|December 08, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||Final|
|1||12:07||NMU||Robbie Payne (Philip Beaulieu , Adam Rockwood)|
|1||19:18||BSU||Baudry, Justin (Harris, Brendan , Fitzgerald, Myles)|
|Shots on Goal||21||25|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) – In a tie game where open ice was hard to find, Northern Michigan University defender Jordan Klimek broke away from the pack and beat Bemidji State University goaltender Michael Bitzer five hole with 1:58 left to in the second overtime to give the Wildcats an extra point in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings to open the league series.
The goal came with the Wildcats playing with a man in the penalty box.
At the 1:34 mark of the second overtime period and the teams playing three-on-three, the Beavers looked to get the break they needed as NMU was whistled for too many men on the ice, but before the penalty expired, Klimek stole the puck and got the room he needed to get a shot off.
While the game officially stands as a tie, according to the NCAA and the WCHA, NMU took two points out of the game and left BSU with one. It is the first time in four overtime contests that BSU has fallen.
Special teams play was the theme of a first period during which each team would net a power-play goal.
Northern Michigan got the first break of the game at the 8:03 mark when Adam Brady was whistled for a five-minute major penalty for checking from behind. The Wildcats broke the scoreless tie at the 12:07 mark on a goal by Robbie Payne, who was assisted by Philip Beaulieu and Adam Rockwood.
The Beavers answered with less than a minute to play in the frame. Taking advantage of their first man advantage opportunity of the game, Justin Baudry unleashed a rocket from the point to beat Mathias Isrealsson. Brendan Harris and Myles Fitzgerald were credited with assists on the play.
Bemidji State finished the first perfect on the power play (1-for-1), while NMU was 1-for-3.
The teams played the final 40:42 of regulation to a stalemate and combined for just 27 shots on goal.
The five-on-five, five minute overtime was more of the same. The teams struggled to gain an advantage as the Wildcats outshot BSU 2-1 but failed to score, sending the game to a second overtime period.
Bitzer made 20 saves in the draw, allowing only a power-play goal at the tail end of a five-minute major. In the game, he surpassed BSU great Charlie Scanlon (1971-75) and moved into fourth place on BSU’s all-time saves list. He is 5-5-4 on the season.
The BSU power-play unit finished the night 1-for-3, while NMU was 1-for-5.
The Beavers, now 5-6-4 overall and 2-4-3-2 in WCHA play, looks to earn a series win tomorrow as it again hosts Northern Michigan. The opening face off is set for 7:07 p.m. at Sanford Center.
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).