Bemidji State men's hockey: Beavers have better effort, but UMD sweeps with 4-2 win
The result may have been the same as the night before, but the attitude of the Bemidji State men's hockey team was much improved following a 4-2 loss to UMD Saturday at the DECC.
"I told the guys I have no problem losing a game as long as we play like we did (Saturday)," said BSU head coach Tom Serratore.
"I thought we played well the whole game and I know we had more Grade A scoring chances.
"It was a major improvement from Friday night when the effort was mediocre."
The Bulldogs (11-7-6) scored a pair of first period goals and added another in a low scoring second to take a 3-0 lead.
The Beavers rallied in the third behind a pair of power-play goals to cut the UMD advantage to 3-2.
But the Bulldogs' Mike Connolly put the game away for the Bulldogs when he scored with 1:39 remaining.
MacGregor Sharp scored twice in the first period, the first the result of a legendary "DECC bounce."
BSU defender Cody Bostock attempted a clearing pass behind the Beavers net.
But when the puck got to the area where the Zamboni enters and exits the ice, it took a phantom bounce directly in front of BSU goaltender Orlando Alamano.
Sharp was on the spot in the slot and ripped a shot for a 1-0 Bulldog lead.
Sharp's second came on the power play, following a fine pass into the slot from Josh Meyers at17:21.
UMD made it 3-0 in the second on the only goal of the period. Justin Fontaine connected off a 2 on 1 rush where the Beavers were caught on a line change.
Bemidji State wasn't done on the night, however. After UMD's Sharp and Mike Montgomery were called for boarding penalties, the Beavers scored on the resulting 5 on 3 advantage. Freshman defender Brad Hunt got his fifth goal of the season, blasting a shot from the point past UMD's freshman goalie Brady Hjelle at 4:10.
About eight minutes later the Beavers made it a one goal game, scoring again on the power play.
BSU freshman forward Shea Walters flipped a shot towards the net from the top of the near circle. Sophomore Ian Lowe, battling in front of the net, deflected the shot into the goal to make it a game at 3-2.
Right about the time the Beavers were considering pulling Alamano for the extra attacker in an effort to tie, UMD iced the game. Connolly was left alone in front and scored following a nice pass from behind the net by Sharp at 18:21.
"I was proud of our effort," Serratore reported. "We battled and had a chance to win."
UMD ended with a slight 29-25 shot advantage. Hjelle recorded the victory in net for the Bulldogs, his first collegiate victory.
The Beavers (8-12-0) return to action Friday, hosting College Hockey America archrival Niagara in a two game series.
"It doesn't get any easier for us, no doubt," Serratore reported. "We've said all along that the road to a CHA title goes through Niagara. This will be a very big series for both teams."