|January 24, 2014||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||14:23||UAF||Kunyk,Cody (Larson,Jared )|
|3||16:29||UAF||Larson,Jared (Huysmans,Nolan )|
|3||19:51||UAF||Basara,Marcus (Beck,Colton )|
|Shots on Goal||27||31|
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (Carlson Center) – Freshman goaltender Jesse Wilkins (Calgary, Alberta) recorded 28 saves, but the Bemidji State University men’s hockey team was unable to light the lamp in a 3-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association loss to University of Alaska late Friday in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The shutout marked the first time the Beavers had been held without a goal in nearly a calendar year, stretching back 38 games to Feb. 1, 2013 versus St. Cloud State University (4-0).
Locked in a scoreless tie early, the Nanooks got the break they needed when Cody Kunyk capitalized on a BSU turnover on the power play with his 13th goal of the season. The goal was all UA would need as Nanook goaltender Sean Cahill turned aside 27 shots to record his first collegiate shutout.
The Beavers were sluggish out of the gates as they attempted to adjust to the Olympic-sized ice at Carlson Center. The Nanooks controlled play early despite taking a pair of penalties.
Alaska got its first goal of the night with Colton Beck in the penalty box for interference. On its second man advantage of the game, BSU was unable to get its unit set and turned over the puck twice, the second to Kunyk, who beat Wilkins to give the Nanooks the early edge.
The goal served as a wake up call of sorts for BSU as the Beavers finished the first period backing the Nanooks into a corner. BSU hit the post three times in the period and posted the last four shots of the frame to take a 12-11 edge in shots on goal into the first intermission despite trailing 1-0.
The momentum Bemidji State gained in the final minutes of the first did not carry over into the second period. BSU struggled to generate scoring opportunities in the period, however, Wilkins stopped all nine of Alaska’s shots and allowed the Beavers to open the third period within striking distance, trailing 1-0.
Alaska dominated play early in the third and would break through netting its second goal of the game with 3:31 left in the frame. After a pass from Nolan Huysmans, Jared Larson skated the puck around the back of the net and fired into a virtually open goal.
Wilkins skated off the ice with just over three minutes to play in the Beavers’ push to get on the scoreboard.
The Nanooks got an empty-net goal off the stick of Marcus Basara with just 8.5 seconds left in regulation to put the game completely out of BSU’s reach. Beck was credited with an assist on the play.
BSU was out shot 31-27 in the game, which included an 11-6 differential in the third period alone. The Beavers were 0-for-5 on the power play, while their penalty-kill unit finished the night stopping all three of UA’s man advantage opportunities and has now snuffed out its opponents’ last 12 power-play chances.
Bemidji State (7-13-7; 7-8-4 WCHA) and Alaska (10-11-4; 7-10-2 WCHA) will settle the series tomorrow from Carlson Center. The opening face-off is again set for 10:07 p.m. (CST).
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUMHockey), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).