Special teams power BSU past Colorado College 2-1
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Special teams power BSU past Colorado College 2-1

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Entering its series finale with Colorado College owning the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s most efficient power play, the Bemidji State men’s ice hockey team reinforced its top-billing Saturday riding a strong special teams effort to a 2-1 victory over the Tigers at Sanford Center.

The Beavers got goals from Brance Orban (So., F, Lethbridge, Alberta) and Jamie MacQueen (Jr., F, St. Thomas, Ontario), while Shea Walters (Jr., F, Hibbing, Minn.) and Ryan Cramer (Sr., F, International Falls, Minn.) each added  pair of assists as the Beavers completed the home series by claiming three of four points in the WCHA standings.

Colorado college broke the ice getting power-play goal from Stephen Schultz 57 seconds into a penalty on BSU defenseman Brad Hunt (Jr., D, Ridge Meadows, British Columbia).  The goal came with just 1:37 left in the first period and sent the Tigers to the locker room for the first intermission with a 1-0 lead in their possession.

The Beavers, who are now unbeaten in their last five games (3-0-2), bounced back in the second to claim the lead on a pair of power-play markers.

Orban evened the score, 1-1, midway (11:19) the period with his first goal of the season.  As the Beavers past the puck around the perimeter, Cramer found Walters on the point and the junior fired a shot through traffic that was deflected by Orban at the top of the crease and into the back of the net.  Three minutes later, Bemidji Sate’s second power-play goal of the evening came on a bullet off the tape MacQueen’s stick from the top of the left face-off circle.  

Leading 2-1 after 40 minutes of play, the Beavers rode a strong defensive effort in the third period, sparked by the play of goaltender Dan Bakala (Jr., Calgary, Alberta).  Bakala made 10 saves during the final 20 minutes of play, which included a point-blank kick save that closed the door on CC’s fifth power-play of the game.

Bakala finished the night with 34 saves, while allowing one goal in the win.  He improved to 11-9-3 on the season and is unbeaten in his last five starts (3-0-2).  

In addition to generating a pair of goals with its special teams play, the Beavers held the Tigers scoreless on four of five power-play opportunities.

Tonight’s win over Colorado College is the first for Bemidji State since a 3-2 triumph over the Tigers in Colorado Springs, Colo. Dec. 29, 2006.  However, CC still holds a slight edge in the series 3-2-1.

Bemidji State, (11-14-4; 7-12-4 WCHA) packs its bags for one final road trip of the 2010-11 regular season Feb. 26-27.  The Beavers head west to face nationally-ranked University of North Dakota in a rare Saturday-Sunday series.  The two-game WCHA set is scheduled for a 3:37 p.m. face-off each afternoon at Ralph Engelstad Arena.