|February 08, 2014||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||12:14||BSU||McCormack, Graeme (Harms, Brendan , Illo, Radoslav)|
|2||03:38||MSU||McInnis, Johnny (Lafontaine, JP , Leitner, Matt)|
|2||05:20||MSU||Lafontaine, JP (McInnis, Johnny , Leitner, Matt)|
|3||09:07||MSU||Flanagan, Sean (Lehrke, Zach , Jutzi, Jon)|
|Shots on Goal||29||25|
MANKATO, Minn. (Verizon Wireless Center) – Trailing 1-0 to open the second period, Minnesota State University, Mankato used a pair of goals on a five-minute major to gain momentum and would survive a flurry in the game’s final minutes to take the series finale 3-2 and complete the Western Collegiate Hockey Association sweep over Bemidji State University Saturday at Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minn.
For the second consecutive night, Minnesota State, which possesses one of the nation’s most efficient power-play units, won the special teams battle, and that was the deciding factor in the contest.
The Mavericks were led in the game by three-point efforts from Johnny McInnis, J.P. Lafontaine and Matt Leitner.
The Beavers struck first, getting a wraparound goal from Graeme McCormack (So., D, Thunder Bay, Ontario) at the 12:14 mark of the first period. Brendan Harms (Fr., F, Steinbach, Manitoba) and Radoslav Illo (Sr., F, Bystrica, Slovakia) were credited with assists on the nifty scoring play.
Special teams dominated the second period. Five penalties were called between the teams and more than 12 minutes of the period was played with one team having at least a man advantage, including two separate 5-on-3 opportunities by BSU for a total of 1:13, but it was the Mavericks and their high-powered power-play unit who would reap the benefits of penalty time.
Three minutes and 25 seconds into the session, Ruslan Pedan (Fr., D, Moscow, Russia) was called for a major penalty and a game misconduct for checking from behind, sitting MSU up with a five-minute power play. The Mavericks would need just 12 seconds to even the score. Johnny McInnis scored 16th goal of the season with help from J.P. Lafontaine and Matt Leitner. The duo would combine for another power-play marker on the same major penalty.
BSU got a five-minute opportunity of its own and tied a pair of 5-on-3 chances into the advantage, but were unable to apply any substantial offensive pressure.
The Beavers would open the third period trailing the Mavericks 2-1 and once again special teams would dictate play in the opening minutes of the frame. With Sam Rendle (Sr., D, Grand Rapids, Minn.) in the box, BSU freshman Charlie O’Connor (F, Elk Grove Village, Ill.) picked up a loose puck for a breakaway and would make good, netting his second goal of the season. It also stood as the Beavers’ second short-handed goal of 2013-14 and the first since Nov. 22.
The score would remain tied for just 7:17. Sean Flanagan found the back of the net on a laser that was redirected in front of the net, glancing off one of the Beavers. Despite a flurry created by BSU’s extra attacker in the game’s final minutes, the Beavers were unable to find the back of the net and the goal would stand as the game-winner.
Just 24 hours after being outshot 48-28, the Beavers held their own versus the Mavericks and finished the contests with a 29-25 edge in shots on goal.
Jesse Wilkins (Fr., G, Calgary, Alberta) turned aside 22 shots in the game, but surrendered all three MSU goals and was tagged with the loss. He falls to 2-3-3 on the season.
Bemidji State (8-15-7; 8-10-4 WCHA) return to Sanford Center Feb. 14-15 to host league-leading Ferris State University (20-6-3; 15-3-2 WCHA) for a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUMHockey), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).