Badgers down Beavers 4-2; complete sweep
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Badgers down Beavers 4-2; complete sweep

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- The University Wisconsin scored three unanswered goals during the final 21:30 of play Saturday at Sanford Center handing the Bemidji State University men’s ice Hockey team a 4-2 loss to complete the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) series sweep.

Deadlocked at 2-2 with time running low on a five-minute major penalty to Jake Areshenko (Jr., D, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia), the Badgers’ top-scoring defenseman Justin Schultz fired a wrist shot though traffic from the point that found the back of the and swung the game in Wisconsin’s favor. 

UW would add a empty-net goal from Michael Mersch with 60 seconds to play to settle the score at 4-2.

Specials teams played a significant role in the game.  Both of BSU goals came on the man advantage (2-for-4), while Wisconsin’s decisive tally came in the midst of a third period during which BSU’s penalty-kill unit spent 7:47 on the ice.

The Badgers finished the night 1-for-6 on the power-play.

For the second consecutive evening, the Beavers took an early lead.

Ben Kinne (Jr., F, St. Paul, Minn.) got BSU on the board at the 10:30 mark of the first period matching a career-high scoring his 10th goal of the season.  Two minutes and 39 seconds into a major penalty, Brad Hunt (Sr., D, Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) found Shea Walters (Sr., F, Hibbing, Minn.) in the slot. Walters fired a shot on goal that was kicked to the right by Wisconsin goaltender Joel Rumple.  Kinne was on the doorstep and deposited the rebound into the back of the net.

Trailing 1-0 after the first period, the Badgers out shot the Beavers 16-9 in the second netting a pair of goals in the period to enter the third with the score knotted 2-2.

Brad Navin erased the BSU lead 2:48 into the second frame.  After Jordan George (Jr., F, Madison, Wis.) put the Beavers back in front with his team-leading 16th goal of the season on a power-play marker from Hunt and Walters at the 7:39 mark, Sean Little posted his first tally of 2011-12 with just 90 second left in the stanza to even the score.

With 44 seconds remaining in the period, Areshenko was whistled for checking from behind and given an early exit, The major penalty would linger into the third period and come back to haunt the Beavers.

Bemidji State’s league-leading penalty-kill unit was on point all night snuffing out six of seven UW power-play opportunities, which included the first 4:31 of the five-minute major, but with 29 seconds the Schultz shot founds its way though traffic to put the Badgers in the lead for good.

BSU goaltender Dan Bakala (Sr., G, Calgary, Alberta) finished the night with 31 saves, which included 14 in the second period alone, but was tagged with the loss after surrendering three Badgers goals in 59:46 of action.  He falls to 9-11-2 on the season.

Rumple earned the victory making 21 saves.  He improves to 10-9-2.

The Beavers remain winless versus the Badgers in five games played (0-5-0).

Bemidji State (15-16-3; 9-14-3 WCHA) looks to ends its longest losing skid of the season at four games next weekend (March 2-3) as it makes its first ever trip to the Land of the Midnight Sun to face University of Alaska-Anchorage in the final two-game set of the regular season.  The series will get underway at 10:07 Friday, with the finale slated for a 10:07 p.m. opening face off on Sullivan Arena’s Olympic ice sheet.