31
Mar
09

Upsets, overtimes, and video reviews…the 2009 NCAA road to the Frozen Four Part 2 HIGHLIGHTS UPDATE

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As promised (albeit a little late),  here are the Midwest and Northeast Regional recaps.  Just like the East and West Regionals, the MW and NE were filled with exciting games, and last second heroics.  Before I get into the recaps, I want to say a quick something about ESPNU’s production over the weekend.  I’ll start by saying I wish the NHL was still under contract with ESPN!  The commentators and analysts ESPN gets are the best in the business, and I guess that is why ESPN is the best in the business (even though hockey gets ZERO play…you can’t fault them for reporting what the people want).  They always show replays, and usually have great camera angles/views.  It was good to see Barry “The Mullet” Melrose (http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/playoffs2007/news/story?id=2834375) back in action; after his brief return to coaching “barry’d” the Tampa Bay Lightning’s season (haha, thought of that on my own, no big deal).   Anyway, onto what you came here for, Regional recaps. 

MIDWEST REGIONAL:

(4) Bemidji State – 5 vs. (1) Notre Dame – 1: Another shocking opening round upset, as Bemidji State knocked off the #2 team in the country, Notre Dame, with an impressive 5-1 victory.  Just like Air Force, this was Bemidji State’s first ever NCAA tournament victory, so congrats to the Beavers!  Bemidji struck first just under two minutes into the first period, and again just ten minutes later.  They would eventually build a 4-0 lead into the third period before Notre Dame got on the board with 13:58 to go.  I’m sure half of you haven’t even heard of Bemidji State, and if you have, you couldn’t tell me where it is.  But they earned this win, and a chance to head to their first ever Frozen Four.

(3) Cornell – 3 vs. (2) Northeastern – 3: NCAA tournament time is when your best players need to be your best players if want to have a chance of advancing.  Cornell’s best players showed up in the second half of this regional semifinal, and erased a two-goal deficit before scoring in the final seconds of regulation to all but seal the comeback.  Northeastern built a 2-0 lead about halfway through this game, but as I said in yesterday’s post, two-goal leads are the worst lead in hockey.  Cornell finally got on the board with two-minutes to go in the second period, which was probably the biggest goal for the Big Red, b/c it jump started things for the third period.  Cornell came out flying in third, outshooting Northeastern 14-4 in the period, but couldn’t find the back of the net to tie things up for the first 15 minutes of the period.  Finally with four minutes to go, Cornell got a power play tally from their leading goal scorer Colin Greening to tie things up at 2-2.  Continuing to pressure after the goal, Cornell was set on finishing this game in regulation.  Evan Barlow hammered home a shot crashing to the net with 16 seconds left in regulation that erupted the Big Red faithful (if you have not had a chance to see Cornell live, they have quite the loyal fan base, and travel pretty well for the smaller ECAC schools).  It was too much, too late, for a Northeaster squad that seemed stunned they let their two-goal lead slip away…but that’s what playoffs are all about!  Congrats to Cornell.

                Midwest Region Championship: Bemidji State vs. Cornell

I again did not have a chance to see any of this game or the highlights, but what an incredible run for the Bemidji State Beavers.  The #16 seed in the entire NCAA tournament this year (FYI, there are only 16 teams that make it to the tournament) rode Regional MVP Tyler Schoefield’s two goals (including the game winner), and Matt Dalton’s 25 saves, to a big 4-1 win over Cornell.  Cornell struck first a little more than halfway through the second period, but Bemidji answered less than two minutes later to notch things at 1-1 heading into the final 20 minutes.  Bemidji would score three unanswered goals (the 4th being an empty netter) on their way to their first ever Frozen Four.  Congrats to Bemidji!

 

NORTHEAST REGIONAL:

(4) Ohio State – 3 vs. Boston University – 8: BU was the only #1 seed to win a game in this year’s NCAA tournament, and they did so in convincing fashion.  BU scored early and often, building a 6-0 lead in the second period before Ohio State answered with two of their own to make things 6-2 heading into the third.  The Buckeyes cut things to 6-3 with less than ten minutes to go in the game, and pulled the goalie soon after.  I don’t know what to think about this move, b/c BU ended up scoring an empty netter with over six minutes left in the game.  It’s a tough call to make as a coach, but unfortunately it was too little, too late, for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

(3) North Dakota – 5 vs. (2) New Hampshire –  6 (OT):  In what was a pretty evenly matched game, marked by back-and-forth scoring, UNH proved that it’s not over until that final buzzer sounds.  Again it all comes back to that two-goal I have talked about this entire post…I’ll cut right to the good stuff.  UND scored with 10:52 remaining in regulation to put the Sioux up 5-3.  Get the puck out, and get the puck deep and the game is over…right? WRONG! UNH answered less than two minutes later with a goal of their own, to make it a one-goal game with exactly nine minutes to play.  With under a minute to go, and desperate for a goal, UNH called a timeout.  Keeping the pressure on, UNH fired a shot wide with seconds left on the clock, but were able to get the puck out in front of the net where Thomas Fortney banged in the rebound with only .1 seconds remaining on the clock.  A true buzzer beater in hockey, and a huge momentum swing heading into sudden death overtime.  Riding high from their comeback late in the third period, UNH scored 45 seconds into the first OT to win their first NCAA tournament game in four years.  Congrats to the Wildcats!

                Northeast Regional Championship: Boston University vs. New Hampshire

I don’t know what it was with this year’s regional tournaments, but last second heroics seemed to be the theme.  It was no different in this championship matchup for a chance to play in the Nation’s capital in two weeks.  BU took the first lead of the night with seven minutes to go in the first period, and kept that lead into the second period.  UNH answered however just six minutes into the period to knot things at 1-1.  Although UNH carried the play for most of this game, it remained deadlocked at 1-1 late into the third period.  With under a minute to go in regulation, BU forward Nick Bonino had a prime scoring opportunity which forced Central Scouting sensation, and NJ native, James Van Riemsdyk to take a hooking penalty.  While on that power play, BU got a fortunate bounce on a play out of the left corner by BU’s Jason Lawrence that managed to trickle over the goal line with just under 15 seconds remaining.  Less than 24 hours earlier, UNH was the team flying high with the last second heroics; and they got beat the next night by the late second heroics.

FROZEN FOUR: April 9, 2009 – April 11, 2009 in Washington D.C.

(4) Bemidji State vs. (4) Miami (Ohio) @ 5:00 PM Eastern on ESPN2

(3) Vermont vs. (1) Boston University @ 8:30 PM on ESPN2

 

Check back with Loeg19.com following the Frozen Four games for some bonus recaps and analysis, as we find out who will be crowned 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Champion.  Stay Tuned…

-Coach

UPDATE:

Here are some videos that have now surfaced with highlights from some of the regional games. Enjoy!

       – There is no sound on this clip, but it is the only one I can find of this goal.  If you are not familiar with the play, you will notice they continue to play after the shot, as not even the players noticed what had happened.  When they show the overhead slow motion replay, you can barely see the puck go through the net on the left side (goalies glove side) and continue into the boards behind the net.  I will continue to search for a better clip.

 

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