Bemidji State earns MacNaughton Cup with a 3-2 victory at Alabama-Huntsville

February 10, 20171st2nd3rdFinal
Bemidji State0123
Scoring Summary
212:06BSUArentz, Nate
301:15BSUFitzgerald, Gerry (Fitzgerald, Leo , Whitecloud, Zach)
306:00BSUDickman, Jay (Fitzgerald, Myles , Arentz, Nate)
307:46UAHBrennan Saulnier (Max McHugh , Brandon Parker)
308:24UAHBrent Fletcher (Connor James , Cam Knight)
Goaltender SummaryMinGAENSv
BSUBitzer, Michael59:572017
UAHJordan Uhelski59:053022
Statistical ComparisonBSUUAH
Shots on Goal2519
Power Plays1-31-4
Bemidji State earns MacNaughton Cup with a 3-2 victory at Alabama-Huntsville
Friday, February 10, 2017
Bemidji State earns MacNaughton Cup with a 3-2 victory at Alabama-Huntsville
Credit: Doug Eagan

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Von Braun Center) -- After opening the season unbeaten in its first 13 Western Collegiate Hockey Association games, the Bemidji State University men’s hockey team it’s season-long goal Friday, earning a 3-2 victory at the University of Alabama-Huntsville to earn the 2016-17 regular-season title and the coveted MacNaughton Cup. The conference title stands as the 22nd in program history, and its first since joining the WCHA for the 2010-11 season.

Senior alternate captain Nate Arentz led the Beavers netting the game’s first goal and adding an assist on the game-winning goal by Jay Dickman.

After a delay to start the game, the teams used the first period to feel each other out and get used to the ice conditions. Bemidji State finished the first 20 minutes of play with a 5-4 edge in shots on goal and opened the second period with 1:55 of power-play time.

The Beavers began to gain control of the game in the second and would take a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes of play. At the 12:16 mark of the period, BSU senior Nate Arentz scored an unassisted goal to give the Beavers the first lead of the game.

Things got interesting in the third period. The Beavers doubled their lead 1:15 into the final period when Gerry Fitzgerald scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal. Just 4:45 later, Dickman would net his sixth goal of the season to put BSU up 3-0 with 14 minutes to play. But the Chargers would not go down without a fight. UAH took advantage of a power-play opportunity at the 7:46 mark to get a goal from Brennen Saulnier only to be matched 38 seconds later by Brent Fletcher to make the score 3-2 with 11:36 left in the game.

The Beavers would hold on for their 19th victory of the season and in conference play.

BSU finished the night 1-for-3 on the man advantage, snapping six-game, 17-opportunity streak without a power-play goal. The Beavers’ penalty-kill unit was also on its game snuffing out 3-of-4 Charger opportunities.

Michael Bitzer turned aside 17-of-19 shots faced to move to 19-10-3 on the season.

The Beavers (19-11-3; 19-4-2-2 WCHA) extend their unbeaten streak versus Alabama-Huntsville to nine games and to reach the 20-win mark tomorrow when the Beavers again battle the Chargers to wrap up a WCHA series. The game will get underway at 3:07 p.m. from the Von Braun 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.