Former Phantom ready for NCAA’s Frozen Four
SPECIAL TO THE VINDICATOR
MIAMI — Former Mahoning Valley Phantoms forward Alden Hirschfeld is getting set to play in college hockey’s Frozen Four, the NCAA Division I national semifinals.
Hirschfeld, a freshman forward for No. 13 Miami University, played for the Phantoms between 2006-08, serving as team captain during the 2007-08 campaign.
The first-year RedHawk got a big start in the 2009 National Tournament when he scored a first-period goal in Miami’s 4-2 upset of No. 4 Denver in the West Regional semifinals.
“It was a great feeling to get the goal,” Hirschfeld said. “I didn’t know what to expect, with it being my first ever tournament game, but it was amazing and it was an even better feeling when we actually won the game.”
Hirschfeld, along with sophomore standout linemates Tommy Wingels and Carter Camper, combined for a goal and three assists as the RedHawks pulled the first-round stunner.
Playing on the line with Camper and Wingels has been a welcome change for the former Mahoning Valley captain, who spent Miami’s first 14 games sidelined with a broken arm.
“It’s been pretty amazing, going from not playing at all, to playing on the fourth line, all the way to playing with great players like Tommy and Carter,” Hirschfeld said.
Miami followed up Friday’s upset with another shocker when the Redhawks bumped the fifth-ranked WCHA champion Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 2-1 to gain the RedHawks’ first Frozen Four appearance.
“This is something I’ll always remember,” Hirschfeld said. “To accomplish something that’s never been done in school history, something that other guys have dreamed about for decades, it’s special.”
The RedHawks continue their Cinderella run against another underdog-turned-semifinalist in the Frozen Four on April 9 when they take on the No. 15 Bemidji at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.