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Men's hockey: Third period surge lifts Miami past Bemidji St.

Bemidji State’s Radoslav Illo fought off a check from Miami’s Riley Barber during Saturday’s game at the Sanford Center. Later in the contest Illo would score BSU’s first goal but Miami would go on to win 6-3. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer 1 / 3
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BEMIDJI -- After rallying to score three third-period goals and earn the tie in Friday night’s series opener against Miami (Ohio), the Bemidji State men’s hockey team couldn’t recapture that same magic in Saturday's finale.

Austin Czarnik had five assists, Riley Barber had a goal and three assists and the ranked RedHawks scored three times in the third period to knock off Bemidji State 6-3 in front of 3,475 people at the Sanford Center.

“They’re just a very good transitional team,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “They’ve got great speed and you have to play a 200-foot game against them.

“You take a look tonight, (Czarnik) has five points. Last night it was a tie game, we hold him scoreless and minus-three. Tonight he made us pay…. Same thing with Barber. He gets a shorthanded goal. Those guys are good players. We couldn’t contain those two guys.”

Radoslav Illo scored two goals but the Beavers (5-8-3) couldn’t finish the game after coming back to tie Miami (8-6-2) twice.

With the teams going into the third period tied at 3-3, the RedHawks unleashed their potent scoring offense to snap their four game winless streak.

“It was a different answer than last night, that’s for sure,” Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said. Miami was up 4-1 in the third period before the Beavers tied it 4-4.

“I thought our guys showed some resiliency tonight.”

Alex Wideman scored the first of his two third-period goals a little over five minutes in. He threw the puck at the net and it found its way past BSU goaltender Ried Mimmack, who was making his first career collegiate start.

That gave Miami a 4-3 lead but the Beavers had a perfect opportunity to tie the game two minutes after Wideman’s goal. Devin Loe -- who also scored twice in the game -- hit Illo from behind. Illo was slow to get up and as he was skating to the bench referees hit Loe with a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

He skated to the dressing room and gave BSU an extended opportunity to get an equalizer.

However, Barber -- one of the top scorers in the nation -- made sure the Beavers never got the chance.

Just 30 seconds into the power play Czarnik forced a turnover and found Barber, who had a clear breakaway and beat Mimmack easily for a shorthanded goal to make it 5-3 at 7:35.

“The shorthanded goal deflated us,” Serratore said. “You have a five-minute power play and even if you don’t score you still make it a ballgame and it’s a one-goal lead and you still have eight, nine minutes to go. We never rebounded.”

BSU still had plenty of time left on the power play but Illo took an interference penalty at the 10:52 mark of the game, negating the man-advantage.

Miami tacked in its sixth goal at the 14:45 mark with a beautiful Barber-to-Czarnik-to-Wideman hook up on an odd-man rush.

Mimmack took the loss for BSU in his first start in net. The sophomore from Brainerd made 23 saves on 29 shots and rallied after a rough start to the game.

He gave up a goal to Loe just 11 seconds in and another to Blake Coleman on the power play at the 3:02 mark of the first period to put BSU down 2-0 early.

But the Beavers rallied with two goals in the first to tie it up.

Illo and Jeff Jubinville each scored to tie the game at 2-2 going into the first intermission; Miami outshot the Beavers just 13-11 in the first despite the fast start.

Loe tallied his second goal just less than five minutes into the middle frame, corralling a long rebound that somehow made it between Mimmack’s five-hole.

Illo remedied that on BSU’s next power play. Referees whistled Coleman for boarding and, following a strong power play with six shots on goal, Illo flipped a puck past Miami goalie Ryan McKay from the slot.

The Beavers nearly scored again when Johnny Wingels went to the bin later in the frame for interference. Defenseman Ruslan Pedan had a pair of close calls on consecutive slapshots from the point. McKay saved the first and dropped the puck on the crease but a teammate cleared it away. Seconds later Pedan had another strong shot that dinged off the crossbar and up into the seats.

Miami was whistled for seven penalties in the game for 25 minutes; the Beavers had six power play opportunities and converted on two.

The Beavers cap their six-game homestand with a 2-2-2 record. they return to Western Collegiate Hockey Association play next weekend with a series at Michigan Tech.

Miami 6, Bemidji State 3

Miami 2 1 3 -- 6

BSU 2 1 0 -- 3

First Period -- 1, MU, Loe 1 (Czarnik, Barber), 0:11; 2, MU, Coleman (Czarnik, Louis), 3:02, PP; 3, BSU, Illo 1 (Jubinville, Gerbrandt), 10:06; 4, BSU, Jubinville (Mattson, Prapavessis), 14:01, PP. Penlties -- BSU, Kinne (High Sticking), 2:25; MU, Coleman (High Sticking), 10:16; MU, team (Too Many Men), 12:35; MU, Barber (Hooking), 19:18.

Second Period -- 5, MU, Loe 2 (Czarnik, Barber), 4:39; 6, BSU, Illo 2 (Ward). Penalties -- BSU, Gerbrandt (Tripping), 1:26; MU, Coleman (Boarding), 9:45; Wingels (Interference), 15:01.

Third Period -- 7, MU, Wideman 1 (Richart, Coleman), 5:20; 8, MU, Barber (Czarnik), 7:35, SH; 9, MU, Wideman 2 (Czarnik, Barber). Penalties -- MU, Loe (Checking From Behind), 7:06; MU, Loe (Game Misconduct), 7:06; BSU, Illo (Interference), 10:52.

Shots on goal: MU -- 13-6-10--29; BSU -- 11-11-6--28; Goaltenders (shots-saves): MU -- McKay (28-25); BSU -- Mimmack (29-23). Penalties-Minutes: MU -- 7-25; BSU -- 3-6. Power Play goals, opportunities: MU -- 1-for-3; BSU -- 2-for-6. Three stars: 1-Czarnik, MU; 2-Barber, MU; 3-Illo, 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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