|March 03, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|2||01:22||BSU||Fitzgerald, Leo (Fitzgerald, Gerry , Harms, Brendan)|
|2||08:20||BSU||Whitecloud, Zach (Marinaccio, Phillip , Fitzgerald, Gerry)|
|2||12:36||BSU||Bauman, Kyle (Marinaccio, Phillip , Baudry, Justin)|
|Shots on Goal||30||27|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- The Bemidji State University men's hockey team got second period goals from Leo Fitzgerald, Zach Whitecloud and Kyle Bauman, while goaltender Michael Bitzer stopped all 30 shots he faced to lead BSU to a 3-0 victory over Northern Michigan University in game one of its Western Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinal series.
The Beavers possessed the puck and dictated the pace of the game for long stretches in large part to the play of their special teams units. In addition to keeping the Wildcats off the scoreboard on six power-play chances, the Beavers were 1-for-4 on the man advantage.
Bitzer's performance in net not only propelled the Beavers to victory, personally he moved top the nation's shutouts list and matched his own BSU single-season record for shutouts in a season with six, while adding to his BSU career record (16). The junior from Moorhead, Minn. is now 8-1-2 with five shutouts versus NMU during his career, including three in five games this season.
Following a scoreless first period, the Beavers exploded for three goals in the second.
Leo Fitzgerald opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season to cap a rush at the at the 1:22 mark of the frame. BSU stretched its lead to two goals at the 8:20 mark when Zach Whitecloud potted his third goal of the season on the power play. BSU’s goal-scoring leader, Kyle Bauman sent the Beavers into the locker room for the second intermission with a 3-0 lead netting his 13th goal of the season at the 12:36 mark.
In the period Phil Marinaccio and Gerry Fitzgerald each picked up a pair of assists.
Despite taking to penalties in the third, the Beavers clung to a 3-0 lead as Bitzer made seven saves in the period to seal the victory.
The Beavers (21-13-3) and Wildcats (12-21-4) will play game two of this best-of-three series at 7:07 p.m. tomorrow with a trip to the WCHA Tournament semifinal round on the line. If BSU advances, it will play the lowest remaining seed at Sanford Center, March 10-12.
Tickets for game two begin at $9 for youth and $20 for adults and will be on sale at the Sanford Cener Bob Lowth Ford Pickup Window beginning at 5 p.m. tomorrow.
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.