Duluth, Minn. (AMSOIL Arena) – Bemidji State University and the University of Minnesota Duluth played 70 minutes and two overtime periods Saturday at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn. but each team was held scoreless forcing a shootout exhibition to decide the non-conference series finale. After a pair of stops by Michael BItzer, Jay Dickman tilted the game in BSU’s favor with a shootout goal.
The tie and shootout victory give the Beavers a series victory over the Bulldogs following a 5-2 victory in the series opener Friday at Sanford Center.
Bitzer was the star of the scoreless tie, posting a career-high 45 saves, while holding UMD without a power-play goal in four opportunities. He improves to 1-0-1 on the season with his 17th career shutout.
Bemidji State got caught on its collective heels in the first period and was outshot 11-2, but used a strong performance by Bitzer and its defensive unit to hang on and skate into the first intermission tied 0-0.
The Beavers bounced back in the second using a pair of power-play opportunities to close the shot differential to 13-11 for the period, but the teams would remain without a goal.
BSU had its chances in the third period with Brendan Harris tapping a puck just wide of the net in the closing seconds of the frame forcing the teams to a five-on-five, five minute overtime period.
UMD held a 4-1 lead in shots on goal in overtime, using a penalty by Jay Dickman at the 2:23 mark to skate for two minutes on the man advantage, but again the teams would come up dry in the scoring category.
Officially a tie, the teams entered into exhibition play for bragging rights.
Progressing to the 3-on-3 five-minute overtime, neither team recorded a shot on goal setting up the sudden death shootout. Dickman stopped and popped a goal as the Beavers’ second shooter ending the scoreless game with the Beavers on top.
The 0-0 tie marks the third time in BSU hockey history that a game ended in a scoreless tie and the first time since an Oct. 30, 2015 draw at Northern Michigan.
Bemidji State, now 1-0-1 returns to Bemidji, Minn. and Sanford Center to host Air Force Oct. 20-21. Opening face off for each night is 7:07 p.m. Tickets are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to the drop of the puck. Current or former members of the U.S. Military will get a free ticket with the purchase of a ticket as the Beavers host Military Appreciation Weekend.
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).