Miami (OH) beats Minnesota State-Mankato

Published 8:24 am Monday, April 1, 2013

TOLEDO, Ohio — Ryan McKay made 20 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and Miami (Ohio) beat Minnesota State 4-0 on Saturday in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals.

The second-seeded RedHawks (25-11-5) will play St. Cloud State on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh. Fourth-seeded St. Cloud State beat top-seeded Notre Dame 5-1 in the first semifinal.

McKay gave up four goals in his last start, a 6-2 Central Collegiate Hockey Association semifinal loss to Michigan, but got plenty of help Saturday. Miami’s defensemen blocked 28 attempts to help the goalie hand the Mustangs their first shutout of the season.

Email newsletter signup

“Their D-men were blocking a lot of shots,” Minnesota State forward Eriah Hayes said. “We were getting looks but we couldn’t get them through.”

Two Minnesota State shots hit posts in the opening period but good scoring chances were hard to come by the rest of the game.

Curtis McKenzie scored midway through the second period and Marc Hagel, Cody Murphy and Max Cook added goals in the third.

“They’re very dangerous on the power play and I thought out guys did a great job blocking shots,” coach Enrico Blasi said. “And Ryan was there when we needed him.”

Miami made it past the first round of the tournament for the first time since 2010, its last trip to the Frozen Four.

Stephon Williams made 22 saves for the Mustangs (24-14-3), who played most of the game with five defensemen after Evan Mosey was assessed major and game misconduct penalties for kneeing Miami’s Jimmy Mullin late in the first period.

Coach Mike Hastings said killing the long penalty affected his players.

“There were extended periods of time when we had to be out there defending,” he said. “I think that sapped a bit of our energy.”

Minnesota State was making the school’s second NCAA tournament appearance.