| First Round
Cherishes Underdog Role
Understanding its place in the tournament
helped motivate the RedHawks
New Hampshire 1
Kaufman, R. Jones
||C. Switzer, B. Flaishans
Jeff Zatkoff, 59:29, 43 saves, 1 GA
Kevin Regan, 58:39, 23 saves, 2 GA
MIA 7/14; UNH 6/12
Plays: MIA 0-6; UNH 0-7
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Miami knew its place
in the landscape of the NCAA tournament. The RedHawks were
the last team in and were a mere Midwestern speed bump on
the way to an all-Hockey East regional final in Manchester.
They knew; they just didn't care.
Miami took the "nothing to lose"
approach all week during practice and kept it going when
the puck dropped in its first-round matchup with top-seeded
New Hampshire, which was playing less than 40 miles from
its campus in Durham. They had nothing to lose and everything
to gain, including its first ever NCAA tournament win in
five tries – by a 2-1 margin.
"Everyone was coming in here talking
about UNH and BC," said Miami goalie Jeff Zatkoff,
who made 43 saves. "We thought we had nothing to lose.
People wrote us off like we weren't supposed to be here.
We just went out there like we had nothing to lose."
"If you lose, you go home, so technically
you do have something to lose," Miami defenseman Mitch
Ganzak countered. "But, we weren't supposed to be here.
We were the last at-large team to get in. New Hampshire
was No. 1. This was pretty much a home for them, too. If
you look at it, we had nothing to lose. We weren't supposed
to win, and we just went out there, had fun and played our
In the final minutes, Zatkoff and Ganzak turned
the tide. UNH took a timeout with 1:21 left, and Miami called
one with 27.7 seconds remaining. While the bench tried to
leave their goalie alone, he had a message for them.
"I just wanted to reiterate to the guys
when I told them we're winning this game and stay positive
even though they got that short-handed goal [at 15:15 of
the third]," Zatkoff said. "Our attitude the whole
game was positive, and I just wanted to make sure it stayed
Following the second timeout, Ganzak skated
over to Zatkoff, who was getting ready in the crease. Ganzak
tapped his goalie on the head and tried to pump him up.
"I just said, '27 seconds, let's get
it done. You've been a brick for us all night. Keep doing
it,'" Ganzak said.
On the other side, UNH's season came to another
premature halt. The Wildcats flew out to a hot 22-5-1 start
before finishing the regular season at 1-4-1. After winning
three in a row to get to the Hockey East championship, they
closed out on a two-game losing streak.
Still, Miami coach Rico Blasi took exception
to the loss that was already chalked up on his team's docket.
"Obviously, everyone here wanted UNH-BC,
and so everybody is going to write that," Blasi said.
"Our guys have a lot of pride, and they want to come
out and play hard. This is not the first time we've been
here. We lost a tough one last year to a good team.
"We came in here confident with nothing
to lose. We're not supposed to be here. Go out and play,
and play for 60 minutes. That's exactly what the coaches
said. We didn't talk about them disrespecting us or anything
like that. I have a lot of respect for Coach Umile. I thought
he did a great job in trying to deflect the media trying
to hype up a BC-UNH rematch."
A rematch, which obviously won't happen. The
RedHawks had it right. They were playing with house money
and didn't mind laying it all on the line. Tomorrow against
BC, it'll be double or nothing.
"Anything can happen," Ganzak said.
"If you play like you have nothing to lose, and the
other team maybe possibly takes you lightly, anything to
happen. Tonight, it did."
St. Lawrence 1
Smith, B. Bradford
Gerbe, B. Bradford
Gerbe, M. Greene
Alex Petizian, 56:20, 31 saves, 3 GA
Cory Schneider, 60:00, 24 saves, 1 GA
SLU 8/16; BC 10/20
Plays: SLU 0-6; BC 1-4
AVOIDING THE UPSET
The writing was literally on the wall for
Boston College. Before the Eagles headed out to the ice,
they had written "Get the first goal" in giant
letters on the board.
So, that's what the Eagles did. Just 1:24
into the first period, Brian Boyle wristed a shot from the
right-wing circle past Alex Petizian, giving BC the early
They immediately captured the momentum and
won a hard fought 4-1 contest – the score doesn't
reflect the game – against St. Lawrence.
"We needed to set the tone right away
and so you get a little confidence behind your back,"
BC forward Nathan Gerbe said. "Sometimes you get a
little nervous, but we kept playing well."
Boston College didn't need any extra motivation
to come out swinging against the lower-seeded Saints. It
had already seen UMass, Maine, Michigan State and Miami
pull off upsets in the first 24 hours of the NCAA tournament.
And, Alabama-Huntsville and Air Force nearly did the same.
The Eagles knew their 10-game winning streak entering the
national tourney meant absolutely nothing when they laced
up their skates.
"I feel like we have to put in the extra
focus, especially at this time of the year," Gerbe
said. "One loss is the end of the season now. Miami
is a very good team. We know that. We played them last year
in the regionals. They're going to come out hard. They played
well against UNH and got the win against them. We've got
to be well prepared for that."
They'll be forced to take on the RedHawks
tomorrow. A loss may be twice as bad since no four-seed
has ever advanced to the Frozen Four since the field expanded
to 16 teams in 2003.
"You look at the Miami roster, and you
see the guys they've got," Boyle said. "We don't
look at the four-seed. We look at the players they've got.
They've got Zatkoff in net, and Davis and Jones up front.
Those are three pretty big names that really jump out at
us. They just beat New Hampshire. You can't really worry
about what seed they are right now, whether they squeaked
in or however they got into the tournament. We've got to
play them. They're going to want to try to get to the Frozen
just as bad as we are."
Right now, it's a testament to how deep the
tournament pool has gotten.
"In basketball, there are so many [teams],"
BC coach Jerry York said. "But, I think if you get
in our field of 16, it's a pretty good club. We were very
cognizant of the fact that Alabama-Huntsville took Notre
Dame to the second OT. The fourth seeds are winning games.
I don't think we were thinking this was a big underdog situation
with St. Lawrence."
AND HEARD AT VERIZON WIRELESS ARENA
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Ben Smith, Boston College
center has helped keep the first line moving without
Boyle. Scoring the game-winner helps, too.
Ryan Jones, Miami
Had the game-winning goal and an assist.
His goal may have been of the fluky variety, but a
goal is a goal and a winner is a winner.
Jeff Zatkoff, Miami
The netminder stopped 43 UNH shots to carry
the RedHawks to victory.
• Miami coach Rico Blasi made the decision
to start Jeff Zatkoff over Charlie Effinger Thursday night.
Zatkoff said after the game that he expects to start Sunday
• The Miami fans were greatly outnumbered,
but they were pretty good at making themselves heard in
the hostile environment.
• There were a few Maine fans spotted
around the arena. Not sure if they got lost on their way
to Rochester or just like rooting against UNH that much.
• Overheard in the media meal room during
the second intermission: "We're going to need to get
more drinks. These people go through drinks like no other."
Welcome to the world of sports journalism.
• Before today, the last time UNH scored
in an NCAA tournament game was in the Northeast Regional
Final in 2005. Daniel Winnik lit the lamp at the 13:27 mark
of the second period on a penalty shot in a 4-2 loss to
Denver in Amherst, Mass. The Wildcats were shut out, 1-0,
by Michigan State in the East Regional Semifinal last year.
The NCAA tournament scoring drought ended at 141:48.
• The fish that the UNH faithful heave
onto the ice after the Wildcats' first goal nearly hit Miami
defenseman Brad Robbins, who seemed a bit startled when
he looked down and saw the fish gliding toward him.
• Funny things can happen to a team
playing in a neutral arena. After Dan Bertram was whistled
for hooking at 8:39 of the first period, the BC forward
took a seat in the wrong penalty box.
• There was a mix-up in front of Cory
Schneider with 5:30 remaining in the first period. While
play went back to the St. Lawrence zone, Mike McKenzie tangled
up with Brian Boyle in the crease, causing all three of
them to fall down. Schneider got up and took a swipe at
McKenzie with his stick. As Boyle and McKenzie eventually
made their way down the ice to rejoin the action, the whistle
blew and Boyle poked McKenzie from behind, causing him to
fall. Boyle got two minutes in the box for slashing.
• If you were looking at tonight's line
charts and wondering why Alex Petizian was wearing No. 32
and not his listed No. 30, you weren't alone. Petizian wears
32 on the road and 30 at home because St. Lawrence does
not have a red sweater with 30 on it.
• There was a scary moment with 18:59
remaining in the third period. BC had a two-on-one, and
Joe Rooney crossed it to Benn Ferriero, who took the shot.
Petizian made a great save moving to his left, but the puck
hit him in the throat. He dropped to the ice, and the game
was delayed for a few minutes while the trainers attended
to him. He got up, stayed in the game and made a few nice
saves right away, too.
"The shot hit me right in the neck,"
Petizian said. "Luckily, I had the neck protector on,
or else I think it could have been really bad. I lost a
little bit of air at first but regained it."
• Brock McBride's goal at 2:12 of the
second marked the first time Cory Schneider had been beaten
in NCAA Regional play in two years. He shut out Miami and
Boston University in last season's Northeast Regional, and
his scoreless streak ran to 142:12.
was a loud cheer when the video board showed Air Force leading
Minnesota 3-1 in the third period and then a loud roar of
boos when it showed Minnesota won 4-3. The groans got louder
when the video board spotted a fan wearing a Gophers jersey
and telling everyone he was No. 1.
though the host Wildcats were bounced in the first game
of the afternoon, the crowd remained relatively strong.
A few left the building, but the atmosphere remained solid.
been a fan of Barry Melrose, but to hear he compared Brian
Boyle to Bobby Orr is a bit disappointing. This isn't a
knock on Boyle, who has done a fine job on the blue line
in the recent transition, but Bobby Orr?
Boston College will meet Miami Sunday at 3:30
p.m. for the rights to go to the Frozen Four. All-time,
the Eagles and RedHawks have split four meetings with each
side winning twice. The two teams met in the opening round
of last season's Northeast Regional Benn Ferriero scored
a pair of goals, and Cory Schneider made 33 saves to lead
BC to a 5-0 win. Charlie Effinger stopped 26 of 30 shots
in net for Miami. Jerry York actually recruited Nate Davis
to play for BC, but he chose Miami.