Bemidji State opens play in Frozen Four today against Miami (Ohio)

BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team opens play in the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four this afternoon in a national semifinal matchup with the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. Central time from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The Bemidji State Beavers advanced to their first Frozen Four by winning the NCAA Tournament’s Midwest Regional, held March 27-28 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Bemidji State, the regional’s No. 4 seed, defeated Notre Dame, the tournament’s top overall seed and the second-ranked team in the country, 5-1, in the regional semifinals and toppled ninth-ranked Cornell, 4-1, in the regional final.

Miami enters the Frozen Four, also its first, as champions of the NCAA Tournament’s West Regional, held March 27-28 in Minneapolis, Minn. The Redhawks, also their region’s No. 4 seed, defeated top-seeded Denver, 4-2, in the regional semifinal and held off Minnesota, Duluth, 2-1, in the regional final.

Bemidji State enters the Frozen Four with a record of 20-15-1. The Beavers captured the College Hockey America regular-season championship with a conference record of 12-5-1 and captured their third CHA Tournament championship with a 3-2 overtime victory over Robert Morris on March 14.

The Beavers are ranked 12th in the USA Today/USA Hockey coaches poll and are receiving votes in the U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV and polls.

Miami (Ohio) enters the Frozen Four at 22-15-1 overall. The Redhawks tied for second in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association with a league record of 17-7-4 and lost in the opening rounds of the CCHA playoffs, dropping two of three games to Northern Michigan.

The Redhawks are ranked fourth in the nation in the USA Today/USA Hockey coaches poll, 12th in the poll and 13th by U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV.

The contest will be telecast live on ESPN2 with a radio broadcast available locally through MIX 103.7 FM and nationally through Westwood One.

Gary Thorne will provide play-by-play coverage for ESPN2 with analyst Barry Melrose and reporter Clay Matvick.

Brian Schultz provides play-by-play for MIX 103.7 FM with analyst Brian Bisonnette.

Sean Grande provides play-by-play for Westwood One with analyst Cap Raeder.

Check local listings for broadcast availability.