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BSU’s Jeff Jubinville scored against Northern Michigan goalie Mathias Dahlstrom during the first period Saturday night and the goal was the only one the Beavers would manage in a 3-1 loss. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

Men's hockey: Northern Michigan completes sweep of BSU with 3-1 win

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BEMIDJI — Failure to capitalize on scoring opportunities once again led to a loss for the BSU men’s hockey team.

BSU went 0-for-6 on the power play and Northern Michigan’s Mathias Dahlstrom made 32 saves as NMU defeated the Beavers 3-1 in front of 3,561 people at the Sanford Center.

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The loss extends BSU’s winless streak to eight games after Friday night’s 4-1 NMU victory.

Bemidji State (5-11-6, 5-7-4 WCHA) had a 32-24 shots-on-goal edge on the Wildcats (8-10-2, 6-5-1) but couldn’t capitalize on the man-advantage.

“We played a lot better tonight than we did last night, but on the power play, we had a hard time,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “We didn’t win faceoffs, we couldn’t possess the puck and when we did we had a hard time breaking it out. They did a great job up-ice. That hurt us.”

Instead, Northern Michigan’s tough penalty kill — which killed a combined nine penalties in this weekend’s series — made life difficult for BSU’s power play units.

“We did a pretty good job on the forecheck against them and didn’t allow them to get set up in the zone,” NMU head coach Walt Kyle said. “Throughout the weekend, Bemidji won the faceoff battles but I think we won the special teams faceoffs when it counted.”

NMU scored the eventual game-winning goal soon after BSU failed to convert on a power play midway through the second period.

Just seconds after killing off a penalty to Ryan Trenz the Wildcats caught the Beavers napping in transition.

NMU left wing Reed Seckel squeezed a pass between a BSU defender and found center Stephan Vigier, who beat BSU goaltender Andrew Walsh top-shelf for the goal — his 11th of the season — at 13:51.

“I thought midway through the second, Bemidji was playing hard but we finally got it going,” Kyle said. “It was good to see.”

In the first period the BSU had four power-play opportunities — three plus one that bled over to the second period — but looked disorganized for each of them.

The only time BSU was able to get a cycle set up occurred during a brief 5-on-3 opportunity that occurred when the Wildcats somehow got whistled for back-to-back too many men on the ice penalties early in the period. But BSU’s two-man advantage lasted all of 22 seconds and the Beavers didn’t score until after falling behind first.

Cohen Adair snuck behind Walsh for NMU’s first goal. The Wildcats’ right wing, Sami Salminen, saw Adair streaking up the ice toward Walsh and hit Adair with a picture-perfect pass that landed in the blue line.

Adair never broke stride as he tapped it into the open net behind Walsh for his fourth of the season.

The Beavers answered quickly, equalizing on Radoslav Illo’s equally fine feed to center Jeff Jubinville a minute later.

Illo found Jubinville near the slot and the center from Edmonton took his his time, slowly deking NMU’s Dahlstrom until the Swedish goaltender committed too hard to his left. Jubinville fired it in for the score.

BSU had two more power play chances after scoring but couldn’t convert.

The Beavers had just one power play in both the second and third periods; the final power play chance was well after the Wildcats had scored their third goal of the game. Jake Baker made it 3-1 with an assist from Salminen — his third point in the series.

Although offense has been at a premium for the Beavers as of late — BSU has scored just one goal in each of its last five games — poor defense is still the key to BSU’s losses.

“We’ve gotta work on our defensive zone coverage,” Serratore said. “We have to. We need to be tougher to play. It’s been a staple of our program but right now we need to get better.”

BSU travels to Lake Superior State next weekend for another WCHA series. The Beavers have just five home games left and Serratore said the margin for error just got smaller after being swept at home.

“It’s a tough loss,” he said. “We really stubbed our toe here at home. We can’t do that. Now we have to go on the road the next six games and get some things done.”

NMU 1 1 1 — 3

BSU 1 0 0 — 1

First Period — 1, NMU, Adair (Salminen, Eiber), 15:42; 2, BSU, Jubinville (Illo), 16:51. Penalties — BSU, Windle (Elbowing), 6:35; NMU, Team (Too Many Men), 8:17; NMU, Team (Too Many Men), 9:39; NMU, Seckel (Cross Checking), 17:14; NMU, Seckel (Goaltender Interference, 19:51.

Second Period — 3, NMU, Vigier (Seckel), 13:51. Penalties — BSU, Illo (Cross Checking), 5:25; NMU, Trenz (Hooking), 11:39; BSU, Arentz (Hooking), 13:51.

Third Period — 4, NMU, Baker (Salminen, Kesti), 3:30. Penalties — NMU, Team, (Too Many Men), 12:07.

Shots On Goal — NMU 5-10-9—24; BSU 10-9-14—33. Goaltenders — NMU, Dahlstrom (33-32); BSU, Walsh (24-21). Penalties-Minutes — NMU 6-12; BSU 3-6. Power Plays-Opportunities — NMU 0-for-3; BSU 0-for-6. Faceoffs — BSU 31-23. Three Stars 1-Vigier, NMU; 2-Salminen, NMU; 3-Jubinville, BSU.

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Jack Hittinger
Jack Hittinger is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer, focusing on Bemidji State but also covering area high schools. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at http://thebeaverblog.areavoices.com/ and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.
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