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George, Bakala lead Beavers to 2-1 hockey win at Anchorage

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Junior wing Jordan George scored both goals Friday night as Bemidji State snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory at Alaska-Anchorage.

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The final regular-season series concludes late Saturday night, and the Beavers will know before the game begins whether they have a chance of overtaking Wisconsin to claim ninth place in the final standings.

Wisconsin, which swept the Beavers last weekend in Bemidji, knocked off league-leading Minnesota 4-1 on the Gophers' ice Friday night. If the Badgers repeat that Saturday night in Minneapolis, Bemidji State will be assured of a 10th-place finish.

The Beavers will be on the road March 9-11 for a first-round best-of-three WCHA playoff series. A 10th-place finish will mean a trip to Denver, while a ninth-place finish will send the team to North Dakota.

It took some time for Bemidji State to get a shot on goal on its first hockey trip to Alaska, but the Beavers made the most of that first shot as George scored to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead with 12:14 left in the first period. Linemate Aaron McLeod set up the goal with a nifty pass up the middle.

George scored again later in the first period to give BSU a 2-0 lead with assists from Brance Orban and McLeod.

"Georgie was good in the first period; he was good all night long," Beavers head coach Tom Serratore said. "He could have had a couple more. He was the best player and he came up big for us."

Dan Bakala faced only 15 shots in the BSU goal, but he had some strong saves in the final minute after the Seawolves pulled their goalie for an extra attacker.

"Bakala is so focused right now," Serratore said. "He knows we need points and we need wins. He was in a zone tonight."

Andrew Pickering deflected a shot past Bakala to make it 2-1 with 3:55 left in the first period.

The Beavers played the entire game without a penalty.

Bemidji improved to 16-16-3 overall and 10-14-3 in the WCHA.

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Pioneer staff reports
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