|January 27, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||02:53||BSU||Combs, Charlie (Bauman, Kyle , Brady, Adam)|
|3||07:05||BSU||Baudry, Justin (Billett, Dan , Whitecloud, Zach)|
|3||09:31||BSU||Miller, Aaron (Harris, Brendan )|
|3||12:19||BSU||Baudry, Justin (Miller, Aaron , Johnson, Brad)|
|3||13:03||UAH||Max McHugh (Cam Knight , Tyler Poulsen)|
|Shots on Goal||36||12|
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Von Braun Center) – The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team netted a pair of power-play goals and it’s penalty-kill unit was a perfect 3-for-3 on the kill, including not allowing a single shot during a five-minute major, to lead the Beavers to a 5-1 victory Saturday at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
Defenseman Justin Baudry recorded the first two-goal game of his BSU career to lead the Beavers in scoring. Aaron Miler added a goal and an assist, while goaltender Michael Bitzer stopped 11-of-12 shots he faced and backstopped the Beavers' flawless penalty-kill unit in the victory.
The bounce-back victory allowed the Beavers to salvage a series split and avoid dropping back-to-back games for the third time this season. In addition, with 11 WCHA wins and 39 points in the league standings, the Beavers have clinched a spot in the league’s postseason.
Lest than 24 hours after dropping a 5-1 affair at the Von Braun Center, the Beavers found themselves up 1-0 just 2:53 into the first period.
Thirty-three seconds into the game, Brennan Saulnier was whistled for a five-minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind. Charlie Combs hit on his 10th goal of the season to give BSU a 1-0 edge just over two minutes later with help from Kyle Bauman and Adam Brady.
Late in the period, BSU would again look to its special teams as Dillon Eichstadt was tagged with a checking-from-behind penalty, setting the Chargers up with a five-minute power-play chance. Not only did the BSU penalty-kill unit keep the UAH power play in check, the second most effective PK in the country didn’t allow a single shot during the five-minute span.
BSU skated into the first intermission owning a 1-0 lead and a 16-1 edge in shots on goal.
After a scoreless second period, BSU opened a wild final 20 minutes of play clinging to a 1-0 lead. The teams combined for five goals including four by BSU and a pair by Baudry, to give the Beavers breathing room and pushing the team to a 5-1 victory.
Michael Bitzer finished the night needing to make just 11 saves as BSU out shot UAH 36-12. His 14th victory of the season allows him to surpass BSU greats Jim Scanlan (1978-82) and Chuck Scanlon (1971-75) for second place on BSU’s all-time wins list with 63 (63-48-17).
Set to make its eight consecutive WCHA postseason appearance, BSU’s first round opponent and location March 2-4 will be determined during the final four weeks of the season. Northern Michigan, Bowling Green and Minnesota State have also already punched their tickets to postseason play, leaving four WCHA playoff berths open with one month to go.
Bemidji State, now 14-8-6 overall and 11-5-4-2 in WCHA play, returns to Sanford Center Feb. 2-3 for its first home contest since Jan. 12. The Beavers will host Lake Superior State University. Opening face off is set for 7:07 p.m. Friday with a 7:07 p.m. puck drop at 7:07 p.m. Saturday in the team’s annual Native Nations Night. Beaver hockey fans with tribal IDs can purchase youth tickets for $5 and adult tickets for $12.
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).