Bemidji State men's hockey: Beavers back in top 10 in national polls after sweeping Duluth
As expected, the Bemidji State men's hockey team's nonconference series with Minnesota-Duluth had major implications in both the national polls and rankings.
Following a sweep of the Bulldogs, Bemidji State moved up to sixth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll released Monday. It was a major jump for the BSU, which had been ranked 14th the previous week. Miami sits atop the poll, with Wisconsin, Denver, North Dakota and St. Cloud State rounding out the top five
The Beavers also made a major move in the USCHO.com poll, vaulting into seventh place. In that poll as well the Beavers were ranked 14th the previous week. Miami, Wisconsin, Denver, North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Yale comprised the top six teams in the poll.
More importantly, BSU moved up in both rankings that are used to select teams for the NCAA tournament. The Beavers moved up to fourth in the Ratings Percentage Index and a tie for third with Wisconsin in the Pairwise rankings.
In the national statistical rankings, Bemidji State sits near the top in several categories. The Beavers are currently ranked third in scoring offense, allowing an average of 2.08 goals per game (50 goals allowed in 24 games). Miami leads the nation at 1.69 with Cornell second at 2.06.
The Beavers are also third in scoring offense, averaging 3.62 goals per game. Only two teams in the nation score an average of four or more goals per game - Yale in first at 4.16 and Wisconsin at 4.00.
Bemidji State leads the nation in winning percentage (.750, 17-5-2) and is one of only two teams in the nation with 17 wins.
A look back
BSU head coach Tom Serratore ranked the Beavers' stirring 5-4 overtime win Saturday up there with a game the Beavers played against the Bulldogs on Dec. 9, 2006.
In that series, the Beavers won at the Glas 5-2 on Friday and then headed for the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center Saturday.
The Bulldogs jumped to a 3-0 first-period lead behind goals by Mason Raymond (Vancouver), Drew Akins and Matt Niskanen (Dallas). Travis Winter then scored for the Beavers to make it 3-1.
But the Bulldogs' Macgregor Sharp answered to give UMD a 4-1 lead. Serratore's axiom that "the first team to four wins" didn't hold true this time around.
Bemidji State pulled starting goalie Matt Climie after Sharp's goal and replaced him with Orlando Alamano.
Then came the fateful second period. BSU forward Garret Roth scored early in the second to make it 4-2, but Akins got his second of the night just 32 seconds later to make it 5-2 for UMD.
Turn out the lights time, right? No - this game was being played at the DECC, remember.
Bemidji State scored three unanswered goals over a span of 8:16 to tie the game at 5-5. Blaine Jarvis, Riley Weselowski and Shane Holman all connected for the Beavers.
There was no scoring in the third period. Jarvis then recorded the game winner 2:56 into overtime as the Beavers completed the improbable rally to win.
The latest series marked the first time the Bulldogs were swept this season. UMD was also unbeaten in 14 straight overtime games (5-0-9) before the BSU win Saturday.
Bemidji State is now 3-0-0 this year against teams that were ranked in the top five of the nation. The Beavers beat top-ranked Miami 3-2 in November.
Going into Saturday's game, BSU was winless (0-3-1) in games where they trailed entering the third period. That streak was snapped with Saturday's overtime win.
Bemidji State is now 7-3-0 against UMD in the last 10 games between the two teams.
Sophomore forward Ben Kinne, who scored with 1.3 seconds left to tie the game 4-4 Saturday, also posted a last-second extra-attacker goal earlier in the season. Kinne scored with 10 seconds remaining to tie Northern Michigan 3-3 in Marquette on Oct. 23. The game ended in a tie.