|January 13, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||Final|
|2||03:28||UND||Nick Jones (Austin Poganski , Colton Poolman)|
|2||13:15||BSU||Fitzgerald, Leo (Harris, Brendan , Baudry, Justin)|
|2||15:47||UND||Christian Wolanin (Collin Adams , Gabe Bast)|
|3||09:43||BSU||Eichstadt, Dillon (Bauman, Kyle )|
|Shots on Goal||20||31|
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Ralph Engelstad Arena) -- The Bemidji State University men's hockey team battled back from a pair of one-goal deficits to earn a 2-2 tie with No. 7/8 University of North Dakota Saturday. Playing out of position, junior Dillon Eichstadt drew the Beavers even for good netting the third goal of his career midway through the third period to cap a tremendous final 20 minutes and force overtime.
After being outplayed in the first period, the Beavers were backed into a corner forced to kill a five-minute major late in the second. While BSU allowed a goal on the advantage, they finished the penalty strong and drew on the momentum to put UND on its heels and win the third period.
North Dakota out shot the Beavers 12-3 in the first period and had the benefit of two power-play opportunities, but BSU goaltender Michael Bitzer and the Beavers kept UND off the scoreboard and skated in to the first intermission locked in a scoreless tie.
UND opened the second period with 1:48 of power-play time and BSU held its ground, but the Fighting Hawks lit the lamp to take their first lead of the game at the 3:28 mark. Austin Poganski took the puck around the back of the net and found Nick Jones at the top of the crease for a tap in.
Bemidji State got its first power play at the 11:37 mark of the second and made it count. At the 13:15 mark Brendan Harris took a shot from the top of the left circle and Leo Fitzgerald was in front of the net for a tip in past the UND goaltender, Cam Johnson. Justin Baudry was also credited with an assist on the play.
Thirty-six seconds after Bemidji State tied the game, Jordan Heller was whistled for a major penalty and game misconduct, setting the UND power-play unit up on a five-minute man advantage. The Fighting Hawks regained the lead at the 15:47 mark on a goal from Christian Wolanin, but Bitzer and the BSU penalty-kill unit buckled down and held the UND power play off the board for the final 3:06.
Trailing 2-1 to open the third period, BSU had the luxury of playing the first 1:24 on the man advantage. The Beavers failed to cash in on the opportunity, but the advantage to continue to build momentum. BSU capped the first half of the period with Eichstadt’s goal. After making a good play to keep the puck in the zone, the defender-turned-forward crashed the net and a shot by Kyle Bauman bounced off his skate and into the back of the net. It was the second goal of his career.
The Beavers continued to force play during the final moments of the game and while they were out shot 5-4 in overtime, they had their chances and Bitzer would not be beaten as the teams settled for a draw.
Bitzer finished the night with 29 stops, which stands as his highest save total since a career-best 45-save, 0-0 tie at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He moves to 11-6-6 on the season.
The Beavers, now 11-7-6 overall and 8-4-4-2 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play, return to league action Jan. 19-20 with a trip to Big Rapids, Mich. for a two-game series at Ferris State University. Opening face off is set for 6:07 p.m. (CST) each night from Ewigleben Ice Arena.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUMHockey), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
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 (NSIC).