FAIRBANKS, Alaska (Carlson Center) – The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team battled back from four different one-goal deficits to force overtime and eventually gain a 6-5 victory to open a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series at Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska late Saturday.
Trailing by a goal, 5-4, with under a minute left in regulation, Brendan Harms scored an extra-attacker goal with 11 seconds remaining. The BSU rally continued when Myles Fitzgerald netted the overtime game-winning goal with just 7.1 ticks left in the extra session. The goal was his second of the evening and capped his first appearance in the BSU line up since Oct. 24.
Fitzgerald (2g), Harms (1g-1a) and Markus Gerbrandt (2a) each posted two points in the game, to lead the Beavers’ scoring effort, while 12 different BSU players logged at least a point in the game.
Charlie O’Connor scored the first BSU goal of the new year, netting his fifth tally of the season, which help for BSU’s leading scorer, Gerry Fitzgerald, at the 6:42 mark of the first period.
The Nanooks bounced back to post back-to-back goals by Marcus Pasara (10:54) and Alec Hajdukovich (19:06) and looked to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, but with the help of Kyle Bauman and Graeme McCormack, John Parker sent the teams into the break, locked in a 2-2 game. Parker’s third goal of 2015-16 came with just 43 seconds left in the first.
Alaska opened the second period with a goal from Tyler Morley, taking a 3-2 lead just 1:30 into the second frame.
The UA lead would last 12 minutes, but M. Fitzgerald evened the score, 3-3, netting his first goal of the season at the 13:31 mark of the period.
Despite finishing the second period with a five-minute power play, the Beavers were unable to capitalize and the teams skated into the second intermission tied 3-3.
The third period featured a pair of Alaska short-lived leads.
The Nanooks took a 4-3 advantage at the 4:20 mark on a Nikolas Koberstein goal, but Cory Ward and the Beavers came charging back to knot the score 1:47 later. Later, when T. Morley posted his second tally of the night to put Alaska up 5-4 at the 16:05 mark of the third, Harms netted his extra-attacker, power-play goal 3:44 later.
The power-play goal set up M. Fitzgerald’s overtime, game-winner and was the Beavers’ first on the man advantage since Nov. 20, snapping a 0-for-26 power-play scoring drought.
BSU finished the night going 1-for-5 on the power play while its penalty-kill unit was 3-for-4.
Making his fifth start of the season, Reid Mimmack turned aside 24 of 29 UA shots in 64:06 between the pipes to gain his fourth victory of the season. He improves to 4-0-1.
Bemidji State, now 6-9-3 overall and 5-8-2 in WCHA play will attempt to gain its first series sweep of the 2015-16 season tomorrow when the same two teams hit the ice to wrap up the WCHA two-game set. The puck will drop for the Beavers and the Nanooks (5-11-3; 3-9-3 WCHA) at 8:07 p.m. (CT) from Carlson Center.
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.