Special teams and defense lead Beavers to 1-0 win versus North Dakota
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Special teams and defense lead Beavers to 1-0 win versus North Dakota

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team has piled up nearly 1,000 victories in 56 years of hockey history, but since Feb. 7, 1970, none of them have come against University of North Dakota until Sunday night. Jordan George’s (Jr., F, Madison, Wis.) second period power-play lamplighter proved to be the only goal of the game as Dan Bakala (Sr., G, Calgary, Alberta) turned aside 26 Fighting Sioux shots en route to a 1-0 victory and his seventh career shutout.

The BSU win ended a 41-year drought versus UND and snapped North Dakota’s 14-game winning streak in the all-time series.  UND still holds a 22-2-1 record in the all-time series.

After a scoreless first period, the Beavers got the break they needed at the 7:56 mark of the second period.  UND’s Mark MacMillian was whistled for tripping and before the Fighting Sioux could coral the puck, Andrew MacWilliam took an interference penalty setting BSU up with a two-minute 5-on-3 power-play opportunity.

One-minute, 12-seconds into the penalty, George collected a rebound off the left pad of North Dakota goaltender Aaron Dell and roofed his team-leading seventh goal of the season.  The goal marked an end to another significant drought for the Beavers.  BSU’s last goal on the man advantage came Oct. 22--a scoreless streak spanning eight games and 20 power-play opportunities.

Senior defender Brad Hunt (Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) inched closer to BSU great and former teammate Matt Read (2007-11) with an assist on BSU’s scoring play.  With 76 assists during his collegiate career, he is just two helpers from BSU’s Division I-era assists mark.

The Beavers clung to 1-0 lead through the remainder of the second despite taking two penalties late in the period.

The third period has been an Achilles heel for the Beavers in 2011-12.  Through 13 games, BSU had been out scored 19-8 in the third, which includes a 15-4 deficit in the final period of WCHA contests, but the Beavers buckled down and killed nine minutes of penalties, included a five-minute major, to keep the Fighting Sioux of the scoreboard.

Defensively, Bemidji State was solid from the opening face off to the final horn.  In addition to Bakala’s shutout, the team piled up 21 blocked shots.

BSU’s penalty-kill unit was a perfect 6-for-6 on the night, while its power-play finished with a goal on three man advantage chances.

Bakala improved to 3-5-1 on the season.

Bemidji State (5-8-1; 3-6-1 WCHA) is idle next week, but will return to action Dec. 2-3 when it travels to St. Cloud, Minn. for a WCHA series versus St. Cloud State University.  The Beavers and Huskies are slated to get the two-game set underway at 7:37 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 with a 7:07 p.m. opening face off slated for the following evening.  Both games will take place at National Hockey Center.