3/28 Recap: Knapp's 55 keep 'Hawks alive

Connor Knapp made 55 saves Sunday as Miami advanced to the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four with a 3-2 win over Michigan in 2OT. The 6'5 sophomore had to be sharp out of the gate, as the attacking Wolverines forced him to make a pair of quick stops in the first :15 of play. While Knapp was tested in regulation, the smelling salts really came into play in the first overtime when he was forced to make 20 of his 55 stops with an exhausted group in front of him.

Knapp and the RedHawks received a lucky break in the first OT when a premature whistle saw Kevin Lynch's apparent game winner waved off. Knapp got turned around in his crease after a shot squeezed through his legs, but the whistle sounded before Lynch jammed it in. Miami survived the extra session, including another close call via a Matt Rust (CBS) rip off the pipe, before charging their batteries and winning it on an Alden Hirschfeld wrister at 1:54 of the second overtime.

The RedHawks will now make the skate into Detroit's Ford Field two weeks from now to faceoff against Boston College in the national semifinal. Wisconsin and Cinderella RIT will battle in the other side of the bracket. If Enrico Blasi sticks to his rotational guns, Miami could see Knapp could give way to Cody Reichard in the tilt with the Eagles while readying himself for duty in the championship game. After all, that would be Knapp's start using the "if it aint broke, don't fix it" approach.

In the WHL playoffs, Brayden McNabb was -1 as Kootenay saw their season end with a 4-1 loss to Medicine Hat. After taking the first two games of the series, the Ice went cold to allow the Tigers to take four straight games to seal the deal in six. McNabb posted four assists in the first-round loss after finishing the regular season sixth among league defenders with 57 points (17+40).
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Anonymous
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Monday, March 29, 2010 ×

I always thought that Eidsness would be the next #1 in Portland.
Not anymore...

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Anonymous
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Monday, March 29, 2010 ×

Just to add to my point above.
He's only 19.
Impressive!!!

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Kris Baker
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Monday, March 29, 2010 ×

Both have some work to do. Knapp made a lot of saves but still got turned around once or twice. He moves ok, but needs to get quicker. He stayed sharp, and that was the key. Good mental work.

I've been taking some heat in email for putting Knapp ahead of Eidsness in the latest rankings. Tonight doesn't show you that A is a better prospect than B as much it shows how the gap between the two is still pretty narrow. Great test. I'm real curious to see how this shakes out two weeks from now. The guy watching Knapp stop 55 tonight is a Hobey finalist.

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