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MEN'S HOCKEY: BSU overcomes slow first period to earn comeback, sweep of Lake Superior State

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. -- The BSU men's hockey team overcame a poor first period and scored twice in the third to defeat Lake Superior State 3-1 Saturday night and earn the Western Collegiate Hockey Association sweep.

"This was a huge game," BSU head coach Tom Serratore told Beaver Radio Network after the game. "I told our guys this is game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, and that's how it's going to be for the rest of the year. The sweep is what we needed to rectify last weekend."

The Beavers (7-11-6, 7-7-4 WCHA) were swept by Northern Michigan at home last weekend and fell into a three-way tie for fourth.

But thanks to Saturday's win over Lake Superior State the Beavers took sole possession of fourth with 18 points and edged closer to second-place Bowling Green and Minnesota State, who were tied with 20 points apiece at presstime. The Lakers (11-10-1, 7-9-0 WCHA) dropped down to fifth place.

On Saturday BSU allowed 14 shots on goal in the first period but didn't allow a goal until the second frame. Stephen Perfetto scored Lake State's lone goal on the power play just 5 minutes, 22 seconds into the second frame.

But the Beavers answered on Radoslav Illo's score with just more than two minutes to go in the middle frame. Nate Arentz and Matt Prapavessis assisted on the play.

In the third period, BSU had an early power play opportunity and took advantage.

Prapavessis beat Lakers goaltender Kevin Murdock for his second power play goal of the weekend -- he also scored Friday -- just 1:03 into the final frame to give the Beavers their first lead of the game.

Markus Gerbrandt made it 3-1 with his 11th goal of the season at the 6:28 mark of the third period. He also scored in Friday night's game.

The Lakers outshot the Beavers 34-24 in the game and had some chances in the final minutes, including with an extra attacker late, but BSU freshman goaltender Jesse Wilkins fended off all the shots to keep the score 3-1. He finished with 33 saves while Murdock made 21.

The Beavers return to the ice next weekend for their final nonconference series of the season. They'll play a home-and-home against Highway 2 rivals North Dakota; hosting UND Friday night at the Sanford Center before making the return trip to Grand Forks Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Bemidji State 3, Lake Superior State 1

BSU 0 1 2 -- 3

LSSU 0 1 0 -- 1

First Period -- No Scoring. Penalties -- BSU, Hansen (High Sticking), 5:44; BSU, Pedan (Interference), 9:29.

Second Period -- 1, LSSU, Perfetto (Globke, Sternberg), 5:22; 2, BSU, Illo (Prapavessis, Arentz), 17:56. Penalties -- BSU, McCormack (Interference), 0:09; LSSU, Johnson (Tripping), 1:44; BSU, Cain (Hooking), 4:08; LSSU, Schmitt (Holding The Stick), 10:48; LSSU, Globke (Tripping), 13:33; LSSU, Team (Too Many Men), 15:49; LSSU, Czuczman (Interference), 19:10.

Third Period -- 3, BSU, Prapavessis (Pedan, Ward), 1:03, PP; 4, BSU, Gerbrandt (Windle), 6:28. Penalties -- BSU, Illo (Interference), 11:06; LSSU, Sternberg (Slashing), 15:20.

Shots On Goal -- BSU, 4-14-6--24; LSSU 14-14-6--34. Goalies (Shots-Saves) -- BSU, Wilkins (34-33); LSSU, Murdock (24-21). Penalties-Minutes -- BSU, 5-10; LSSU, 6-12. Power Plays-Opportunities -- BSU, 1-for-6; LSSU, 1-for-5.

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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