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Men's hockey: Bemidji State battles Anchorage to 4-4 tie

Beavers defenseman James Hansen receives a feed at the blue line and scores on a slap shot during the first period of Saturaday night’s game against Anchorage. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer 1 / 4
Bemidji State’s Jeff Jubinville tried to jam his rebound past Alaska-Anchorage goaltender Michael Matyas during Saturday’s game. Monte Draper | bemidji pioneer 2 / 4
Bemidji State's Matt Prapavessis heads for the net during Saturday's 4-4 tie with Anchorage. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer3 / 4
Bemidji State's Charlie O'Connor blows past the defense and creates a scoring opportunity during Saturday's 4-4 draw with Anchorage. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer4 / 4

BEMIDJI – Despite losing a two-goal lead, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team didn’t let Scott Allen and the rest of the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves derail them in Saturday’s second game of the two-game WCHA series.

Allen scored a hat trick for UAA and had single-handedly gotten the Seawolves back into the game, scoring their first three goals.

His third goal – just less than four minutes into the third period – tied the game at 3-3. Matt Bailey’s unassisted tally just seconds later stunned the crowd at the Sanford Center when UAA took a 4-3 lead.

Phillip Marinaccio saved BSU’s day.

The freshman from Nobleton, Ontario, scored his second of the game when he slid a puck though the five-hole of UAA goalie Michael Matyas at the 7:18 mark of the third period, giving the Beavers life after they had let that big lead slip through their fingers.

"They got those two quick goals in the third and we played with a little more determination," Marinaccio said. "But we have to play like that all game. Not just when we’re down."

That tied the game, and the Beavers went on to settle for a 4-4 draw with the Seawolves in front of 3,132 people at the Sanford Center.

Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore was glad to escape with points but disappointed that the Beavers couldn't hang on for the victory -- and the sweep.

"It’s a situation where you’re up in the third and you want to close the deal, no question about that," BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. "Give all the credit in the world to Anchorage. They played with a lot of desperation and found ways to get ahead. They made some plays.

"We showed some spunk too. I’m proud of our guys for that. But it’s tough when you lose the third period at home on a Saturday night. You’ve got four points staring you right in the face."

But fortunately for BSU, Marinaccio was on his game Saturday.

Marinaccio had scored earlier when he deflected a Phil Brewer pass into an open net with his skate at the 2:39 mark of the second period.

Referees initially ruled it a goal but it took them nearly 5 minutes – or, the entire length of a Guns’N’Roses song – to confirm the on-ice ruling with a video review.

He said the long review didn't make him nervous since he knew he didn't kick it in intentionally. In fact, video replay showed that a UAA defenseman had interfered with Marinaccio during the deflection.

"I didn’t think I kicked it in because as I was stopping, the defenseman kinda took me and I fell," he said. "I knew there was no kicking motion so I was pretty sure it would be a goal. Not really nervous. I knew I didn’t kick it in so it was good."

Mitch Cain added to BSU’s lead five minutes later. His rocket from the left dot gave the Beavers a two-goal cushion.

But BSU couldn’t hang onto that lead, as Allen scored two unanswered goals – one at 17:50 of the second on the power play and then again at 3:52 of the third – to tie things up.

"Scott Allen’s a big strong kid," Serratore said. "Those were some nice goals. He’s a good player. That power play goal, it was a typical power forward move. That third goal, too, 2-on-1, he ripped it. He’s a good player."

Allen scored his first of the game early in the opening frame, as the Beavers once again let their opponent score first. The same thing happened in Friday’s series opener.

However, BSU answered quickly. Defenseman James Hansen scored his first of the season two and a half minutes later.

The Seawolves were also the victims of another video review late in the first.

Just 20 seconds before the end of the first period the Seawolves thought they had scored the go-ahead tally.

Jordan Kawas had appeared to beat BSU goaltender Andrew Walsh on a rebound shot. But officials gave it another look and ruled that Hudson Friesen interfered with Walsh.

The Seawolves finished the game outshooting the Beavers 34-31. Walsh made 30 saves while Matyas stopped 27 shots.

The teams played a fairly clean game and neither had many chances on the power play, although Allen’s second-period goal came on the man advantage.

The Beavers are now 4-6-2 on the year and 4-3-1 in the WCHA, while UAA moves to 5-3-1 and 2-3-1.

With the tie the Beavers move into second place in the conference standings with nine points. Ferris State is in first with 11 points and Bowling Green is in third with seven points.

"Any points we can get are huge," Marinaccio said of getting the tie. "Going into the overtime we did not want to lose and give up the two points like we did to Ferris.... We lost 5-4 in overtime last Friday. So we just said keep playing our game, try not to make any turnovers and keep it simple."

BSU returns to action next week for another WCHA series against Lake Superior State.

Bemidji State 4, Alaska Anchorage 4, OT

UAA 1 1 2 0 – 4

BSU 1 2 1 0 – 4

First Period – 1, UAA, Allen 1 (Pettit), 12:40; 2, BSU, Hansen (Jubinville), 15:01. Penalties – UAA, Sevalrud (Cross-Checking), 16:51; BSU, Pedan (Holding), 17:12.

Second Period – 3, BSU, Marinaccio 1 (Brewer, Prapavessis), 2:39; 4, BSU, Cain (Marinaccio, Hansen), 7:22; 5, UAA, Allen 2 (Kwas, Caldwell), 17:50, PP. Penalties – UAA, Sevalrud (Kneeing), x:zxx; BSU, Hartmann (Charging), 16:59; UAA, Sevalrud (Roughing), 19:34.

Third Period – 6, UAA, Allen 3 (Kwas), 3:52; 7, UAA, Bailey (Unassisted), 4:33; 8, Marinaccio 2 (Cain, O’Connor), 7:18. Penalties – None.

Overtime – No Scoring. Penalties – None.

Shots on goal: UAA – 16-10-6-2—34; BSU – 7-6-17-1—31; Goaltenders (shots-saves): UAA – Matyas (31-27); BSU — Walsh (34-30). Penalties-Minutes: UAA – 3-6; BSU — 2-4. Power Play goals, opportunities: UAA – 1-for-2; BSU — 0-for-3. Three stars: 1-Marinaccio, BSU; 2-Allen, UAA; 3-Hansen, BSU.

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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