Beavers and Huskies tie 2-2 in WCHA play
Friday, February 11, 2011
Beavers and Huskies tie 2-2 in WCHA play

HOUGHTON, Mich. (John MacInnes Student Ice Arena) -- A hard luck Michigan Tech team took advantage of a pair of miscues to earn a 2-2 tie with Bemidji State University and snap an 18-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) losing streak Friday at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Mich.

After taking an early lead on a goal from Ian Lowe (Sr., F, Bradwardine, Manitoba), the Beavers needed an Aaron McLeod (So., F, Ottawa, Ontario) marker with just over nine minutes to go to erase a 2-1 deficit and push the game to overtime for the fifth time in the last seven games.  The teams played the five-minute extra frame without a goal and settled for a tie and a point in the standings.

“We’ll take it,” commented BSU Head Coach Tom Serratore.  “We got our point.  Now lets worry about tomorrow.  If we can take care of tomorrow, we will end up with a productive weekend.”

In a high-tempo, evenly-played first period, Michigan Tech may have out shot BSU 10-7, but it was the Beavers that accounted for the only goal of the frame.  Lowe netted his 10th lamplighter of the season at the 16:24 mark after Jake Areshenko (So., D, Port Cocquitlan, British Columbia) hit fellow sophomore Jordan George (F, Madison, Wis.) with an outlet pass.  George skated the puck into the zone before finding Lowe on the post and his senior linemate took care of the rest.

The Huskies caught their first break at the 8:42 mark of the second period.  Patrick McCadden potted his second goal of the season in a virtually empty net.  BSU goaltender Dan Bakala (Jr., G, Calgary, Alberta) left the crease to play the puck and fire it up the ice, but hit one of his own defenders in the process. The puck fell to the skates of McCadden and he tied the game 1-1.

With the score even at 1-1 after 40 minutes of play, the Huskies again capitalized on a BSU miscue to brake the deadlock at the 7:13 mark of the third period.  BSU misplayed the puck behind Bakala. Jacob Johnstone collected the loose puck and found MTU’s leading scorer Milos Gordic in front of the net for the freshman’s team-leading 13th of the season.

McLeod and the Beavers bounced back 1:24 later.  After a nifty display of stick handling to cut through the MTU defense, the sophomore buried his third goal of 2010-11 high on the glove side of the net evening the score at 2-2.  The play was started by the defensive pair of Dan MacIntyre (Sr., Fort Frances, Ontario) and Matt Carlson (Jr., Grand Forks, N.D.).

Despite a two-minute 4-on-4 situation and a penalty to MacIntyre to put the Huskies on the power-play for the final 1:03 of regulation, the score remained locked at 2-2 necessitating overtime.

BSU opened the extra frame short one man for 53 seconds, but its penalty-kill unit stood tall holding MTU scoreless to complete the night a perfect 5-for-5.

The Beavers out shoot Michigan Tech 5-2 in overtime, to grab a 34-29 lead on shots goal to out shoot opponent for the first time in its last seven games, but were unable to find the back of the net in overtime and settled for the tie.

The stalemate leaves the Bemidji State-Michigan Tech series even at 2-2-1.  Although the Beavers salvaged a point in the tie, in the five-game history of the rivalry, no road team has ever won a game.

Bakala turned away 27 shots, while allowing two goals in 65:00 minutes of play.  The tie pushed his record of 9-9-3.

Special teams did not figure into the game’s scoring.  In addition to the BSU penalty-kill unit snuffing out all five of Michigan Tech’s power-plays, the Beavers were 0-for-3 on the man advantage.

Bemidji State, now 10-14-3 overall and 6-12-3 in league play, seeks to extend its unbeaten streak to three games tomorrow.  The Beavers and Huskies wrap up the WCHA series at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena with a 4:07 p.m. matinee.