Hunt scores in final seconds to force 3-3 tie with Gophers
Friday, March 4, 2011
Hunt scores in final seconds to force 3-3 tie with Gophers

BEMIDJI, Minn. - Brad Hunt (Jr., Def., Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) netted the game-tying goal with 19 seconds remaining in the third period to help the Bemidji State University men’s hockey team force a tie versus the University of Minnesota 3-3 Friday night at Sanford Center.

Falling behind with just 3:40 to play, the Beavers drew a hooking penalty on Nick Bjugstad at the 19:20 mark.  Already on the man advantage, the Beavers pulled goaltender Dan Bakala (Jr., Calgary, Alberta) for an extra attacker and Hunt fired a wrister from the point that found the back of the net 21 seconds later. Ian Lowe (Sr., F, Bradwardine, Manitoba) and Ryan Cramer (Sr., F, International Falls, Minn.) were credited with assists on the lamplighter.

The teams played a clean overtime period and settled for the tie and a point in the standings.

The Golden Gophers were the first to strike, effectively taking the sold out Sanford Center crowd out of the game just 1:34 after the opening face off. 

Deep in the Minnesota zone, Patrick White took the puck off the side boards, flung the puck on net and deflected the unassisted goal off the skate of a BSU defenseman in front of the crease.

BSU bounced back with a pair of goals before the period ended to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room after 20 minutes to play.

Senior Matt Read (Sr., F, Ilderton, Ontario) got the Beavers on the board at the 5:58 mark when he tipped in his team-leading 18th goal of the season on pass from Ryan Adams (Sr., D, Deloraine, Manitoba).  Less than six minutes later (12:28), Bemidji State took its first lead of the game when Aaron McLeod (So., F, Ottowa, Ontario) collected a rebound off of his own shot and found the back of the net for the fourth time of the season.

The BSU lead would stick for the first 10 minutes of the second period, but when Lowe was whistled for high-sticking, with Cramer already  in the box for interference, it provided Minnesota with a 15-second 5-on-3 advantage.  It would take the Gophers’ power-play just nine seconds to convert on the opportunity.  Bjugstad was credited with the goal.

Minnesota would regain its lead, 3-2, late in the third period.

Jay Barriball made a quick pass across the front of the crease to White and the senior from Grand Rapids, Minn. potted his second goal of the night in from the right post at the 16:20 mark.

The lead lasted 3:21, before Hunt threaded his shot through traffic and into the back of the net to force the Beavers’ 10th overtime contest of the season.

Bakala made 27 saves and allowed three goals to stretch his record to 11-10-4 on the season.  His counterpart, Kent Patterson, turned away 33 shots in 65 minutes of play.  He is now 13-7-6 in 2010-11.

The Beavers converted their final power-play opportunity of the evening to finish 1-for-4 (.250), while Minnesota completed the night scoring on 1-of-3 (.333) power-play opportunities.

The Gophers continue to hold a 7-1-1 advantage in the all-time series, but the Beavers are unbeaten in the last two meetings between the teams (1-0-1).

The Beavers, now 12-16-5 overall and 8-14-5 in WCHA play, return to action tomorrow to wrap up the 2010-11 regular season versus the same University of Minnesota team.  The opening face-off is scheduled for 7:07 p.m.

Prior to the start of the game, the Beavers Hockey program will take a moment to honor its senior class.  The class is made up of Ryan Adams, Emil Billberg, Ryan Cramer, Ian Lowe, Dan MacIntyre and Matt Read.