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Bemidji State men's hockey team beats Michigan Tech on late goal from George

Bemidji State goalie Dan Bakala makes a save behind Michigan Tech's Milos Gordic and BSU's Shea?Walters during Saturday's game at John?MacInnes?Ice?Arena in Houghton. David Archambeau/The Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton

Jordan George's breakaway goal with 1:33 left in regulation lifted the Bemidji State men's hockey team to a 1-0 win over Michigan Tech Saturday afternoon at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

George forced a turnover at the Bemidji State blue line, skated alone the rest of the way and moved the puck to his backhand for the winning shot.

The breakaway came at the end of the line shift following a solid minute of Michigan Tech pressure on BSU goalie Dan Bakala.

"There's not too many guys who can find legs at the end of the shift," Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said. "George can find legs. He can find legs when he's going north - He just separated and he's deadly on those breakaways."

The Beavers captured the Winter Carnival traveling trophy by winning the weekend series and George was presented the Winter Carnival's Most Valuable Player trophy. The Winter Carnival hockey series is a Michigan Tech tradition dating back to 1950.

The Beavers earned three points in the WCHA standings following Friday's 2-2 draw between the two teams.

Michigan Tech, which ended a 18-game WCHA losing streak Friday, saw its winless streak extend to 26 games with the loss to the Beavers. Michigan Tech has not won since Oct. 15.

Bemidji State returns to The Sanford Center next weekend to face Colorado College. Game times are Friday at 7:37 p.m. and Saturday at 7:07 p.m.

The 11th place Beavers stayed relevant in the WCHA standings with the victory and trailed the ninth place tie between St. Cloud State and Minnesota State by one point pending the results of Saturday night's games. Colorado College entered Saturday's late game against Mankato in sixth place with 20 points.

"It was a critical two points," Serratore said. "If we had not won, we probably would have been solidified in 11th place."

The Beavers were strong to open Saturday's Winter Carnival finale.

BSU applied offensive pressure throughout the first period and outshot the Huskies 15-9 in a penalty-free first 20 minutes. Michigan Tech goalie Kevin Genoe was the best player for both teams in the first period.

Bakala checked in to the game with a goal-saving stop 79 seconds into the second period. When Steven Saigo crashed the net looking to put back a rebound, Bakala kicked out his left leg to keep the puck from going into the net.

Both teams had a pair of power plays in the second period. The Huskies had the first two and Bemidji State had the last two.

The second power play for BSU closed the second period and Genoe made an impressive blocker save on BSU captain Matt Read in the final minute. Genoe reached out with his blocker and stopped Read on the second shot off a rebound.

Much of the third period was an even battle for both teams. Tech nearly scored with eight minutes remaining when Evan Witt ringed a shot off the post. The Huskies continued to pressure the BSU defense when Sam Rendle's boarding penalty gave the Huskies power play with seven minutes remaining.

But the Beavers penalty kill held and shut down all three Michigan Tech power plays in the game. BSU stopped all eight Tech power plays on the weekend and have not allowed a power play goal in four games.

George's goal was his third game-winning goal this season his 13th goal overall. He leads the Beavers in scoring with 29 points this season.

Bakala finished with 23 saves in recording his fourth shutout this season for the Beavers. Genoe finished with 31 saves.

"I wanted a few more goals, but I was really happy with our energy and I thought we played well for 60 minutes," Serratore said. "I was happy with our effort. I thought we had quality scoring chances and Genoe played well."

Bemidji State 0 0 1 - 1

Michigan Tech 0 0 0 - 0

First period- No scoring.

Second period- No scoring.

Third period- 1, BSU, George 13 (unassisted), 18:27.

Shots on goal - BSU, 15-7-10-32. MTU, 9-7-7-23.

Goalies - BSU, Bakala (32-32). MTU, Genoe (23-22).

Power Plays - BSU, 0-for-2. MTU, 0-for-3.

A - 2,708.