Beavers edge Michigan Tech 1-0 for the Winter Carnival title
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Beavers edge Michigan Tech 1-0 for the Winter Carnival title

HOUGHTON, Mich. (John MacInnes Student Ice Arena) -- Bemidji State University and Michigan Tech played more than 58 minutes without a goal Saturday, but with 1:33 left in regulation, BSU sophomore Jordan George (F, Madison, Wis.) scored an unassisted goal to break the scoreless tie and propel the Beavers to a three-point Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) weekend and the 2011 Winter Carnival Championship at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Mich.

“I thought it was a great hockey games both ways,” said BSU head coach Tom Serratore.  “I thought we played very well for 60 minutes. I was pretty happy with our energy and I thought we had several quality scoring chances.”

“This was a critical two points if we are going to stay in the hunt and try to advance in the standings,” Serratore added. “It is still going to be awful tough, but we had to win.”

George’s 13th goal of the season stood as the only point of the game and earned the BSU forward the Winter Carnival Most Valuable Player Award.

With just under two minutes to play, George put his body in the line of fire to block a Michigan Tech shot from the point.  The Madison, Wis. native then corralled the loose puck and took it to the other end before he finished the breakaway by flipping a backhand over the glove-hand shoulder of MTU goaltender Kevin Genoe.

“It’s amazing that at the end of the shift [Jordan] George can find legs,” commented Serratore. “He is deadly on those breakaways.”

BSU goaltender Dan Bakala (Jr., Calgary, Alberta) turned away 23 of 23 shots for his sixth collegiate shoutout and served as the last line of defense for a penalty-kill unit that  held the Huskies scoreless on all three of their power-play opportunities to improve to 10-9-2 on the season.

On the other end, Genoe made 31 saves and took his own shutout bid inside the game’s final two minutes.  Tagged with the loss, he falls to 2-13-2 on the season.

For the second consecutive night, special team’s play didn’t impact the scoreboard. While BSU held the Huskies scoreless on three power-play chances, the Beavers came up dry on both man advantage opportunities.

The 1-0 triumph marks just the fifth time in the history of Beaver hockey that a BSU team has earned a 1-0 win and the first since Bemidji State defeated Wayne State University with the games’ only goal Dec. 1, 2006.

Saturday’s win not only gave the Beavers a 3-2-3 advantage in the all-time series with Michigan Tech and made BSU undefeated in the last four games versus MTU (3-0-1), it also stands as the first victory by the road team in the history of the rivalry.

Bemidji State, now 11-14-3 overall and 7-12-3 in league play, returns to Sanford Center next weekend (Feb. 21-22) to host Colorado College for the Tigers’ first visit to Bemidji, Minn.  The WCHA series is set to get underway at 7:35 p.m. Friday with the series finale scheduled for a 7:07 p.m. opening face-off Saturday.