|February 09, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||00:53||MTU||Jake Lucchini (Joel L'Esperance , Gavin Gould)|
|1||10:52||BSU||Heller, Jordan (Somoza, Ethan , Soucier, Mike)|
|2||10:44||BSU||Roo, T.J. (Dickman, Jay , Baudry, Justin)|
|2||12:05||BSU||Somoza, Ethan (Billett, Dan , Heller, Jordan)|
|2||15:46||MTU||Dylan Steman (Jake Jackson , Seamus Donohue)|
|Shots on Goal||38||25|
HOUGHTON, Mich. (John MacInnes Arena) -- Senior co-captain Jordan Heller recorded two goals and added an assist, while Ethan Somoza netted a goal and an assist to lead the Bemidji State University men's hockey team to a 4-2 victory over Michigan Tech Friday in Houghton, Mich.
The Beavers opened the two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with a slim two-point lead over the Huskies for fourth place in the league standings with just three weeks remaining in the regular season. The victory gave BSU some breathing room, maintaining the goal of hosting the first round of the WCHA Playoffs March 2-4.
Just as it has often in the second half of the season, BSU found itself in an early hole. The Huskies needed less than a minute to build a 1-0 lead. Jake Lucchini took a pass from Joel L’Esperance and Gavin Gould and beat the Beaver goaltender Michael Bitzer on MTU’s second shot of the game just 53 seconds after the opening face off.
Heller pulled the Beavers even at the 10:52 mark of the period with help from Somoza and Mike Soucier, who was making his first appearance in the line up since December 2. Despite getting the benefit of five minutes of power-play time in the fame, the Beavers’ power-play unit failed to find the back of the net and BSU and MTU to opened the second period locked in a 1-1 tie.
The Beavers would stretch their lead to 3-1 in the second period getting goals from Roo and Ethan Somoza just 2:21 a part. Roo got the scoring started at the 10:44 and Somoza added his first collegiate goal, the eventual game winner, at the 12:05 mark to give the Beavers their largest lead of the night.
Later in the second (15:46), MTU got a goal back at the 15:46 mark when Dylan Steman netted his ninth of the season.
The score would remain 3-2 through the end of the second period with BSU holding a 30-20 edge in shots on goal.
Ownibg a one-goal lead to open the third, Heller netted his second goal of the evening unassisted at the 2:17 mark, giving BSU a two-goal cushion and Bitzer would take care of the rest, preserving the Beavers’ 15th victory of the season.
The three-point night was a career-high for Heller, while I marked the third two-goal game of the senior’s career.
Although BSU’s power play was without a goal in three opportunities, the team’s penalty-kill unit balanced out special teams play snuffing out all three of MTU’s man advantage opportunities.
Bitzer stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced to improve to 15-9-6 on the season.
BSU, now 15-10-2 overall and 12-7-4-2 in WCHA play, will go for the series sweep tomorrow when it and Huskies face off in the final game of the series. The puck is set to drop at 4:07 p.m. (CST) from MacInnes Arena.
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).