OMAHA, Neb. – No wonder Omaha is one of head coach Tom Serratore’s favorite road trips.
Andrew Walsh had a career-high 39 saves, Aaron McLeod had a goal and an assist and the Beavers rallied from two separate two-goal deficits against Nebraska-Omaha Friday night to skate to a 3-3 tie.
The Beavers (1-1-1) are now unbeaten in their last seven games in Omaha.
“What a gutty tie,” Bemidji State head coach Serratore said. “I’m so proud of the guys. They showed a ton of grit to come back from two two-goal deficits.
“It’s probably a well-earned tie for both teams. I’m excited about how the guys played and excited that they bounced back both times.”
The two teams face off again at 7:07 p.m. tonight.
After falling behind 2-0, Bemidji State rallied in the second period with a three-goal outburst.
Radoslov Illo scored BSU’s first goal of the game nine minutes into the second period. The Beavers were down 2-0 when Illo received a pass from Sam Windle on the point. Illo fired it past UNO’s John Faulkner to cut the Mavericks’ lead in half and score his second goal of the year. Aaron McLeod also got an assist on the play to get two points.
However, BSU’s momentum didn’t last very long.
Just seven seconds later the Mavs answered. Omaha won the faceoff after the goal and got the puck quickly into the zone. There were a mass of bodies around Beavers goaltender Andrew Walsh, and Johnnie Searfross found a way to poke it in past Walsh to make it 3-1.
But the Beavers didn’t let that deflate them.
At 14:21, BSU began their comeback.
Ben Kinne got a shot that hit off the post behind Faulkner. Aaron McLeod collected the rebound and pounded it in to make it 3-2.
Markus Gerbrandt completed BSU’s comeback receiving a backdoor pass from Jordan George with just over two minutes to go.
UNO dominated play in the third period, outshooting BSU 9-2, but neither team could break the tie and the game went to overtime.
BSU appeared to get a break in the overtime period, when UNO’s Aaron Pierce was whistled for a holding penalty on BSU’s Brance Orban just 1:04 into the extra frame.
But the Mavericks killed the penalty and the teams each earned a point for a 3-3 tie.
BSU goaltender Andrew Walsh rebounded after giving up the first two goals of the game and ended up making a career-high 39 saves. Faulkner made 22 saves.
UNO actually outshot the Beavers 42-25, including an 18-13 edge in that second period.
The Mavs (2-2-1) had scored early in the game and forced the Beavers to play catch-up. At the 2:43 mark, Brainerd native Josh Archibald won a faceoff in the BSU zone, walked in between the circles and put the puck over the left shoulder of Walsh to make it 1-0.
UNO didn’t waste much time in the second period, either.
Just 1:51 into the second period, Matt White picked up a rebound off a shot from Nick Seeler to make it 2-0.
But the Beavers were able to rebound when Illo’s goal started their comeback.
“We’ve had a lot of success against those guys the past few years and they knew it,” Serratore said. “I think we saw their best, but our guys showed a lot of resiliency.”
Bemidji State 0 3 0 0– 3
Nebraska-Omaha 1 2 0 0– 3
First Period – 1, UNO Josh Archibald (Dominic Zombo), 2:43. Penalties – BSU, Radoslav Illo (Tripping), 3:48; UNO, Josh Archibald (Tripping), 8:55; BSU, Brady Wacker (Tripping) 15:38; UNO, Tanner Lane (Interference), 19:06.
Second Period – 2, UNO, Matt White (Nick Seeler, Brock Montpetit), 1:51. 3, BSU – Radosolv Illo (Sam Windle, Aaron McLeod), 9:03. 4, UNO, Johnnie Searfoss (Josh Archibald, Dominic Zombo), 9:20. 5, BSU, Aaron McLeod (Ben Kinne), 14:21. 6, BSU, Markus Gerbrandt (Jordan George), 17:23. Penalties – BSU, Jake Areshenko (Hooking), 4:22.
Third Period – No Scoring. Penalties – UNO, Dominic Zombo (Charging), 13:36.
Overtime – No Scoring. Penalties – UNO, Aaron Pearce (Holding), 1:04.
Goalies – BSU, Andrew Walsh (44-39). UNO, John Faulkner (25-22).
Shots On Goal – BSU (8-13-2-2=25). UNO (13-18-9-2=42).
Penalties-Minutes – BSU, 3-6. UNO, 4-8.
Power Plays – BSU, 0-for-4. UNO, 0-for-3.