Friday, April 10, 2009

Frozen Four...And Now There Are Two

Photo from Melissa Wade, via

Bemidji State's Cinderella run in the NCAA Hockey Tournament came to an end on Thursday evening, as Miami defeated the Beavers 4-1 in the first Frozen Four Semi-Final Game in Washington, DC. Sophomore forward Tommy Wingels had two goals and an assist for the RedHawks, who now go on to play Boston University in the finals on Saturday evening.

Coach Enrico Blasi solved the goaltending controversy by starting Cody Reichard for the third-consecutive game. Reichard had alternated with freshman Connor Knapp all season, but Blasi played the hot hand, and Reichard delivered with 24 saves.

For the Beavers, they just could not get it done against the RedHawks pressure forecheck, which forced several turnovers. BSU goaltender Matt Dalton ended a solid post-season with 33 saves, but it wasn't enough. Still, Bemidji State's presence in the Frozen Four as the underdog of all underdogs will not soon be forgotten, and the little school from up north acquitted itself well. The next stop for the Beavers will hopefully be the WCHA, but that's a column for another day.

Miami advances to the school's first major championship game of any kind, and one cannot count out the RedHawks, who are playing as well as anyone right now.

In the nightcap, Boston University won a dogfight against Vermont 5-4. Boston U stormed out to a 2-0 lead in the first period before the Catamounts scored three un-answered goals in the second to take the lead on their conference rivals. BU's Vinny Saponari tied the game late in the second. Drew McKenzie scored for UVM midway through the third period to give the Catamounts the lead, but BU was too much down the stretch.

Chris Higgins and Colin Wilson scored 1:13 apart to give BU a lead it would not relinquish. Wilson netted two for the Terriers who now go on to play Miami in the championship game.

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