 125th career game on Saturday. The Miami record for games played is held by Ryan Jones, who played in 161 consecutive games.
Miami has now won four consecutive games in Munn Arena and four consecutive road games against ranked opponents.
The open net goal by Carter Camper is the first by a RedHawk since Tommy Wingels found an open net Jan. 12 at Nebraska-Omaha.
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