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MEN'S HOCKEY: Wisconsin holds off Bemidji State rally, wins 3-2

MADISON, Wis. – Bemidji State finally ended its long power play drought, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 3-0 deficit against Wisconsin.

The Beavers scored twice to make it interesting — including a power-play score from Aaron McLeod — but the Badgers held on to win their Western Collegiate Hockey Association game 3-2 Saturday night at the Kohl Center.

With the loss, the Beavers are now 5-17-6 overall and 4-13-5 in the league. They are still winless in their last 12 games, with an 0-9-3 record. BSU sits in 11th place in the league with 13 points, ahead of Alaska-Anchorage (10 points) but behind Michigan Tech (16 points).

The Badgers (12-9-7, 9-6-7 WCHA) got on the board early. Both Keegan Meuer and Brendan Woods beat BSU startring goaltender Mathieu Dugas in the first period. Meuer scored at 6:24 and Woods at 12:06 to give Wisconsin a 2-0 lead after the first intermission.

Wisconsin went up 3-0 following Kevin Schulze’s goal at 10:57 of the second period.

BSU head coach Tom Serratore pulled Dugas at that point and sent in sophomore Andrew Walsh.

Dugas faced just 10 shots and made seven saves.

The Beavers got on the board late in the second period following a Derek Lee tripping penalty at 17:06.

It took them all of 15 seconds to capitalize.

McLeod beat Wisconsin goaltender Landon Peterson five-hole at 17:21, with assists from Danny Mattson and Sam Rendle, to cut the Badgers’ lead to 3-1.

It was the Beavers’ first goal on the power play since Jan.5 against Western Michigan and broke an 0-for-19 scoreless streak on the man-advantage.

In the third period, the Beavers scored early to cut Wisconsin’s lead to just one at 3-2.

At the 3:14 mark of the final stanza Brance Orban beat Peterson with help from David Boehm.

From there the Beavers had a few chances to tie it up, including a power play chance with 11:35 to go when Frankie Simonelli went to the box for a trip.

The Beavers had a few shots on the power play but only one of them reached Peterson.

Later in the third stanza the Beavers pulled goaltender Walsh with 1:30 to go.

Orban had a great chance for the equalizer with a shot from the point with 15 seconds left but it went just wide.

The Beavers and Badgers each had 20 shots on goal, and BSU outshot Wisconsin 10-7 in the final frame.

Walsh finished the game with 10 saves in relief of Dugas. Peterson stopped 18 shots for the Badgers.

The Beavers return home next weekend for another WCHA series. They’ll host Minnesota-Duluth Friday and Saturday at the Sanford Center.

Bemidji State 0 1 1 – 2

Wisconsin 2 1 0 – 3

First Period – 1, UW, Meuer (Navin, Ramage), 6:24; 2, UW, Woods (Mersch, Lee), 12:06.

Second Period – 3, UW, Schulze (Kerdiles, LaBate), 10:57; 4, BSU, McLeod (Mattson, Rendle), 17:21, PP.

Third Period – 5, BSU, Orban (Boehm), 3:14.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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