Miami (OH)-UMD: Redhawks on Their Way to the Frozen Four

Brit Milazzo@@M11azzoCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2009

Frozen Four fantasies comes true for Miami Hockey as the Redhawks defeated Minnesota-Duluth, 2-1, in finals of the NCAA Western Regional games.

It's the first time any Miami athletic team in any sport has ever qualified for the semifinal round of a national championship tournament. The Redhawks will play in Washington D.C.'s Verizon Center on Thursday.

Two Justin Mercier goals in the second period helped Miami to capture the win.

The first period was scoreless, with from stellar goaltending by Miami's Cody Reichard.

UMD caught their first powerplay when Redhawks' Vincent LoVerde was penalized midway through the period, but Reichard came up with two big saves.

UMD outshot the Redhawks, 6-1 in the first peroid; the only shot coming from Miami with 3:40 left on the clock.

It appeared that UMD had tied the game at 10:41, but the Bulldog goal was waived off, because of interference.

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Mercier tallied his second goal on a power play with a pass from Chris Wideman in the last four minutes to widen Miami's lead by two.

UMD had another shot when six penalties were called on the Redhawks, but came up short each time.

With an extra attacker in the last 2:05 to play when Duluth pulled its goalie, the Bulldogs cut the RedHawk margin to 2-1 with a goal by MacGregor.

UMD had its school-record six-game post-season winning streak snapped by Miami.

Miami has an all-time record of 4-6 in NCAA Tournament games. The Redhawks are 4-4 under Coach Enrico Blasi.

Miami's season record improved to 22-12-5. Minnesota-Duluth finished its 2008-09 campaign with a mark of 22-13-8.

Britney Milazzo is a Contributor for Bleacher Report. 

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