BSU men's hockey: BSU battles North Dakota down to the wire in loss
The history of close and exciting games between North Dakota and the Bemidji State men's hockey teams continued Friday at The Glas as UND held on late to post a 4-3 win.
The game came down to the final seconds. Trailing by one with 1:16 left the Beavers pulled goalie Matt Dalton for an extra attacker and generated two quality chances. The last came in the waning moments as a Beaver shot went off the post in the final seconds.
The play occurred so fast nobody knew exactly what happened.
The only thing certain was BSU didn't score and UND notched the win.
"That was a heck of a game," said Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore. "Minus an Oshie or a Parise, they are as good as any team UND has had the last few years. I am proud of our guys and they way they hung in there until the end. They gave themselves a chance to win."
The Beavers (8-9-0) led 3-2 after a wild first period that saw 29 shots on goal generated, 20 by UND. North Dakota (10-9-1) scored a pair of unanswered goals in a dominating second to take the lead, and then hung on the rest of the way to post the win.
"That was a hard fought game," said UND head coach Dave Hakstol. "We were a little off balance defensively in the first period and they did a good job with their speed, flying the zone and getting scoring chances. BSU also made some great plays down low."
There was more action in the first 20 minutes than many entire games the Beavers have played this year.
UND scored first on a nice passing play that resulted in Chris VandeVelde getting the puck all alone in the slot. He cruised in and scored at the 1:41 mark.
The Beavers came roaring back and got the next two -- just 35 seconds apart. On the first, freshman defender Brad Hunt made a breakout pass to Tyler Scofield at the UND blue line that generated a 2 on 1 opportunity. Scofield waited until the perfect moment and hit Matt Read with a pass in front. Read scored into a wide open net at 5:51.
The next came on a nice play by freshman Shea Walters who gathered in a loose puck behind the net, waited and hit Ryan Cramer alone just off the crease. Cramer scored on the bang-bang play with very little room to move at 6:26.
UND tied it up at 13:51 as Trupp scored through traffic in front following a face off win. BSU then retook the lead as Read hit Scofield with a great break out pass through traffic. Scofield went in on a mini-breakaway and scored five hole past a sprawling UND goalie Brad Eidsness.
"I'm proud of the way the guys hung in there and responded after UND got that first goal," Serratore reported. "We came back and got the next two. After they scores, we responded again."
The second period was all North Dakota.
UND scored twice to take a 4-3 lead and poured another 17 shots on goal. BSU managed six shots in the period.
Brett Hextall tied things for UND at 3:00 as he scored on a one-timer in front off a pass from Brad Miller. UND went ahead for good with a power play goal at 7:11 as Ryan Martens cashed in on a bouncing puck in front of BSU goalie Matt Dalton. It turned out to be the game winner.
UND had four power plays in the period and five in the game through the second. The Beavers had no power play chances.
"We tightened things up a bit defensively in the second," Hakstol said, "and got the offense going a bit by playing up tempo. That's the way we have to play to be successful - fast offensively, cycling the puck and going after loose pucks hard. When we play that we can be pretty effective."
Serratore saw things the same way. "When they get rolling they come at you in swarms, they roll out of the corners in the offensive zone and have outstanding loose puck intensity," he said. "That being said, I felt we hung in there and gave ourselves a chance to win. I was proud of the guys."
UND played the third period close to the vest, dumping the puck and then staying back defensively as to not give up any odd man rushes. The strategy worked as the Beavers had difficulty generating any chances offensively until the very end.
UND was called for its only penalty of the game with 11 seconds remaining. The Beavers controlled the puck on the ensuing face off and Brandon Marino got off a shot. The rebound came out front to Matt Read who shot the puck between the legs of UND defender Derrick LaPoint towards the net.
The puck glanced off LaPoint's skate into the air, over a sprawling Eidsness. But it glanced off the post as time expired.
"We got solid goaltending and stayed in the hunt until the end," Serratore reported. Against a team like UND, that says a lot."
Dalton took the tough luck loss in net, stopping 37 UND shots. Eidsness got the victory, recovering nicely after the first period to shut down the Beavers in the final 40 minutes.
The teams wrap up the home and home series tonight at Ralph Engelstad Arena in a 7:07 p.m. start.