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Frozen Four notebook: Quick goals hurt BSU

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.

"So, you know, from that standpoint, it was a feel-good story. But I can't sit there and tell you what's going to happen as a result of this."

Rematch coming to REA

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.

All four teams were involved in this season's NCAA tournament. UND and Ohio State lost in the first round in the Northeast Regional, while Bemidji State and Miami each reached the Frozen Four, despite entering the tournament as No. 4 seeds.

Notes and quotes

- College Hockey America rookie of the year, Bemidji State defenseman Brad Hunt, was a minus-three.

- Former Warroad (Minn.) High School standout Kyle Hardwick threw the biggest hit of the game on a Miami forward. Hardwick delivered his shoulder check behind the Bemidji State net in the first period.

- Miami is the second No. 4 seed to reach the national championship game. Notre Dame did it last season. A fourth-seeded team has never won the title under the current format.

- Although there aren't any Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams in the Frozen Four, league fans were all over Washington. Jerseys from every league team except for Alaska-Anchorage could be spotted in the Verizon Center.

- The crowd, estimated to be near 18,000, is the largest ever to watch a Bemidji State hockey game. The previous record was a game against UND in Ralph Engelstad Arena, which seats just under 12,000.

- Bemidji State senior Tyler Scofield on his last game: "It's definitely emotional. Our team, we got along. It was the most tight-knit team I've ever been a part of and I love every single one of those guys. It was a fun run with all those guys on the team. But it's definitely an emotional finish. Thinking that you're not going to play another college game, it really takes a toll on you."

- Serratore on the crowd: "We knew that we were going to have the crowd. We were kind of that George Mason story, if you want to say that. And it was great. But we never could get the crowd into it. That's the trouble. I mean, if we could have got the crowd into it, maybe we could have fed off of it. But we just couldn't get it done. That's too bad because it would have been nice to see what that crowd would have been like if we could create some electricity."

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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