HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Von Braun Center) -- It may not have been pretty and it may have taken extra time to finally settle it, but a win is a win in the season standings and tonight the No. 14 Bemidji State men’s ice hockey team found a way to protect its unblemished record and open the 2009-10 College Hockey America season with a 2-1 victory over the University of Alabama-Huntsville at the Von Braun Center.
Junior Matt Read (Jr., F, Ilderton, Ont.) added to his team lead in scoring providing all of the offense for the Beavers, bookending the game with a pair of goals--his second multi-goal night of the young season.
Read and the nation’s top-scoring offense wasted little time before getting on the board, but a funneled puck that found its way to the back of the net on the Beavers’ first power-play opportunity of the night was all BSU could muster in regulation.
A second period plagued with penalties made it tough for either team to generate any kind of offensive momentum as the Chargers were whistled for five penalties and the Beavers were pegged for four. Ala.-Huntsville out shot the Beavers 13-8 in the period, en route to a 30-22 advantage in the game, but BSU goaltender Dan Bakala (So., Calgary, Alberta) was sharp between the pipes keeping UAH off the scoreboard.
After playing a good portion of the second frame with their special teams units on the ice, the teams began to find flow in the third as not a single penalty was called. The Chargers were the first to benefit from consistent five-on-fine play when Neil Ruffini knotted the game with his third goal of the season on a pass from Brennan Barker at the 3:44 mark of the period.
After struggling to impose its normal pace and style of play for the 60 minutes of regulation, the Beavers dominated the overtime period from the opening face off. BSU out shoot UAH 3-0 with the final attempt by Read standing as the difference maker.
Ryan Adams (Jr., D, Deloraine, Manitoba) started the play in transition hitting Read who broke the seam between a pair of defensemen caught in a change and skated into the slot, hesitated to the right enough to get UAH goaltender Cameron Talbot off balance and bounced the puck off his leg to give the Beavers the victory.
“It was kind of ugly but we won’t apologize for it.,” commented Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore. “You’ve got to win games like this and I am glad we found a way to win, but we’ve got to be better than this.”
After scoring on its first shot on the man advantage, BSU failed to score on its next six chances to finish the game 1-for-7. The Chargers also struggled on the power play finishing 0-for-6.
Bakala picked up his third collegiate win stopping a career-high 29 shots, while allowing just one goal, in 63:44 of action. He improved to 3-0-1 on the season.
Talbot was tagged with the loss allowing two goals in 63:34. He made 20 saves in the game but fell to 3-4-0.
The Beavers (4-0-1; 1-0-0 CHA) and Chargers (3-4-0; 0-1-0 CHA) bounce right back into action tomorrow afternoon for a rare Sunday matinee. The game is set for a 1:00 p.m. from the Von Braun Center.