|January 20, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||04:49||FSU||Gerald Mayhew (Corey Mackin , Joe Rutkowski)|
|2||08:36||FSU||Jason Tackett (Chad McDonald , Jared VanWormer)|
|2||14:01||BSU||O'Connor, Charlie (Whitecloud, Zach , Fitzgerald, Leo)|
|2||15:05||FSU||Chad McDonald (Gerald Mayhew )|
|2||19:21||BSU||Fitzgerald, Gerry (Marinaccio, Phillip , O'Connor, Charlie)|
|3||16:46||FSU||Corey Mackin (Gerald Mayhew , Mitch Maloney)|
|3||19:15||FSU||Nate Kallen (Jared VanWormer )|
|Shots on Goal||27||36|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Ferris State University scored the first two goals of the game and goaltender Justin Kapelmaster stymied 34 Bemidji State University opportunities to lead the Bulldogs to a 5-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association series-opening victory, Friday at Sanford Center.
Senior Charlie O'Connor was the offensive spark plug for the Beavers, netting his sixth goal of the season before adding an assist on the Beavers' second tally. Following the two-point night, he is now second on the team with 17 points (6g-11a) and sits just one point of his career-high 18 (11g-7a), set in 2014-15.
The Bulldogs took 1-0 lead into the first intermission after Cory Mackin found Gerald Mayhew on the back door just 4:49 into the frame.
FSU stretched its lead to 2-0 at the 8:36 mark of the period to spark the scoring barrage as each team would find the back of the net twice in the second.
O’Connor tipped a shot off the stick of Zach Whitecloud, past Kapelmaster with 14:01 gone in the second. Leo Fitzgerald was also credited with an assist on the play.
Just when BSU began to gain momentum and the roar of the crowd, L. Fitzgerald was escorted to the penalty box. Chad McDonald fired a shot from the point that took a fortunate bounce off the stick of a BSU player and into the back of the net to put the Bulldogs up 3-1 four seconds later (15:05).
The Beavers continued to roll, bouncing back to trim the deficit to one goal, 3-2, in the final minute of the period. Gerry Fitzgerald took a pass from Phillip Marinaccio and finished a rush with his seventh goal of the season. O’Connor picked up his 11th assist on the play, while Marinaccio posted his team-best 12th.
The Bulldogs held the Beavers at bay for long stretches of the third period and capitalized on an opportunity with a Mackin goal at the 16:46 mark.
Down 4-2 with just under three minutes to play, BSU Head Coach Tom Serratore opted to pull goaltender Michael Bitzer to get an extra attacker on the ice. FSU’s Nate Kallen foiled the tactic, taking a pass from Jared VanWormer on the half wall and finding the empty net on a shot from the neutral zone.
The Beavers finished the night, 1-for-5 on the man advantage, while their penalty-kill unit was 4-for-5.
Bitzer posted 22 saves, playing 58:11 in the loss. His record moves to 15-8-3 on the season.
Bemidji State, now 15-9-3 overall and 15-4-2-2 in WCHA play, sets its sights on salvaging a series split and halting its current losing skid tomorrow when the teams meet again at 7:07 p.m.
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.