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Giving a stick salute to a frantic Bemidji State cheering section at the conclusion of a game, win or lose, is a deep-seeded tradition for the Beaver men's hockey team. But the one Thursday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., was very special. The Beavers had just lost to Miami University 4-1 in the opening semifinal of the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Whenever the Bemidji State men's hockey team goes on a road trip, coach Tom Serratore makes sure the team is able to see the local sights. The Frozen Four trip to Washington D.C. has been no exception. After a spirited practice Wednesday, the Beavers took the opportunity to do a little sightseeing in the nation's capital. Through Bemidji State alum Rachel Becker, who works in D.C. for the NHL's Washington Capitols, members of the team were able to take a special tour.
The hoopla, hype and national media interviews are over. It's time to play hockey. Bemidji State begins its quest to win the NCAA Division I men's hockey title today, facing Miami of Ohio in the first semifinal of the Frozen Four at the Verizon Center. Game time is set for 4 p.m. (CDT). Boston University will face Vermont in the second semifinal. The Beavers held a spirited practice Wednesday morning in preparation for the biggest game in the program's history.
The old-school hockey mentality always has been that defense wins championships. It's something that Bemidji State men's hockey assistant coach Bert Gilling believes in. And it's an attitude he has worked hard to develop among the players he affectionately refers to as the "D Corps." The Beavers begin their quest for an NCAA men's hockey national title Thursday, facing Miami of Ohio in the first semifinal of the Frozen Four from the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. "Our D Corps, in order to be successful in the regional, had to be warriors," Gilling said.
After a dizzying few days of media frenzy from local, state regional and national news outlets, the Bemidji State men's hockey team got back to business in earnest Saturday. The Beavers actually hit the ice for the first time Wednesday after qualifying for the Frozen Four.
Four days after capping a magical run through the NCAA Midwest Regional, the major impact of the Bemidji State men's hockey team advancing to the Frozen Four is being realized. And it's about a lot more than just a hockey team advancing in a national tournament. BSU head coach Tom Serratore and the Beavers hockey world has been turned upside down. A bombardment of media requests, e-mails and phone calls shows this accomplishment goes way beyond college hockey, Serratore said during a break Thursday afternoon.
One of the most gratifying things about the Bemidji State men's hockey team winning the NCAA Midwest Regional and advancing to the Frozen Four was that Beaver hockey was being seen as a model program for other small universities in the nation. Immediately after the Bemidji State 4-1 regional final victory on Sunday night, Cornell coach Mike Schaefer said university hockey programs should look at Bemidji State and see that major success is possible. "It's tremendous in college hockey right now," Schafer reported.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Bemidji State's magical run through the NCAA Midwest Regional continued Sunday as the Beavers advanced to the Frozen Four with a 4-1 decision over Cornell at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. Three unanswered goals in third period capped the incredible run for the Beavers who become the first 16 seed in tournament history to advance to the Frozen Four since the field was expanded to 16 teams in 2002. Bemidji State will next play West Regional winner Miami in the Frozen Four April 9 at 5 p.m. in Washington, D.C.
The Bemidji State men's hockey team will now square off against Cornell for a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four. The game is set for a 7 p.m. (CST) start from Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. Cornell, the third seed in the regional, advanced to the final with a 3-2 win over Northeastern, the second seed in Saturday's first semifinal. The Big Red scored with 17 seconds remaining in regulation to win. Cornell (21-9-4) advanced to the NCAA tournament for the 17th time in school history after gaining an at-large selection into the field of 16 teams.
The Bemidji State men's hockey team believed; the BSU coaching staff believed; a small cadre of team supporters believed. The vast majority of the college hockey world did not. They are all believers now. Bemidji State pulled off a major upset Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich., defeating Notre Dame 5-1. Notre Dame was the No. 2 ranked team in college hockey and the No. 1 seed in the regional. Bemidji State was not ranked entering the tournament and were the No.