|October 21, 2016||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||09:19||BSU||Beauvais, Brett (Fitzgerald, Gerry )|
|2||14:51||UND||Brock Boeser (Tucker Poolman )|
|3||03:58||UND||Brock Boeser (Tyson Jost , Shane Gersich)|
|Shots on Goal||18||36|
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Ralph Engelstad Arena) – Brock Boeser recorded a natural hat trick to lead No. 1 University of North Dakota back from a 2-0 deficit to hand the No. 18 Bemidji State University men’s hockey team its first loss of the season, 3-2, Friday.
After controlling play through the first 20 minutes, the Beavers saw the tables turned during the final two periods as their fifth win of the season slipped away late.
BSU goaltender Michael Bitzer finished the game with a season-high 33 saves, but was tagged with his first loss of the season. The junior is now 4-1-0 on the season.
Aided by a pair of power plays during the first 10 minutes of play, the Beavers set the tone early. While BSU was unable to convert either man advantage, the opportunities tilted the rink in the Beavers’ favor.
Phillip Marinaccio gave the Beavers a 1-0 lead at the 4:58 mark. He forced a turnover in the neutral zone and beat the UND goaltender Cam Johnson high for his first goal of the season. Brett Beauvais doubled the Beavers’ lead at the 9:19 mark with help from Gerry Fitzgerald. The second goal forced the defending national champion to call a time out to regroup.
North Dakota opened the second period on the man advantage and used that momentum to spark a dominant period. The Fighting Hawks out shot the Beavers 16-4, which included 10 shots spread over two power-play opportunities. With Nate Arentz and Dan Billet in the penalty box and just over five minutes left in the frame, UND would have 1:52 of 5-on-3 advantage. Boeser and UND would need just 14 seconds to find the back of the net.
The 5-on-3 goal was the first power-play goal the Beavers’ penalty-kill unit had allowed in 25 opponent opportunities this season and it ended Bitzer’s shutout streak at 191-minutes, 11-seconds, dating back to the second period of BSU’s game versus Bowling Green State University, Oct. 14.
Trailing 2-1, UND continued to pressure Bitzer as the third period got underway.
Boeser tied the score with 16:04 left in the third period after winning the faceoff, he squeezed a backhand five hole from between the faceoff circles.
With 7:08 left Boeser got the puck on a short-handed breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. He converted to give UND a 3-2 lead, marking the first time all season the Beavers trailed.
Despite a late push on a power-play chance and a pulled goaltender in the final 90 seconds of play, Bemidji State was unable to claw its way back before the final horn sounded.
The Beavers, now 4-1-0 overall, seeks a series split with UND. The opening face off of the series finale is set for 7:07 p.m. from Ralph Engelstad Arena.
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.