|March 02, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||07:20||MTU||Gavin Gould (Joel L'Esperance , Mitch Meek)|
|1||10:51||BSU||Sjodahl, Hampus (Harris, Brendan )|
|1||17:41||BSU||Baudry, Justin (Bauman, Kyle , Miller, Aaron)|
|2||03:18||BSU||Harris, Brendan (Miller, Aaron , Baudry, Justin)|
|2||16:43||MTU||Jake Lucchini (Mitch Reinke , Mark Auk)|
|3||13:19||MTU||Jake Lucchini (Mark Auk , Mitch Reinke)|
|3||18:30||MTU||Seamus Donohue (Dylan Steman )|
|3||19:44||MTU||Jake Jackson (Jake Lucchini , Joel L'Esperance)|
|Shots on Goal||32||25|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) – The Bemidji State University Men’s Hockey team seemed to be on its way to a 1-0 lead in its Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoff quarterfinal round best-of-three series with Michigan Tech Friday, but the Beavers put their penalty-kill unit on the ice for 12:06 seconds in the final period, saw a 3-2 lead evaporate and the Huskies drag a 5-3 victory out of Sanford Center.
Thanks to a pair of majors and total of eight penalties, one of the least penalized teams in the nations this season, were assessed 38 minutes of penalty time. Even one of the best penalty-kill units in the country can only hold its opponent off for so long and at the 13:19 mark of the third, the BSU penalty-kill unit showed its mortality.
Despite snuffing out five of the Huskies’ man-advantage chances, BSU allowed a pair of power-play goals to finished the night 2-for-7.
The loss soured an efficient power-play performance for BSU. The Beavers made good on their only to man-advantage opportunities of the game to build a one-goal lead with 20 minutes to play but it was not enough.
BSU skated out of a wild first period, holding a 2-1 lead.
After Gavin Gould put Michigan Tech up at the 7:20 mark, BSU’s Hampus Sjödahl and Brendan Harris teamed up to knot the game at the 10:51 mark. Harris won an offensive zone faceoff to Sjödahl, who fired a puck through traffic and found the back of the net. BSU then grabbed its first lead of the game on its initial power-play opportunity of the night. With just 19 seconds left in the man advantage, Justin Baudry took a tip-pass from Kyle Bauman and fired a shot from the top of the slot. The goal, at the 17:41 mark, stood as his eighth of the season, while the assist put Bauman, a senior, over 30 points for the first time in his career.
The Beavers kept their power-play unit rolling and stretched their lead to 3-1 just 3:18 into the second period. BSU point man Baudry again started the play with a shot. Aaron Miller picked up the rebound on the left post and slid the puck across the crease where Brendan Harris tapped his fourth goal of the season past the MTU goaltender, Devin Kero.
Jake Lucchini sparked a three-point night (2g-1a) and helped the Huskies answer at the 16:43 mark, pulling MTU within a goal, 3-2.
Before the period would end, Baudry was whistled for a major penalty and game misconduct setting MTU up with 4:30 of power-play time to open the third period. While the penalty didn’t lead directly to MTU’s game-wining goal, it set the tone for a period that saw special teams play monopolize time and eventually wear the Beavers down.
Lucchini tied the game at the 13:19 mark before Dylan Steman won a face off back to Seamus Donohue for the game-winner with 1:30 to play.
The Huskies would add a Jake Jackson empty-net goal with 16 seconds left to seal the victory.
BSU senior goaltender Michael Bitzer finished the night stopping 27 of the 31 shots he faced, including 12 stops while backstopping the BSU penalty-kill unit. He moves to 16-12-8 on the season.
BSU now 16-13-8 overall, looks to extend the quarterfinal series tomorrow when it will again host the No. 5 seeded Michigan Tech in game two of this best-of-three series at Sanford Center. The opening faceoff is set for 7:07 p.m.
Tickets for the second game of the playoff series are available and begin at just $12. The Sanford Center Box Office will open at 10 a.m. Saturday.
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).