|March 05, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||05:18||BSU||Fitzgerald, Myles (Arentz, Nate , Muck, Tommy)|
|1||05:52||BSU||Harms, Brendan (Muck, Tommy , Fitzgerald, Gerry)|
|2||17:40||NMU||Brock Maschmeyer (Dominik Shine , Robbie Payne)|
|Shots on Goal||20||28|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- The Bemidji State University men's hockey team used a 2-1 victory over Northern Michigan University Sunday to win its opening round series and advance to the semifinal round. The top-seeded Beavers move on to host the fourth seed, Bowling Green State University, March 10-12 in a best-of-three playoff series.
Myles Fitzgerald and Brendan Harms accounted for BSU’s scoring, while freshman Defender Tommy Muck added an assist on each goal and Michael Bitzer turned in a 19-save performance to push the Beavers to their 22nd win of the season.
The Beavers matched their scoring output from Saturday night in just 5:52 Sunday, jumping out to a 2-0 lead with goals from M. Fitzgerald and Harms, just 34 seconds apart. M. Fitzgerald pulled a Nate Arentz rebound off the end wall and his shot caromed off the back of a defender and past Atte Tolvanen. Just seconds after the ensuing face-off, Gerry Fitzgerald corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone and Harms posted his eighth goal of the season on a bad angle slap shot from the corner.
The Beavers’ penalty-kill unit was also tested early. Harms was given an early exit after being whistled for a five-minute major and game misconduct, supplying the Wildcats five minutes of power-play time, but the Beavers, backed Bitzer, stood tall, building momentum as the penalty progressed.
BSU ended the first period with an extended amount of in zone time and took a 2-0 lead into the locker room for the break.
The Wildcats got a goal back late in the second period when BSU’s M. Fitzgerald went to the penalty box for tripping. NMU needed just 21 seconds on the man advantage to find the back of the net. Brock Maschmeyer picked up a rebound when Bitzer kicked aside a shot by Dominik Shine.
Both teams had near misses during the third period, including a Dominik Shine shot into a virtually empty net with just moments left on the clock, but the Beavers escaped with the 2-1 victory and live to fight another day.
The Beavers (22-14-3) now welcome the No. 4 seed, Bowling Green Friday for a best-of-three series for the right to move on to play for an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament in the league’s championship game, March 18.
Tickets for the semifinal series are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting the Sanford Center Bob Lowth Ford Pickup Window from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, 3:30-6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday or Friday beginning at noon. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (218) 441-4031.
Youth tickets are priced at $9 for each game of the series, with adult tickets beginning at $18. Reserved tickets are also available in Silver or Bronze Sections for $25; in the Gold Section $30 and seats in the Club Section are $35 with the option to buy in to the all-you-can-eat buffet area for an additional $15. All taxes and fees are included in the listed ticket price. Student tickets can be purchased at Sanford Center for $5 with a valid BSU or NTC student ID while they last.
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.