|February 22, 2020||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||Final|
|1||06:37||BSU||Combs, Charlie (Harris, Brendan , Jones, Carter)|
|2||19:29||UAA||Alex Frye (Taylor Lantz )|
|3||02:57||UAA||Alex Frye (Luc Brown , Rylee St. Onge)|
|3||17:11||BSU||Ierullo, Alex (Kirkup, Tyler )|
|Shots on Goal||28||36|
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Seawolves Sports Complex) – Down 2-1 to the University of Alaska Anchorage with just over three minutes to go, the Bemidji State University men’s hockey team used a short-handed goal by Alex Ierullo, in the midst of a five-minute major penalty, to push the game to overtime, ultimately earn a tie and clinch an extra point in the standings on a Tommy Muck goal in 3-on-3 play.
The five point weekend, means that the second-place Beavers kept pace with league-leading Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Mavericks currently hold a six-point advantage over BSU with a head-to-head matchup, six points and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season title on the line when MSU come to Sanford Center next weekend.
On Saturday, one of the least penalize team in the country, BSU was whistled for five penalties, including three minors and a major penalty in the third period alone. The Beavers’ penalty-kill surrendered the Seawolves’ go-ahead, power-play goal in the opening moments of the third period, but would redeem itself with the short-handed goal and strong kill to finish regulation.
Bemidji State BSU was again the first to strike and used its potent power-play unit to get the scoring started. Despite struggling to generate scoring chances early, UAA supplied the Beavers with a man advantage opportunity at the 5:09 mark of the first period. It took BSU just 1:28 to light the lamp. Charlie Combs cashed in on a nifty sequence of passing from Carter Jones and Brendan Harris.
The second period belonged to UAA. The Seawolves outshot the Beavers 12-10 in the frame despite being assessed a pair of minors and major penalty in the period.
Midway through the second, Tommy Muck was checked into the boards from behind by Zach Nazzarett, drawing a five-minute major penalty and setting BSU up with power-play time. Later, Eric Sinclair was whistled for tripping to supply BSU with a full two-minutes of 5-on-3 play. Before Sinclair was released from the penalty box, the Seawolves’ bench was assessed with a too many men on the ice penalty to stretch the 5-on-3 for nearly three minutes. UAA rode out the penalty-time and used the success to build momentum and scored to tie the game 1-1.
Alaska Anchorage built on that surge by taking its first lead of the weekend, 2-1, 2:57 into the third period.
With just over two minutes off the clock, Combs was called for holding and the Seawolves’ Alex Frye scored his second goal of the game 50 seconds later.
Beavers spent nine of the last 10 minutes of regulation short-handed, including 4:41 of major penalty-time. Trailing by a goal and playing a man short put extra pressure on the penalty-kill group not only too keep the Seawolves within reach, but also to score to tie the game. At the 17:11 mark, the unit came through when Alex Ierullo took a nifty pass from Tyler Kirkup and evened the score.
The Beavers’ power-play unit finished the night 1-for-5 on the man advantage, while its penalty-kill group surrendered just one goal on five UAA power-play chances, including a major penalty.
Zach Driscoll made 34 saves, including 15 in the third period alone, to move to 18-6-4 on the season.
Including Saturday’s draw, the Beavers are now unbeaten in their last seven games (6-0-1) and move to 11-1-2 since Jan. 1.
The Beavers, now 19-8-5 overall and 19-4-3-2 in WCHA play, return to Bemidji, Minn. and Sanford Center Feb. 28 and 29 to host Minnesota State for the final weekend series of the 2019-20 regular season. The puck will drop at 7:07 p.m. Friday and again at 6:07 p.m. Saturday.