|November 24, 2021||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||05:46||BSU||Kirkup, Tyler (Rosen, Elias )|
|1||07:56||BSU||Armour, Ross (Ierullo, Alex )|
|1||12:11||ASU||Koumontzis, Demetrios (Doan, Josh , Theisen, Colin)|
|3||06:50||BSU||Ierullo, Alex (Sillinger, Lukas , Jubenvill, Tyler)|
|3||08:47||ASU||Kopperud, Matthew (Dhooghe, Sean , Judson, Jack)|
|3||19:19.9||ASU||Grando, Christopher (Kopperud, Matthew , Mancinelli, Michael)|
|Shots on Goal||33||26|
TEMPE, Ariz. (Oceanside Ice Arena) – Leading by three goals with just over 13 minutes to play, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team held on to claim a 4-3 nonconference victory at Arizona State University Wednesday. Alex Ierullo led the Beavers with a goal and an assist.
In the first meeting between the teams since 2016, and just the third ever meeting the teams, the Beavers took the lead early and did not look back.
For the third consecutive game and the 10th time this season, BSU netted the first goal of the game. Tyler Kirkup netted his team-leading seventh goal of the season just 5:46 after the opening faceoff. Elias Rosén was credited with an assist on the play. BSU stretched its lead to two goals just 2:10 later and on the man advantage, when Alex Ierullo found Ross Armour with a pass, Armour pushed the puck back toward Ierullo and across the goaline.
ASU goal off an offensive zone faceoff at the 12:11 mark cut BSU’s lead in half, 2-1, but Owen Sillinger matched Kirkup for the team’s goal-scoring lead flipping his seventh goal of the season over the blocker of ASU’s Ben Kraws to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
The Beavers stumbled out of the gates to open the second period. Just 3:42 in Nick Cardelli was whistled for hooking to supply the Sun Devils with their first power-play opportunity of the evening. With 17 seconds left to kill, the Beavers got caught with too many men on the ice setting up a short 5-on-3 versus one of the nation’s most accomplished power plays. ASU entered the series with 19 power-play goals on the season but the Beavers not only killed off the first penalty, they escaped the second without allowing a goal.
BSU and ASU were each held scoreless in the second period sending the Beavers into the third period still clinging to a 3-1 lead.
The Beavers’ advantage swelled to 4-1 at the 6:50 mark of the third. Defender Brad Johnson chipped a pass off the sidewall to Lukas Sillinger, who passed to Ierullo to cap a 2-on-1 with his sixth goal of 2021. The goal would stand as the eventual game-winner.
Down 4-1 with just over 13 minutes to go, the Sun Devils did not back down. Matthew Kopperud netted a gal at the 8:47 mark to pull ASU within to goals, 4-2.
As time ran down, ASU pulled its goaltender for an extra attacker. With 41 seconds left, the Sun Devils got a goal off the stick of Christopher Grando to narrow the BSU lead to a single goal. That was as close as ASU would get as the Beavers earned their eighth one-goal game of the season.
The Beavers earned the edge in special teams play Wednesday, going 1-for-2 on the man advantage, while holding the Sun Devils without a goal on four power-play opportunities.
Sholl totaled 23 saves in the game while surrendering three goals. The freshman picked up his fourth win to improve to 4-1-0 on the year.
The Beavers improve to 8-5-0 overall. BSU will now break for the Thanksgiving holiday before wrapping up its series with the Sun Devils Friday. Opening faceoff is set for 8:05 p.m. (CT) at Oceanside Ice Arena.
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 Central Collegiate Hockey Association and Western Collegiate Hockey Association, respectively, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.