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BSU men's hockey: Offense disappears in 3-2 road loss to Minnesota-Duluth

Pioneer Photo/Drerek Montgomery, Duluth News Tribune Bemidji State goaltender Matt Dalton (center) stops a shot from Minnesota Duluth's Jordan Fulton (right, #23) while Darcy Findlay (left) watches Friday evening at the DECC in Duluth.

Stellar goaltending by Bemidji State sophomore Matt Dalton kept the Beavers in the game, but in the end the huge effort was not enough.

Minnesota-Duluth topped the Bemidji State men's hockey team 3-2 Friday at the DECC.

Dalton did his part, making 35 saves -- several of them spectacular -- to keep the game close. But the Beavers offense was nearly nonexistent, generating just 15 shots on goal in the game.

If not for about a five minute flurry near the end of the second period where BSU (8-11-0) scored twice, the Beavers offense seemed tired and listless for the majority of the game.

"That was painful to watch, wasn't it?" said BSU head coach Tom Serratore after the game. "We had no feet, no legs at all. One line was clicking pretty good, but that was it.

"I was talking to the assistant coaches and this was the toughest game we've had since Air Force the second week of the season. It was a good thing our goaltender was tough."

UMD (10-7-6) took a 1-0 lead in the first period as Michael Gergen scored his first of two on the night. He scored on a wicked wrist shot from the top of the near circle at 11:01.

That was all the scoring for the period that saw the Bulldogs hold an 11-5 shot advantage.

UMD went ahead 2-0 with a power play goal from Jack Connolly at 6:15 of the second. Things were not looking good for the Beavers.

But then BSU started to show some life.

Tyler Scofield scored on the power play off a nice pinpoint passing play from Chris Peluso and Matt Read at 13:07.

Then, a little over five minutes later, the Beavers tied things up. UMD went on a 4 on 2 rush that the Beavers played perfectly. A UMD shot was kicked back into the slot and the Beavers pounced.

With four UMD players deep, Jamie MacQueen and Brandon Marino jumped out on a 2 on 1 break. MacQueen connected on a hard shot from the hash marks to beat UMD goalie Alex Stalock at 18:48.

Just a few seconds later the Beavers came extremely close to taking the lead. Read and Scofield went on a 2 on 1 rush. Read hit Scofield with a perfect pass that Scofield redirected toward the goal. But Stalock made a sprawling save with the puck barely sliding wide of the net.

The BSU momentum didn't carry over to the third period.

Gergen scored what turned out to be the game winner at 3:13 of the third.

Seconds after the UMD goal, BSU's Matt Francis appeared to tie the game. But after a review the goal was waved off.

That was to be it for the Beavers offense on the night as BSU generated just four shots over the final 20 minutes.

Dalton, however, was spectacular in the third, making at least six huge saves. The biggest came on a short-handed breakaway by Jordan Fulton with just over two minutes left.

"Dalton was close to stealing the game for us," Serratore said. "He was very close."

Serratore reported he hoped the Beavers would break out of their funk for tonight's game. "We better have better legs (tonight)," he said.