|February 02, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|Lake Superior State||1||1||0||2|
|1||14:49||LSSM||J.T. Henke (Bryan Basilico , Kyle Chatham)|
|2||16:17||LSSM||Anthony Nellis (Gage Torrel )|
|Shots on Goal||20||28|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) – The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team stumbled out of the gates Friday and found itself playing catch up all night in a 2-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association loss to Lake Superior State University at Sanford Center.
Shut out for just the second time this season, the Beavers were unable to generate any sustained offensive pressure, any second-chance opportunities and had just one power-play chance. Once the Lakers found the back of the net for a 2-0 late in the second period, LSSU shifted its focus to its own defensive zone limiting BSU’s offensive opportunities and making a comeback unattainable.
Five different Lakers’ players recorded a point in the game, led by J.T. Henke, who netted the eventual game-winning goal late in the first period.
Nick Kassoff backstopped LSSU to its first shutout victory since March 12, 2016 with 28 saves. He improves to 6-11-2 in 2017-18.
Lake Superior State was the first to light the lamp. After over 14 minutes of scoreless play, Kyle Chatham, who was deep in his own zone, found Bryan Basilico streaking up the ice and between BSU’s defenders. Henke finished the pay with his team-leading goal of the season.
BSU opened the second period out shooting LSSU 5-0 during the first 9:50, but again the Lakers would strike to stretch their lead to 2-0. At the 16:17 mark, Gage Torrel skated in front of a BSU attempt to clear the zone and found Anthony Nellis on the far post for a tap in.
The Beavers showed brief signs of life in the third period, nearly missing on a few shots from distance, but weren’t able to consistently get the puck between the circles to challenge Kassoff despite out shooting the Lakers 13-4 during the final 20 minutes of play. Head Coach Tom Serratore attempted to light a fire under his team pulling the BSU goaltender, Michael Bitzer, for an extra attacker with the game nearing the three-minute mark, but no sooner did the extra skater hit the ice than the Beavers were whistled for a penalty, losing the advantage.
A bright spot for the Beavers was the play of its penalty-kill unit. BSU snuffed out all four of the Lakers’ power-play chances never surrendering a threat. Now at 85-of-95 this season (.895) Bemidji State trails the Ohio State University (90-100/.900) for penalty-kill efficiency across all of NCAA Division I. BSU also leads the WCHA allowing just six goals to league opponents in 69 attempts (.913).
Michael Bitzer stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced, including three LSSU attempts on the power play, in 57:03 but was tagged with the loss. He moves to 14-8-6 on the season.
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).