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

BEMIDJI, Minn. ó The Bemidji State University menís 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 Tournamentís Midwest Regional, held March 27-28 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Bemidji State, the regionalís No. 4 seed, defeated Notre Dame, the tournamentís 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 Tournamentís West Regional, held March 27-28 in Minneapolis, Minn. The Redhawks, also their regionís 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.

About Bemidji State University Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesotaís lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,000 students, the University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding. For further information about the University, visit Become a fan of Bemidji State University on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.