|October 21, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||07:24||AF||HIMLEY, Jordan (SERRATORE, Matt )|
|1||19:39||AF||SERRATORE, Matt (TOMLAK, Brady , BOJE, Phil)|
|2||03:18||BSU||Dickman, Jay (Whitecloud, Zach , Fitzgerald, Gerry)|
|2||11:05||AF||LEDFORD, Tyler (GIESLER, Evan , BOJE, Phil)|
|2||15:32||AF||KOCH, Matt (KUCERA, Ben , STONE, Trevor)|
|Shots on Goal||26||30|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- The United State Air Force Academy rode a two-goal first period to a 4-1 victory over Bemidji State University Saturday at Sanford Center. The win gave the No. 20 Falcons a series split and stood as the first loss of 2017-18 for the Beavers.
After taking a 1-0 lead on a Jordan Himley goal at the 7:24 mark of the first period, Air Force doubled its lead in the final seconds of the frame on a Matt Serratore tip in from the post. The goal was an exclamation point on a period during which the Falcons out played the Beavers.
Just 3:18 into the second, and with AFA's Dan Bailey in the box for the game's first penalty, Jay Dickman redirected a pass from Zach Whitecloud in front of the net and past the Falcon goaltender Billy Christopoulos to cut the deficit in half, 2-1, but that was all the offense BSU would muster. Gerry Fitzgerald was also credited with an assist on the power-play marker.
Air Force responded with goals from Tyler Ledford and Matt Koch before the period ended to put the Falcons up 4-1 and end Michael Bitzer's night after 35:32.
BSU head Coach Tom Serratore and Beavers gambled during the third period in an effort to develop an offensive spark, but the tactics would fail to produce. The Beavers pulled their goaltender midway through the period to capitalize on an Air Force team that was already short handed and again empty the net late to get an extra attacker on the ice before the Falcons added an empty-net goal by Himley to finish the scoring and bookend the night.
Bitzer made 20 saves and was on the hook for four goals in the loss.
Henry Johnson made his debut in relief of Bitzer. He made one save in 19:48.
The Beavers (2-1-1) open Western Collegiate Hockey Association play Oct. 27-28 when they welcome Ferris State University to Bemidji, Minn. and Sanford Center for a two-game series. The opening face off is slated for 7:07 p.m. each evening.
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).