GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Ralph Engelstad Arena) – Charlie Combs scored his first goal of the season with 4:14 left in regulation to tie the game and push overtime Saturday, while the Bemidji State University defense and penalty-kill unit, led by goaltender Zach Driscoll, held No. 13 University of North Dakota in check as the Beavers earned a 1-1 tie to take the non-conference series.
In a series that began in 1970 and spans 41 games, the 2-1 victory and 1-1 draw combine for the Beavers first series victory over North Dakota. BSU is now 4-31-6 versus UND all-time, however, the Beavers are 1-0-2 in thier last three match ups with UND.
North Dakota got the benefit of an early goal to earn an early edge and both teams tightened the defensive effort. Grant Mismash was on the doorstep to coral a Nick Jones rebound off the pad of Zach Driscoll and buried it to give the Fighting Hawks a 1-0 lead just 2:31 into the game.
BSU got a power-play opportunity late in the period and looked to have leveled the score on a top-shelf goal by newcomer Ross Armour, but after a review, the UND goaltender, Adam Scheel, made the save and the score remained 1-0 into the first intermission.
There was very little easy ice during the second period. The teams combined for just nine (6-3 UND) shots on goal in the frame. Although the Fighting Hawks had a pair of power-play opportunities, neither team was able to find the back of the net setting up a 1-0 UND lead going into the third period.
The score was stuck at 1-0 through nearly 16 minutes of the third, but when Brendan Harris carried the puck into the zone, waited for help, skated around the net and found Combs at the top of the face off circle. The sophomore fired a rocket past Scheel to tie the score with 4:14 left, pushing the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Fighting Hawks got their fourth power play of the evening after Hampus Sjödahl was called for hooking with 2:55 left in the five-minute overtime period. The BSU penalty-kill unit was solid through the game and the unit did its job again in the extra frame finishing the weekend a perfect 8-for-8 in the series.
UND finished the game with a 27-16 edge in shots, but BSU's special teams again made the difference.
Driscoll finished the night making 26 saves on 27 shots in his Bemidji State debut and backstopped a penalty-kill unit that went 4-for-4.
The Beavers (1-0-1; 0-0-0 NSIC) have a weekend free from competition, Oct. 19-20, before opening Western Collegiate Hockey Association play in Marquette, Mich. Oct. 26 and 27. BSU and Northern Michigan University drop the puck at 6:07 p.m. (CST) Friday, Oct. 26 to open the two-game series. Opening faceoff is also at 6:07 p.m. Saturday from the Wildcats’ Barry Events Center.
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).