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MEN'S HOCKEY: Ward scores twice as Beavers, Walsh blank Alaska 4-0

Alaska defenseman Colton Parayko, left, fights for control of the puck with Bemidji State center Cory Ward during a game Friday in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Nanooks won 3-0 Friday but the Beavers returned the favor Saturday with a 4-0 win. Ward scored two goals in the win. Sam Harrel | Fairbanks News-Miner

FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- Cory Ward scored twice, Bemdiji State scored twice on the power play and BSU's penalty kill continued to frustrate opponents as the Beavers topped Alaska 4-0 late Saturday night at the Carlson Center, bouncing back from a 3-0 loss Friday and earning the Western Collegiate Hockey Association split.

Andrew Walsh made 25 saves for BSU to earn his second shutout of the season.

The Beavers (8-13-7, 8-8-4 WCHA) scored twice on the power play and also held Alaska (10-12-4, 7-11-2 WCHA) to 0-for-6 on the man-advantage. BSU came into the weekend No. 6 in the country on the penalty kill and has only allowed one power play goal in 24 chances in its last six games.

Ward scored once in the second period and again in the third for his WCHA-leading 15th and 16th goals of the season.

The Beavers scored first when Radoslav Illo got on the board with a power play goal just 2 minutes, 11 seconds into action.

BSU doubled the lead later in the period when Phil Marinaccio netted his fifth goal of the season -- also on the power play -- to give BSU a 2-0 lead at first intermission.

Ward scored five minutes into the second period and again a minute into the third to give the Beavers their eventual 4-0 margin of victory.

In addition to Ward, four other players earned two points in Saturday's game: Illo scored an notched an assist while Matt Prapavessis, Danny Mattson and Markus Gerbrandt each had two assists apiece.

Sean Cahill took the loss for the Nanooks, making 21 saves.

With the win Bemidji State kept pace with fourth-place Alaska Anchorage in the conference standings. BSU has 20 points and is in fifth place, three points ahead of Northern Michigan.

Alaska, with 16 points, remained in a three-way tie for seventh with Lake Superior State and Michigan Tech. The top eight teams make the conference playoffs at the end of the season and the top four have home-ice advantage in the first round.

The Beavers have a break next weekend before traveling to second-place Minnesota State Mankato. BSU and MSU split their series in Bemidji earlier this season.

Bemidji State 4, Alaska 0

BSU 2 1 1 -- 4

Alaska 0 0 0 -- 0

First Period -- 1, BSU, Illo (Prapavessis, Jubinville), 2:14, PP; 2, BSU, Marinaccio (Illo, Mattson), 17:02, PP. Penalties -- UAF, Atkinson (Hooking), 1:03; BSU, Hansen (Hooking), 9:40; BSU, Prapavessis (Tripping), 11:43; BSU, Ward (Hooking), 13:46; UAF, Parayko (Tripping), 15:04.

Second Period -- 3, BSU, Ward 1 (Gerbrandt, Prapavessis), 5:20. Penalties -- UAF, Peterson (Roughing), 5:52; BSU, Jubinville (Holding), 11:50; BSU, Hansen (Tripping), 14:43.

Third Period -- 4, BSU, Ward 2 (Mattson, Gerbrandt), 1:13. Penalties -- BSU, Pedan (Tripping), 1:38.

Shots On Goal -- BSU, 12-4-9--25; UAF, 5-12-8--25. Goalies (Shots-Saves) -- BSU, Andrew Walsh (25-25); UAF, Sean Cahill (25-21). Penalties-Minutes -- BSU, 6-12; UAF, 3-6. Power Plays-Opportunities -- BSU, 2-for-3; UAF, 0-for-6. Faceoffs -- UAF, 30-28. 3 Stars -- 1, Ward, BSU; 2-Walsh, BSU; 3-Prapavesssis, 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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