B.U. forward Nick Bonino brings the puck up ice for the Terriers' attack during the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship, held at Verizon Center from April 9-11. Photo by Mike Greenhill.
Is Washington D.C. becoming a hockey town? With the Frozen Four taking place at the Verizon Center this last weekend, and the Capitals playoff run underway against the New York Rangers, set to against the New York Rangers on Wednesday it might seem that way. March belongs to the NCAA because of the Basketball Tournament, but April is all about hockey, and a Final Four that get far less coverage that itâ€™s hardwood counterpart.
In this yearâ€™s tournament, held from April 9 through the 11, the four teams that competed were top ranked Boston University, Miami University (of Ohio), Vermont and Bemidji State. The college game differs from the professional game in one major factor â€“ fighting is not allowed. In college, one fighting offense equals getting ejected from the current game plus a one game suspension as opposed to a five-minute penalty in the NHL.
Last modified on Thursday, 30 April 2009 16:23
In the first semi-final game, Miami's Sophomore Tommy Wingels lead the way with two goals and an assist, one of those being an empty net goal in the 3rd period, to spark a three goal second period as the Red Hawks beat Bemidji State. Bemidji State Coach Tom Serratore, although expressing disappointment, looked at the bigger opportunity that his team had.
â€œWe had the opportunity of playing in one of the greatest venues in the world in one of the... if not the greatest city in the world. Playing in the frozen four is uncharted waters. Not many hockey players get the opportunity to play in something like this."
In the most exciting game of the evening, there was a back and for the contest between Boston University and number three ranked Vermont, with both teams exchanging goals. Boston University coming out on top 5-4, scoring the game winning goal with 5:41 remaining in the game to make it to the finals.
In the final BU would put together a comeback worthy of any NCAA tournament, scoring the tying goal with 17 seconds left in the game, and winning the contest 4-3 in overtime for BU fifth championship.
â€œAll I can think of is that it's the greatest game comeback I've been involved in,â€ said BU coach Jack Parker. â€œThe only thing I can say, we won that game because big-time players make big-time plays.â€