More Heartache for Miami
by Matthew Conyers/CHN Staff Writer
DETROIT Moments after its NCAA semifinal loss Thursday, Miami needed no reminder about the last team to lose in back-to-back Frozen Fours only to make it to the title game the following season.
That team was positioned a few yards away in another locker room.
In 2008, Boston College won the National Championship after enduring two tough defeats in the title games the previous seasons.
This will be Miami’s mission next year.
The Red Hawks were defeated 7-1 Thursday at Ford Field in Detroit for their second straight Frozen Four heartache. Last year, Boston University scored two goals in the final minute of the National Championship to force overtime and then defeat Miami.
“BC lost two years in a row in the finals and they built off of it,” Miami’s Andy Miele said. “We’re hoping to do the same thing here.”
“The loss last year was pretty heavy on our minds throughout the whole season,” goalie Cody Reichard said.
But this year was supposed to be different. The RedHawks came into the year on a mission. Then after the death of team manager Brendan Burke, the season took on an even bigger meaning. Playing with even more emotion and passion, Miami found itself near the top of the Pairwise. Was Miami a team of destiny?
"We have the mindset that everything happens for a reason," Miami's Tommy Wingels said.
Miami players admitted to letting the thoughts of ‘destiny’ enter into the picture every now and then. How could they not? There were emotions everywhere.
“Coach [Enrico Blasi] kept telling us it was our time,” Miele said.
Still, sports are cruel and unpredictable. And Thursday, Miami had another lesson to learn.
“We knew it wasn’t just going to be given to us, we still had to show up,” Reichard said. “We have to work a lot harder and play a lot better than we did [Thursday].”
Boston College scored six goals on 25 shots in the final two periods. After watching Miami make it 3-1 with 14:41 left, the Eagles responded with three goals in 1:35. Boston College had the shut the door before it was barely open.
“From the first drop of the puck, they controlled the game,” Reichard said. “They were relentless and they completely outworked us.”
The returning players hope this could be another building block in the program’s history. But their also realistic. Championships don’t come everyday. And Miami felt like it missed another golden opportunity.
“Last year was definitely more heartbreaking because we had it in our hands and then we blew it,” Miele said. “This year we just didn’t really play. We knew it was our fault, we could’ve had more control of it.
“Last year, BU meant to win it — they were meant to win it. This year we meant to win it and we didn’t come to play. This is going to be hard on us.”
The disappointment may even strengthen the RedHawks.
"We [still] have the mind set that everything happens for a reason," Wingels said. "We've grown together as a brotherhood and I think the guys on this team are closer than the guys on the team have ever been before. I really feel that way."