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Posted on Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 3:39 a.m.

Michigan hockey team's run ends in 3-2 double-overtime playoff loss to Miami (Ohio)

By Jeff Arnold


Michigan's goalie Shawn Hunwick can only watch as the puck slips into the net behind him for a Miami power play goal during second period action of Sunday night, March 28th's NCAA Tournament Regional Final between the two teams at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Lon Horwedel |

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The miracle run on ice ended just before midnight.

For more than 80 heart-wrenching minutes Sunday night, the Michigan hockey team threw every shot it had against the NCAA Tournament's No. 1 seed.

Somehow, a team that faced so much of an uphill battle for the past month and that seemed to be running out of gas, rediscovered new life. But when a apparent goal was waved off in overtime and another on-target shot hit the crossbar, the Wolverines couldn't find the shot it needed to extend its season.

Just like that, Michigan's improbable run to a Frozen Four berth ended when Miami sophomore Alden Hirchfeld scored 1:54 into double overtime, giving the RedHawks a 3-2 NCAA Midwest regional championship victory on Sunday night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

"Obviously, right now, no one's really pleased with losing like this," center Matt Rust said. "Having battled back with the way the season was from the start 'til now, it's a killer."

Michigan (26-8-1) nearly ended the game 2:37 into overtime when Kevin Lynch punched a rebound of a Carl Hagelin wrap-around shot into the back of the net. But following a video review, officials determined that the play had been whistled dead before Lynch scored the apparent game-winner.

NCAA Director of Officials Steve Piotrowski said the whistle blew to assess a penalty that was called on Miami on the play. A lengthy review ensued - the first of which established when play had been stopped in relation to when Lynch got his stick on the puck. Game officials also ruled that a Miami player touched the puck while it was in the crease, stopping play.

"I thought it should have gone in," Lynch said. "I heard the whistle, but I don't know why the whistle was blown."

Michigan coach Red Berenson said he was not given a reason why Lynch's goal did not stand.

"That's a tough one to swallow," Berenson said. "There's a loose puck in the crease and the referee blew the whistle because he was calling a penalty on them and yet, we had control - or were about to have control - of the puck."

The disallowed goal was just part of a dominating overtime performance when the Wolverines - who appeared gassed for much of the third period - outshot Miami 20-6. Besides Lynch's controversial disallowed goal, Rust hit the crossbar with a shot - all part of a collection of chances the Wolverines had to end the game and move on to their 24th Frozen Four appearance.

Miami goalie Connor Knapp kept the RedHawks alive, making 53 saves, including 20 in the first overtime.

"Unless you're playing, you're on pins and needles because one shot can win you or lose you the game," Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. "We've been on the wrong side of those a few times in the past few years.

"Obviously, it goes into overtime like that and one shot can win it for you."


Michigan goalie Shawn Hunwick is consoled by teammate Ben Winnett shortly after Miami knocked in the game-winning goal in double overtime to beat the Wolverines 3-2 in Sunday night.

Lon Horwedel |

After staving off defeat to Michigan throughout the first 20-minute overtime period, Miami (29-7-7) wasted little time in finishing off the win in the second overtime. Hirschfeld fired a shot from the left wing, clipping goalie Shawn Hunwick's pad en route to the back of the net.

For the first time in seven playoff games, Hunwick found himself surrounded by his teammates following a loss. Afterward, he found senior captain Chris Summers and apologized.

Summers smiled and told the walk-on goalie he had nothing to be sorry for.

"It's tough when a senior's season ends, especially your captain," Hunwick said. "I told him I was sorry I gave up a goal that led to his season ending, but we went on a pretty nice run."

The loss was difficult, especially considering the way Michigan rebounded from a demanding third period to come back to re-establish itself in the first overtime period.

But Miami scored when it got the chance, advancing to face Boston College in the national semifinals in Detroit. Berenson called among the toughest he's had during Michigan's 20-year run of playoff NCAA appearances.

"I can't really remember a team that came into the tournament like this one," Berenson said. "With all the adversity we had, the challenges we had - going to Joe Louis having to win. (Saturday night) was do or die, tonight was do or die .

"There's a fine line between winning and losing and I don't even feel like we lost."

The controversial no-goal in overtime wasn't the first time video replay came into play.

Miami appeared to capture the lead at the 17-minute mark of the third period when Pat Connone - who scored the RedHawks' previous two goals - back-handed a shot that hit the post and appeared to find the inside of the net before the puck bounced back and was covered by Hunwick.

After review, the ruling on the ice remained and the game remained deadlocked at 2.
The score remained tied into the third period after the Wolverines and RedHawks traded power-play goals in the second period.

The Wolverines captured a brief lead when Chad Langlais scored on a perfectly-executed play 49 seconds into the period. But Miami turned to the power play to knot the game at 2. Connone scored his second goal of the night to draw Miami even.

In the moments following Sunday's heart-breaking loss, players found difficulty in putting Michigan's run to the regional semifinals in perspective. In the hallway outside Michigan's locker room, teammates exchanged embraces - the emotion of a season-ending loss still evident on their faces.

"This is the most proud I've ever been of a Michigan hockey team," Summers said afterward, his voice cracking with emotion. "It's kind of sad to say the season's over, but I'm so proud of the guys that are sitting in the locker room right now."

Jeff Arnold covers Michigan hockey for He can be reached at or 734-623-2554. Follow him at Twitter @jeffreyparnold.


Beth Schneeberger Hutton

Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 9:57 a.m.

To A2Dave for your info I was not throwing rocks at OSU we played Miami of Ohio. It was the bad officating that blew the game. It was not one sided either, it was bad for both teams, but what is fair for one should be fair for the other don't blow the whistle when you can not see the puck for one and not the other, clearly the puck could not be seen when the 2nd goal was make by Miami but play continued until they scored. I am a big 10 fan and always root for the big 10 unless they are playing the U of M. Lets see what Wisconsin can do in the frozen four for the big 10 conference and also MSU basketball.

David Briegel

Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 9:16 p.m.

One of the finest coaching jobs in a very long and distinguished career! Red the Great!! You got the most out of your team and should be coach of the year. Your team played with heart, poise and energy and brought honor to you and the U of M!! I would have loved to see you go further but every single one of you should hold your heads very, very high and proud!!


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 5:54 p.m.

'tis a wonder to me how OSU and MSU fans' comments about Michigan always drip with bile and malice. Always personal, always hateful, always lacking civility. They remind me of kids who will never have any class, regardless of the win/loss record, so they call spew ugly names and throw rocks--makes them feel better, I guess.

Beth Schneeberger Hutton

Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 4:26 p.m.

They might have had more chances but also more worn down from having to play much longer. You can not deny that Michigan out played Miami. Miami played a good game but UM out played them


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 4:10 p.m.

I was not at the game, but I did see video of the no-goal in question. I would to preface my comments by saying officials don't cost teams games and they didn't in this case either. With that said, this was a piss poorly officiated game BOTH WAYS from what I heard and saw. Even before the OT mistake tere were questionable issues all game long that impacted the game. No calls on too many men situations early on. There were non-calls wen penalties should have been called, penalties calld by the official farthest from the play when it occurred in front of the official within his clear view. Michigan got very lucky since late in the 3rd period Michigan got away with a clear high stick tht wasn't called. The replay of the OT no-goal is the worst play though. After watching the video I can say the officials were correct to disallow the goal AFTER REPLAY because it clearly was scored after the whistle had blown. The issue was WHY WAS THE WHISTLE BLOWN? I have read the NCAA rule covering delayed penalties, and the rules regarding losing sight of the puck by an official. There were two possible reasons for the whistle. One he felt Miami had gained possession. Second, he lost site of the puck or felt it was covered. The rulebook clearly defines what is considered possession of the puck and at no point did a Miami player meet the requirement of possession of the puck during the sequence. If the official blew it dead for possession he had a serious mis-interpretation of the rules. If he felt it was covered/he lost sight of it then the official has only himself to blame. He was not in position to make such if it was covered. You can't call that from the opposite corner (he was in the corner, not on the goal line when he blew the whistle). I officiate several different sports and the two biggest rules are 1) Call only what you see (If he called it covered he blew that) 2) Be in position to make the call. (He was not in a good position to make a call on the play). There are 4 officials on the ice, the two linesman and the two referees. The officials should let the play continue until they are sure what is going on. In this case the whistle was blown to quickly and impacted the game. The referee also has the stupid rule (Intent to blow the whistle if they feel the play is close). Michigan had a lot of chances after that happened and didn't take advantage of those chances.


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 2:52 p.m.

absolutely horrific officiating. everyone agrees. clearly the better team lost the game. helluva game too.


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 12:26 p.m.

the better team was denied a victory.

Beth Schneeberger Hutton

Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 12:14 p.m.

It mad me sick to see how bad the oficials missed so many things. Why did they not blow the whistle when the second goal was made by Miami? Clearly the oficals could not see the puck any longer, but did not take them long to blow it when Michigan won the game in overtime. Something is wrong with this picture. I think the game should be under protest. What a joke. I feel bad for how hard our players must feel to have been denied the win when they played so hard. GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 10:53 a.m.

The lament of a LOSER; to blame the refs. Just stop it. The better team won, just admit it. You lost close to 20 games this year in hockey. And you "fans" blame the refs. You just weren't good enough. Just like football, and basketball. Get over it.


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 10:41 a.m.

Tough officiating cost the Wolverines. Hockey tournaments are interesting because, as UM showed, a team can hit its stride at the right moment and almost win it all. I feel bad for UM fans but probably even more for Detroit. It would've been a great story: MSU basketball in the D in 2009, UM hockey in 2010. If I believed in a god or gods I would think Ann Arbor must have done something to raise his/her/their fury.


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 9:02 a.m.

Don't worry fellas: the Wolvie women are still alive in the WNIT.......................blahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 8:16 a.m.

While I agree that there was a bad call on the no goal, you've got to give Miami credit for what they did, especially their goalie who Michigan absolutely peppered over and over, especially in the first overtime. Great, hard fought's too bad we lost. I'd like to thank Red and the boys for bringing some pride back to UM this year. 20 straight tourneys? That's an amazing feat and the way they battled to get there was incredible. Hunwick is a stud in net and this team played like the Michigan I grew up with. Great season, UM. Go Blue

Mumbambu, Esq.

Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 7:54 a.m.

I'm sick over it all. At this point all I can say is GO RIT!


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 7:27 a.m.

[sigh] We all agree that the officiating was horrific. Even the Miami fans that sat next to me during the Bemidji State game agreed. I was amazed to see the same refs for the finale on Sunday. We can complain about the refs all we want, but that won't change the fact that Michigan is not going to Ford Field for the frozen four. The only thing that I would like to see is accountability for the poor officiating. The NCAA needs to come down on these guys like the other leagues have with officials in the past. All four should be out of a job IMHO. Looking at the positive side - This Michigan team was a 7th place regular season finisher. They fought with every ounce of energy and courage they had. That led them to the CCHA Championship game at Joe Louis Arena. Then to win that game AND win the first round in the NCAA tournament were HUGE accomplishments. I'm very proud of the boys and very thankful for a great show they've given us fans. It's just a sport that's played for fun. Some people need to remember that. Sparty Dave66 - You're a typical spartan fan. Your jealousy shines through in every post. This is a "game" you obviously can't grasp. I pay more in taxes every quarter than you make in a year. But you have a good basketball team that you're in no way affiliated with. Bravo to you.


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 7:10 a.m.

Look at the bright side. Now that this distraction is over, we can all focus our full attention Michigan State Basketball. Good thing "At least we still have hockey" was never put in the fight song. Saves the bother of having to take it back out.


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 6:20 a.m.

What a complete joke. I'm reminded of Frank Beckmann's call of the 2001 Michigan/Michigan State "Spartan Bob" game where he called the time keeping criminal. The officiating in both Michigan games in Fort Wayne was absolutely abysmal.

Hot Sam

Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 5:14 a.m.

They each won it once...

Raggety Andy

Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 4:53 a.m.