RedHawks' answer was key play
WASHINGTON - Most of the Verizon Center was standing and yelling, hoping to fuel Bemidji State after Matt Read's second-period goal.
But it only lasted for a minute.
If there is one sequence of Thursday afternoon's 4-1 loss to Miami in the Frozen Four that will haunt Bemidji State, it is the first 11 minutes of the second period.
The RedHawks jumped out to a two-goal lead with tallies by Tommy Wingels and Alden Hirschfeld 4 minutes, 39 seconds apart. And just when it appeared that Read put the Beavers back in the game with a power-play goal at 9:46, Bill Loupee tapped one in from the top of the crease to make it 3-1.
"That was obviously a big goal for them," Bemidji State defenseman Travis Winter said. "One of the bigger shifts of the game is right after a goal. You try and win that shift, but unfortunately, we didn't. We thought we were tilting the ice a little bit there. Then, they scored a big goal and things started going their way again. It was a huge goal, probably the turning point of the night."
Miami didn't score again until Bemidji State pulled goaltender Matt Dalton for an extra attacker in the final minutes. But the RedHawks didn't need to. The three goals in 6:50 were enough to get the win.
Wingels scored on a snap shot from the left circle that got past a screen and by Dalton's blocker. Hirschfeld converted a great feed from Wingels on a two-on-two rush for Miami's second goal and Loupee pounced on a rebound of a point shot for No. 3.
This explosion of goals came after a scoreless first period.
"Did we do anything differently? No," Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. "Just execution. That was probably the difference between the first and the second."
Lift for the program?
After the game, Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore said it's too early to know what kind of effect this run to the Frozen Four will have on the program.
"That's a good question," he said. "You hope it does, obviously. You hope that you can parlay that into more success in recruiting and to have the situation where when your kids are playing in big games, it becomes easier next year. But again, that's hard to predict.
"What I can tell you, it gave the people in Bemidji a lot of pride for the Beavers. And the people in the region and our alumni, they're just a wonderful group, and we gave those guys a sense of pride."
Bemidji State won't have to wait very long to get a rematch against Miami.
Both teams are part of a Thanksgiving weekend showcase in Ralph Engelstad Arena next season. UND and Ohio State are the other two teams involved.
The Sioux and the Beavers will take turns playing against the Central Collegiate Hockey Association teams in a Friday-Saturday event.
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