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Bemidji State men's hockey team defeats Nebraska-Omaha 3-2 in OT on Read's goal

Bemidji State's Matt Read scores on Nebraska-Omaha goalie John Faulkner for the game-winning goal 52 seconds into overtime Saturday. Photo by Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald

Matt Read was down and out during the opening minutes of Saturday night's game at Nebraska-Omaha.

He did not stay down very long.

BSU's senior captain grew stronger as the game wore on and his game-winning goal 52 seconds into overtime lifted the Bemidji State men's hockey team to a 3-2 victory over the No. 11 Mavericks.

"That was just a well-executed goal and it was a Beaver hockey goal," Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said. "We're very fortunate and happy to win and it's going to make that bus ride a lot nicer."

Read and Matt Carlson scored second-period goals for the Beavers and goalie Dan Bakala finished with 36 saves.

Matt Ambroz and Ryan Walters scored for the Mavericks, who outshot the Beavers 38-31 in the game. UNO goalie John Faulkner had 29 saves.

The Beavers took three of the four WCHA standings points available and became only the second team to defeat Omaha (12-8-2 overall, 9-5-2 WCHA) at the Qwest Center this season. BSU and UNO played to a 2-2 tie Friday night.

Bemidji State (9-11-2 overall, 5-9-2 WCHA) won for the fourth time in six games and is 4-1-1 since returning from the holiday break. The Beavers return to The Sanford Center next weekend to host St. Cloud State (9-11-2 overall, 5-8-1 WCHA). The Huskies did not play this weekend and will come to Bemidji winners of four straight games. Game times are 7:37 p.m. Friday and 7:07 p.m. Saturday.

BSU and SCSU split the first meeting this season back in October, with the Huskies winning 6-3 Friday and the Beavers winning 3-2 in overtime Saturday.

Bemidji State played in its fifth overtime game this season in Omaha Saturday night and overcame a rough start to get there.

The first period was a struggle for the Beavers.

BSU caught an early break 2:55 into the game when Ambroz appeared to score as his shot banked off the far post. But the puck fell to the crease and Read, who just finished serving a penalty, cleared the puck and the referee waved the goal off.

The call stood under a lengthy video review process.

Omaha took advantage of BSU's second penalty of the game when Ambroz put back a rebound to the right of Bakala 6:41 into the game for a 1-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Read was sent to the penalty box again on a tripping call.

The Beavers gave Omaha four power plays in the first period but escaped the first 20 minutes with a 1-0 deficit.

"It was tough for us in the first period," Serratore said. "But we survived it like any great team does and we went from there."

A missed UNO scoring chance halfway through the second period tipped the momentum in Bemidji's favor.

BSU turned the puck over at the red line and Omaha failed to score on the 2-on-1 break generated by Johnnie Searfoss and Walters. Then on BSU's ensuing rush up the ice, UNO's Kyle Ensign was assessed an interference penalty in front of Faulkner and BSU cashed in on the ensuing power play.

With six seconds remaining in the man advantage, Emil Billberg passed the puck to Read on the far side of the net and he one-timed the shot in to tie the game 1-1 at 10:16 of the period.

The Beavers took a 2-1 lead three minutes later when Carlson corralled a rebound from Jordan George's shot and beat Faulkner for his second goal of the season.

Omaha regained control of the game 4:46 into the third period when Walters scored on a backhand shot from the circle to the right of Bakala.

The teams played even through the rest of a fast-paced period as UNO put 12 shots on goal and BSU 10.

BSU won the game on an odd-man rush when Ian Lowe put a low shot on Faulkner and the rebound came out to Read's stick.

Read held the puck to freeze Faulkner on the ice and fired the puck over his shoulder to win the game. It was Read's team-leading 13th goal of the season. He has scored seven goals in the last six games for the Beavers.

The Beavers are 7-3-1 over the last 11 games and improved to 2-1-2 in overtime games this season.

BSU 0 2 0 1 -3

UNO 1 0 1 0 -2

First period - 1. UNO, Ambroz 13 (Olimb, Hudson), 6:41.

Second period - 2. BSU Read 13 (Billberg, George), 10:16, (pp). 3. BSU, Carlson 2 (George, Walters), 13:12.

Third period. 4. UNO, Walters (Young), 4:46.

Overtime - 5. BSU, Read 14 (Lowe, Rendle), 0:52.

Shots on goal - BSU, 8-11-10-2-31. UNO, 14-11-12-1-38.

Goalies - BSU, Bakala (38-36). UNO, Faulkner (31-28).

Power plays - BSU, 1-for-4. UNO, 1-for-5.