|February 29, 2020||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||06:35||MINNST||Rivera, Nick (Duehr, Walker , Gerads, Dallas)|
|2||19:35||MINNST||Zmolek, Riese (Tuomie, Parker , Michaelis, Marc)|
|3||14:34||BSU||Somoza, Ethan (Muck, Tommy )|
|3||19:16||MINNST||French, Josh (Hookenson, Edwin , McKay, Dryden)|
|Shots on Goal||35||39|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- The top two teams in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association went toe-to-toe for a conference title at Sanford Center this weekend. No. 11 Bemidji State University gave Minnesota State University all it could handle for nearly 120 minutes, but after a 3-1 BSU victory Friday, the No. 2 Mavericks used a pair of empty-net goals to prevail 4-1, clinch the 2019-20 WCHA regular-season title and the top seed and home ice throughout in the upcoming WCHA Playoffs.
Down 2-0 after a goal with just 26 seconds left in the second period, BSU continued to press in the third, outshooting MSU 17-14 in the frame. BSU would convert on an Ethan Somoza deflection to reel MSU in to within a goal, 2-1 with 5:26 to play. The goal ignited the 4,079 green and white faithful in attendance and sparked the Bemidji State bench.
The Beavers would get their share of scoring chances late but just as he has all season, MSU goaltender Dryden McKay stood tall and forced BSU to pulled goaltender Zach Driscoll in the last minute for an extra attacker. Josh French and Connor Mackey cashed in on the empty net to extend the Mavericks' win to 4-1.
Driscoll was tagged with two goals, while turning aside 31 shots during 58:42 in the Beavers' first loss at home since Dec. 7. He moves to 19-7-4 on the season.
The Beavers, now 20-9-5 overall to finish the 2019-20 WCHA regular season second in the league standings at 20-5-3-2. The Beavers locked up the No. 2 seed in the league's postseason and will host the first round of the WCHA playoffs at Sanford Center March 6-8. The best-of-three playoff series versus the No. 7 seed Lake Superior State University will get underway with a 7:07 p.m. opening faceoff Friday. The puck will drop at 6:07 p.m. Saturday and if needed, again 6:07 p.m. Sunday for the right to advance to the league semifinal series.
Tickets for the playoff series are available now at the Sanford Center Box Office and begin at $12 for adults, while youth 13 and under can purchase $8 tickets at the door on game day.