DURHAM — Although it produced a little more offense than it has in recent games, the University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team failed to come away with a victory Friday night.
After pulling goaltender Ty Taylor for an extra attacker, UNH scored with 33.2 seconds remaining in the third period to earn a 3-3 tie against 19th-ranked Miami at the Whittemore Center.
It was the first time the Wildcats have scored more than two goals in their last six contests.
Junior left wing Liam Blackburn capped the scoring by beating Miami goaltender Ryan Larkin (34 saves) from close range after receiving a backhand pass from right wing Eric Esposito.
“Anytime you’re down in the last minute of a game it’s kind of a relief to tie it up and go into overtime,” Blackburn said. “It’s definitely a relief to come out with one (point). I think we have to do a better job in the third periods, but I think to come out with a goal at the end there was a lot of character for us.”
Miami erased a 2-1 deficit by scoring twice in a 1:34 span early in the third. After Karch Bachman tied the game on a shot from above the left faceoff circle during a Miami power play 2:34 into the period, Ben Lown took advantage of a UNH turnover at its own blue line and beat UNH goalie Ty Taylor (25 saves) to put the RedHawks (9-5-1) in front 3-2 at 4:08 of the third.
“I think to win in college hockey you have to have a 60-minute performance where your process … you’re playing the game the right way,” Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. “I’m not sure I can tell you that we did that tonight.”
Senior defenseman Matt Dawson and freshman left wing Angus Crookshank also scored for the Wildcats (1-6-4). UNH, which was averaging an even two goals per game through its first 10 contests, has a 1-1-4 record in games that have gone to overtime this season.
“I’ve said all year that we have a resilient group,” UNH coach Mike Souza said. “We just have to figure out a way to learn to win. If we can learn to win I think we can do a lot of good things.”
UNH played without sophomore defenseman Max Gildon, who received a one-game suspension from Hockey East for a hit to the head of forward Jake Gaudet during the third period of Sunday’s 4-2 loss to UMass. Gildon was given a five-minute contact-to-the-head/cross-checking penalty and a game misconduct for the hit.
Gildon, a third-round 2017 draft pick of the NHL Florida Panthers, entered the weekend tied for the team lead in points (10) with one goal and nine assists.
Dawson opened the scoring when he deflected Esposito’s shot from the right circle past Larkin at 8:00 of the first period. Miami’s Josh Melnick tied the contest 1:11 later, when he collected the puck after it hit the boards behind the UNH goal and scored from just outside the crease.
The Wildcats took a 2-1 lead on a power-play goal by Crookshank at 12:23.
“You’re always happy to get a point, but to relinquish a lead in the third period at home when you’re playing pretty good is frustrating, but we didn’t generate a ton of Grade-A opportunities,” Souza said. “A lot of our stuff was from the perimeter. They’re a good team. They’re a top-20 team for a reason.”
The teams will meet again tonight (7) at the Whittemore Center. … Miami was picked to finish eighth (last) in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s preseason poll. … The RedHawks had a goal disallowed at 16:54 of the third period because of goaltender interference. … Friday night’s announced attendance was 3,375. … Right wing Patrick Grasso and left wing Ara Nazarian each had a team-high four shots on goal for UNH.