Sunday, March 28, 2010
Miami of Ohio drops Michigan in 2OT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Alden Hirschfeld made sure Miami of Ohio's season didn't end in overtime for a second straight season.
Hirschfeld scored 1:54 into the second overtime to give the top-seeded RedHawks a 3-2 victory over Michigan in the NCAA Midwest Regional final Sunday night, sending the RedHawks to the Frozen Four for the second straight year.
"Obviously it was an unbelievable feeling," Hirschfeld said.
Hirschfeld picked the puck up at the top of the circle, turned and fired it past goalie Shawn Hunwick.
"The puck just kind of popped out and I took it out to the top of the circle and their D went down to block it and I just shot it through on net," Hirschfeld said.
Pat Cannone scored two power-play goals for Miami, Curtis McKenzie had a pair of assists and Connor Knapp made 55 saves.
"We knew he'd go in there and do exactly what he did," Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. "We reminded him that Michigan shoots from everywhere and be ready and he was right off the bat."
The RedHawks (29-7-7) came within a minute of winning the national title last year before squandering a two-goal lead and losing in overtime to Boston University. Now the RedHawks will face Boston College (27-10-3) in the semifinals April 8 in Detroit.
Hirschfeld ensured that when he finally ended the game, scoring Miami's only even-strength goal Miami in the regional.
David Wohlberg had an even-strength goal for Michigan, Chad Langlais added a power-play goal and defenseman Steve Kampfer had a pair of assists. Hunwick made 32 saves against Michigan's Central Collegiate Hockey Association rival.
The loss cost Michigan (26-18-1) a chance to play for the national championship practically in its own backyard. The Michigan campus is about 45 miles from Ford Field.
Michigan thought for a split second it won when right wing Kevin Lynch knocked a loose puck into the during a scrum in front 2:37 into the overtime. But it came a split second after the referee blew the whistle for a high-stick penalty on Miami defenseman Joe Hartman.
"That's a tough one to swallow. There's a loose puck in the crease and the referee blows the whistle because he was calling a penalty on them, yet we had control or were about to have control of the puck," Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
Knapp said he knew it wasn't a goal.
"I was fortunate he blew the whistle fast. It was under me for a split second," he said.
Hunwick, the CCHA tournament MVP, finished with 32 saves. Michigan captain Chris Summers said Hunwick apologized to him after the game for giving up the goal.
"I laughed at him. I said, 'What are you sorry for, man? We wouldn't be here without you,'" Summers said.
It was the first multiple overtime game for Miami in 23 years of hockey. It was the first for Michigan since losing 4-3 in triple overtime to Maine in the 1995 national semifinals.
Berenson said he was proud of the way his team, which finished seventh in the CCHA, won seven straight before losing.
"I thought they had a terrific run here that last month or more," he said.