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Redman’s college debut soured as Sooners shut out by IUP

After going into the Thanksgiving break with a 3-game winning streak, the Sooners had a chance to keep their momentum going with a matchup against the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks.

The Sooners did not do any damage in the offensive zone, but they did manage to hold the Crimson Hawks to one goal: a nice play by leading scorer James Mauro, who split through two Sooners defensemen after receiving a nice outlet pass from IUP Captain Gavin Cummings.

Head Coach Austin Miller wasn’t pleased with his team’s effort in the 1-0 loss; however, he did praise the efforts of freshman goalie Gage Redman, who made his college debut on Thursday night.

“He played really well and kept us in the game,” said Miller. “We had a handful of defensive breakdowns, and he was there to stop them. A couple of times our defense got too wide in the neutral zone and got split. They got loads of short ice breakaways.”

Redman was forced into action after starting goaltender Brendan Culbertson-Bond had minor knee surgery over the holiday. While it’s nothing serious, Miller and Culbertson-Bond were unable to give an exact timeline for his return.

Redman, a member of the fraternity Beta Theta Pi, was cheered on all evening by his frat brothers, giving the Blazers Ice Centre an electric atmosphere.

“Shoutout to my Beta boys,” said Redman. “That was awesome. I kind of had a tough week, and they’re always for me to show support.”

Redman stopped 31 of 32 shots on Thursday night, but the one puck that did get by him ended up being enough to win the game for IUP.

“That was just a great shot,” said Redman. “It’s going to eat me alive a little bit because it was a 1-0 loss, but props to Mauro, that was solid.”

The Sooners had another long night in the penalty box, racking up 12 total penalty minutes, but their penalty kill would go six-for-six on kills. The Oklahoma power play, however, went scoreless on three total power plays.

The Sooners definitely weren’t outplayed as they outshot IUP 34-32, and OU's physical style of play appeared to be wearing on the Crimson Hawks as the game went into the later stages.

However, Sooners captain Cameron Bickford wasn’t happy with his team’s effort.

“There’s no excuse for tonight,” said Bickford. “I don’t think we were ready to go and we didn’t have the energy. We just have to bring it for the next game on Saturday.”

For the first and only time this season, The Sooners have a day off between games. For a team as riddled with injuries as OU, Bickford welcomed the extra day of rest.

“I think the day off is going to be used to get our bodies healthy again and figure out some injuries. Hopefully we can rest up for Saturday and bring the energy that we know we can bring.”

While the Sooners rest up on Friday, IUP will be playing Central Oklahoma in Edmond before coming back to Blazers Ice Centre to play the Sooners again on Saturday night.

As always, catch the action on Black Dog Hockey.

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