Toledo, Ohio --- Minnesota State entered the 2013 NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament with the knowledge that it wouldn't be easy in facing its first-round opponent with the likes of fifth-rated Miami, which was making its eighth straight tournament appearance.
The RedHawks, which boast one of the stingiest defenses in the country, proved why they where regular season champions of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in claiming a 4-0 win over the 11th-rated Mavericks Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional.
After a first period in which the Mavericks out-shot Miami by an 8-6 margin, but neither team was able to score, Miami forward Curtis McKenzie finished off a nice passing play with Hobey Baker Award candidate Austin Czarnik to beat MSU freshman netminder Stephon Williams at 11:04 of the second for the game's first goal.
The RedHawks struck again early in the third on Marc Hagel's sixth goal off of a nice assist from Blake Coleman 2:30 into the third period. Cody Murphy then gave Miami a 3-0 cushion with 10:36 left in the third period and Max Cook added an empty net goal with 58 seconds left.
The Mavericks, who had not been shut-out all year, put 20 shots on goal, but could not put the puck past Miami freshman netminder Ryan McKay.
Minnesota State's vaunted power play, which entered the weekend with a nation's-best 44 power play markers, was held in check by the RedHawks with the Mavericks going zero-for-four with the man advantage.
With the win, Miami ups its record to 25-11-5 and advances to the regional championship game tomorrow vs. St. Clodu State. Minnesota State, which was making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2002-03, completes the year with an overall record of 24-14-3.
The game marked the end of the collegiate careers of senior forwards Eriah Hayes and Eli Zuck, defensemen Evan Mosey and Tyler Elbrecht and goaltender Phil Cook.