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MEN'S HOCKEY: For the second straight game, Bemidji State and Michigan Tech skate to 2-2 tie

Bemidji State’s Sam Rendle, left, and Michigan Tech’s Shane Hanna battle for puck possession along the boards during the first period of their WCHA game Saturday night in Houghton, Mich. Davd Archambeau | Houghton (Mich.) Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON, Mich. — For the fifth time in six games, Bemidji State and Michigan Tech went to overtime.

And for the second straight night, the two teams had to settle for a 2-2 tie in their Western Collegiate Hockey Association game Saturday night at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Danny Mattson scored the equalizing goal for the Beavers (5-8-5, 5-4-3 WCHA) just less than six minutes into the third and final frame and the Huskies (6-8-4, 4-3-3 WCHA) leading 2-1.

Freshman Jesse Wilkins, who made 36 saves in his collegiate debut Friday, was once again outstanding for the Beavers in Saturday’s contest, making 39 saves on 41 Tech shots.

The Huskies outshot the Beavers 41-20 in the game but only managed a pair of goals to show for it.

Tanner Kero and the Huskies struck first in the game. Kero got his sixth goal of the season with a beautiful unassisted tally, carrying the puck in himself, dangling it a bit then backhanding it past Wilkins to give Tech a 1-0 lead at the 6:14 mark of the game.

Mitch Cain made sure the Beavers went into the first intermission tied.

After a power play that BSU couldn’t do much with, Graeme McCormack was called for a cross-check with just 15 seconds left in the BSU power play.

That gave the two teams a 15 second four-on-four opportunity, and Cain took advantage of the fewer bodies on the ice. He got a feed from Phil Brewer and beat Huskies goaltender Pheonix Copley with just five seconds left in the four-on-four to tie it at the 15:30 mark.

The Huskies had more than 90 seconds of power play time of their own to work with following the goal but the Beavers — as they did all weekend — killed the penalty off.

BSU held the Huskies to 0-for-6 on the man-advantage Saturday. The Beavers held the Huskies to the same 0-for-6 mark in Friday’s series opener.

Tech nearly took a 2-1 lead with 2:30 to go in the in the first when a Tyler Heinonen shot hit the pipe, then bounced back out and off the numbers of Wilkins and into the goal. However, officials waved off the goal and the teams went into the first intermission even at 1-1.

In the second period Brad Stebner’s wrist shot at 4:10, with assists from Alex Petan and CJ Eick, helped the Huskies regain the lead.

In the third period the Beavers turned it on a bit and scored the equalizer when Mattson finished off Brendan Harms’ odd-man rush for his second goal of the season at 5:54.

The Huskies outshot the Beavers 8-6 in the third period and 6-2 in the overtime.

With the pair of ties this weekend, the Beavers are in third place in the conference with 13 points in 12 games played. Tech has 11 points in 10 games for fourth place. Ferris State, currently 10-0-2 in conference play, is running away with first place. The Bulldogs have 22 points already. Minnesota State is in second with 14 points in 10 games, just ahead of Bemidji State.

The Beavers return to Bemidji next weekend when they’ll host Alaska Dec. 13 and 14 at the Sanford Center. That will be the last series for both teams before the holiday break.

Bemidji State 2, Michigan Tech 2, OT

BSU 1 0 1 0 — 2

Tech 1 1 0 0 — 2

First Period — 1, Tech, Kero (Unassisted), 6:14; 2, BSU, Cain (Brewer), 15:30. Penalties — BSU, Pedan (Slashing), 2:06; BSU, Pedan (Hooking), 9:55; Tech, Petan (Tripping), 13:35; BSU, McCormack (Cross-Checking), 15:20; BSU, Prapavessis (Tripping), 18:31.

Second Period — 3, Tech, Stebner (Petan, Eick), 4:10. Penalties — Tech, Neville (Holding The Stick), 7:24; BSU, Team (Too Many Players), 11:46; Tech, Team (Too Many Players), 15:47.

Third Period — 4, BSU, Mattson (Harms, Pedan), 5:54. Penalties — Tech, Pietila (Holding The Sticlk), 1:30; BSU, Cain (Tripping), 6:12.

Overtime — No Scoring. Penalties — None.

Shots on goal: BSU — 7-5-6-2—20; Tech — 15-12-8-6—41. Goalies (shots-saves): BSU — Wilkins (41-39); Tech — Copley (20-18). Penalties-Minutes — BSU 6-12; Tech 4-8. Power play goals, opportunities: BSU — 0-for-4; Tech — 0-for-6.

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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