By John Lachmann
Blake Coleman continued to thrive since his return from an upper-body injury, but he was unable to propel Miami to a win single-handedly.
Not that it stopped him from trying, as he scored both of the RedHawks’ goals in a 5-2 loss at Denver on Friday.
Miami fell to 1-8 in its last nine games and 2-12-1 in its last 15.
The Pioneers took the lead on a one-timer by Zac Larraza just 2:15 into the game.
Coleman tied it on a wrister from the slot less than three minutes later.
Denver regained the lead for good with 10:28 left in the opening period, and Travis Zajac made it 3-1 when he whipped a one-timer home with 6:50 left in the middle stanza.
Coleman buried a wrister three minutes later, but Emil Romig gave Denver a 4-2 lead when he tipped home a loose puck with 10:01 left in regulation.
Joey LaLaggia capped the scoring with an empty netter from the length of the ice.
The series and the regular season for both teams wraps up at 9:05 p.m. on Saturday.
ANALYSIS: Coleman has been a spark plug, no doubt, but this final stretch of the regular season has proven that Miami needs more than just him. The RedHawks have lost four straight games although he has four goals in that span.
This game was typical of many this season: Miami was competitive but not victorious.
The major power play worked against the RedHawks.
FORWARDS: C. Coleman, perhaps because he was unable to skate during the bulk of Miami’s season, has looked possessed since rejoining Miami. He has six goals in five games since his return.
Freshman Anthony Louis earns the unheralded player award for blocking a potential empty netter in the closing minutes. He continues to skate with more confidence.
DEFENSEMEN: C. This was not one of freshman Matt Joyaux’s games. He was unable to win a battle in the corner, resulting in Denver’s first goal on a one-timer, and he turned the puck over at the blue line for the second.
GOALTENDING: D. The third goal was an amazing shot, the fourth was on a defensive breakdown, and the first two were on defensive breakdowns. No. 5 was into an empty net. McKay finished 28-of-32 and still appeared to overacted at time, in contrast to his cool, collected style last season.
LINEUP CHANGES: After playing nine straight games, senior Bryon Paulazzo was benched in favor of sophomore John Doherty.
No other changes were made by coach Enrico Blasi.