|February 25, 2021||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||Final|
|1||14:00||MSU||Burgess, Todd (Jaremko, Jake )|
|2||00:57||MSU||Furry, Brendan (Livingstone, Jake , Zmolek, Riese)|
|2||01:42||MSU||Carroll, Andy (Lutz, Reggie , Burgess, Todd)|
|2||16:14||BSU||Somoza, Ethan (Jubenvill, Tyler , Harris, Brendan)|
|3||19:37.4||BSU||Ierullo, Alex (Miller, Aaron , Rosen, Elias)|
|4||04:08.5||MSU||Napravnik, Julian (Smith, Nathan )|
|Shots on Goal||26||29|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center) – The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team erased a two-goal deficit and scored an extra-attacker goal with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to earn a point in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings and push the game to overtime, but No. 3 Minnesota State University tipped in the game-winning goal with 51 seconds left in 3-on-3 play to earn the victory and clinch the MacNaughton Cup and the league’ regular-season title for the fourth consecutive season.
Tyler Kirkup got the Beavers on the board at the 8:44 mark of the first period. His second goal of the season came off an offensive zone faceoff. After winning the draw, Kirkup picked up the puck and fired or over the shoulder of Dryden McKay. The goal stood as an unassisted tally.
MSU used a goal off the stick of Todd Burgess to even the score at the 14:00 minute mark of the first and the teams skated off the ice at the first intermission locked in a 1-1 game.
The Mavericks open the second frame with a flurry. By the time two minutes had past, MSU had not only broken the deadlock, but it took a two-goal lead. Brendan Furry put the Mavericks up 2-1 just 57 seconds after the puck dropped to open the period. Andy Carrol followed suit at the 1:43 mark to give Minnesota State a two-goal cushion. Before the period came to a close, the Beavers netted a hard-nosed goal. Following a shot by Brendan Harris, Tyler Jubenvill tied up a rebound in front of the net and slipped a pass up the slot, where Somoza turned and fired his team-leading 10th goal of the season past McKay.
Trailing 3-2 to open the third period, the Beavers got the benefit of a pair of power-play chances midway through the period, but were unable to convert.
BSU used nearly the entire 20-minute third period before coming netting the equalizer. With 36 seconds left in the game, BSU pulled goaltender Zach Driscoll. The extra attacker gamble paid off. Fourteen seconds later, Alex Ierullo took passes from Aaron Miller and Elias Rosén and found the back of the net to pull BSU even, 3-3.
MSU leveraged a slight edge in overtime play posting a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal, while the Mavericks won 3-of-4 face offs before netting the game-winner. Julian Napravnik was credited with the sudden-death tally.
Driscoll finished the night with 25 saves and surrendered all four MSU goals, while backstopping a BSU penalty-kill unit that held a potent Mavericks’ power-play without a goal on its only man-advantage opportunity.
The 9-7-3 Beavers are now 4-4-1 in WCHA play. They continue league action Saturday as they host Minnesota State for the back half of the home-and-home series. The game will get underway with a 6:07 p.m. opening faceoff from Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn.
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).