- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2009

A nonfactor offensively for the first half of its Frozen Four semifinal against Miami (Ohio), Bemidji State finally had a goal and momentum on its side at pro-underdog Verizon Center.

“We thought we were tilting the ice a little bit,” captain Travis Winter said.

It lasted exactly 60 seconds.

A minute after Bemidji State cut Miami's lead in half, the RedHawks responded with a back-breaking goal that allowed them to apply a vice grip to the Beavers' offense in the third period and post a 4-1 victory Thursday. It clinched the RedHawks' first spot in the national championship game.

Miami (23-12-5) will play Boston University at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Tommy Wingels had two goals and an assist for the RedHawks, and Bill Loupee scored the critical third goal with 9:14 left in the second period.

“Even when they made it 2-1, our guys were focused,” Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. “And then, obviously, the third goal was huge.”

Tournament darling Bemidji State's season ended at 20-16-1. The Beavers mustered only 13 shots in the final 40 minutes.

“We got beat by a better team tonight,” coach Tom Serratore said. “Miami was strong, they were quick, and they reacted well. Every facet of their game was good. … We saw the same on the bench that you saw - we couldn't get going, we had a hard time sustaining any type of pressure, and we weren't getting pucks deep.”

After a scoreless first period, Miami took a 2-0 lead with goals less than five minutes apart. At the 3:56 mark, Wingels' wrist shot from the right circle beat Beavers goalie Matt Dalton to the stick side. The RedHawks' next goal started with a fine outlet pass by defenseman Matt Tomassoni to Wingels. A two-on-one resulted, and Alden Hirschfeld one-timed Wingels' pass for his fifth goal of the season.

Bemidji State, meanwhile, went more than eight minutes before posting its initial shot on goal in the second period. But the Beavers cashed in on a power play when Winter fed Matt Read below the right circle. Read walked in untouched for his 15th goal of the season.

Right after the goal, Loupee had a chance near the net thanks to a pass by Chris Wideman.

“I flubbed it,” Loupee said.

An instant later, Will Weber's slap shot from the right point appeared to handcuff Dalton. Loupee was on the spot to put home the rebound for the eighth goal of his 105-game college career.

“It was a huge goal - probably the turning point of the night,” Winter said.

The third period was an exercise in defensive efficiency. Miami clogged the neutral zone, allowing only seven shots. Wingels sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 2:08 remaining.

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