|February 10, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||05:25||MTU||Mason Blacklock (Raymond Brice )|
|1||12:31||BSU||Heller, Jordan (Miller, Aaron , Baudry, Justin)|
|2||07:17||MTU||Brent Baltus (Joel L'Esperance )|
|2||09:43||MTU||Mark Auk (Jake Lucchini , Seamus Donohue)|
|2||11:45||MTU||Gavin Gould (Joel L'Esperance , Mark Auk)|
|3||16:08||MTU||Greyson Reitmeier (Dane Birks )|
|Shots on Goal||37||24|
HOUGHTON, Mich. (John MacInnes Arena) -- Michigan Tech used a three-goal second period to break a 1-1 deadlock and propel itself past the Bemidji State University men's hockey team Saturday in Houghton, Mich.
The Huskies' victory not only salvaged a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series split, it also kept MTU's hopes alive for a home playoff berth. Michigan Tech opened the day trailing BSU by five points for the fourth and final home playoff position. The victory allowed MTU to reel BSU to within two points with two weeks of the regular season remaining; however BSU has two games in hand.
Just as it did to open Friday’s series opener, Michigan Tech put Bemidji State in hole early. Macon Blacklock recorded his first goal of the season as the 5:25 mark. Again like the opener, BSU had a first period-answer in the form of a Jordan Heller goal. The senior netted his third goal of the series and sixth of the season with 7:29 left in the frame on the power play with Aaron Miller and Justin Baudry getting credit for assists on the scoring play. Unlike the opener, the Beavers were unable to generate the offense to break the tie.
Even at 1-1 to open the second, a BSU penalty-kill unit that has been among the best in the country this season and leads the WCHA was tested twice during the first 10 minutes and MTU got goals from Brent Baltus and Mark Auk to go 2-for-2, to grow its lead to 3-1 by the 9:43 mark. Gavin Gould would cap MTU’s three-goal period at the 11:45 mark. The goal signaled an end to senior goaltender Michael Bitzer’s night after 31:45. He finished the night stopping 14 of 19 shots faced.
The Beavers got the benefit of a pair of man-advantage opportunities in the third period and finished the frame out shooting MTU 19-7 during the final 20 minutes en route to a 37-24 edge in the game, but were unable to find the back of the net and Greyson Reitmeier scored for the Huskies at the 16:08 mark to put the game out of reach.
The Beavers’ special–teams units, came up short in the series finale going 1-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.
In relief of Bitzer, sophomore Jack Burgardt made is first appearance since Nov. 24 and just his second as a Beaver. He made seven saves and allowed one goal in 28:15.
BSU, now 15-11-2 overall and 12-8-4-2 in WCHA play, returns to Sanford Center and Bemidji, Minn. where it will host the University of Alaska Feb. 15-16. The rare Thursday/Friday series will get underway at 7:07 p.m. Thursday, while Friday’s senior day festivities will begin at 7:07 p.m. Tickets are still available for the series and begin at $12 for Log Jam General Admission seating.
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).