BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Make it seven.
Seven consecutive years in the NCAA tournament and seven consecutive seasons ended at the hands of a Hockey East opponent. That’s how the Miami resume reads after Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Massachusetts-Lowell in the East Regional semifinals.
March 24, 2006 — Boston College 5, Miami 0
March 25, 2007 — Boston College 4, Miami 0
March 30, 2008 — Boston College 4, Miami 3, OT
April 11, 2009 — Boston University 4, Miami 3, OT
April 8, 2010 — Boston College 7, Miami 1
March 26, 2011 — New Hampshire 3, Miami 1
March 23, 2012 — Massachusetts-Lowell 4, Miami 3, OT
All signs suggest that Miami coach Rico Blasi has a perennial contender in Oxford, Ohio, but this trend is starting to border on ridiculous. Can we still call it a coincidence? An aberration? Maybe it’s just another certainty in life: death, taxes and a heartbreaking end to the Miami season.
Heartbreaking was an understatement for Friday night’s game. Tears were fresh in the eyes of Miami’s players when they walked into the news conference room. They had erased a three-goal deficit in the third period only to come a crossbar away from a shot at the Frozen Four.
It played like the ultimate hockey cliche. Crossbar for Miami turns to game-winner for Lowell.
Multiply this result by seven and you start to glimpse what Blasi, Miami and their fans have suffered through over the past seven years. Suffice it to say, Miami’s meteoric rise in the college hockey hierarchy has certainly seen its share of painful crashes back to Earth.
Miami has had the misfortune to run into eventual champions, but the numbers are astounding. Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss also marks the third time in seven years that Miami has lost an NCAA tournament game to a Hockey East foe in overtime by that same exact score.