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Dowd's goal late in OT gives St. Cloud State 2-1 win over Beaver men

Bemidji's Drew Fisher checks St. Cloud State's Kevin Gravel during the first period of Friday night's game at The Sanford Center. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

The Bemidji State men's hockey team defeated St. Cloud State earlier this season in overtime.

The Huskies returned the favor Friday night in front of a sellout crowd at The Sanford Center.

Nic Dowd scored with 28.5 seconds left in overtime to lift St. Cloud State to a 2-1 victory over the Beavers. BSU lost for only the second time in the last six games and played in the first home game since Dec. 4.

"It was a great hockey game and very entertaining for our fans," Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said. "It's too bad things didn't go our way in the last 30 seconds. But we had our opportunities in overtime and they were opportunistic. Give all the credit to St. Cloud."

Matt Read scored BSU's lone goal midway through the second period. BSU could not crack St. Cloud State goalie Mike Lee the rest of the game and he finished with 22 saves. Bemidji State goalie Dan Bakala finished with 25 saves.

Bemidji State (9-12-2 overall, 5-10-2 WCHA) and St. Cloud State (10-11-2 overall, 6-8-1 WCHA) wrap up the weekend series Saturday at The Sanford Center at 7:07 p.m.

After a scoreless first period, Nick Jensen put the Huskies on the board 6:37 into the second period with a hard wrist shot from the circle to the left of Bakala.

The Beavers appeared to answer 12 seconds later when Jake Areshenko's shot from the blue line went through traffic in front of the net to beat Lee. But the goal was disallowed after a video review because a BSU player made contact with Lee on the play.

After that wild sequence, the rest of the second period turned into a special teams exhibition.

Darcy Findlay put a hard check on SCSU's Travis Novak 30 seconds after the disallowed goal and was assessed a five-minute major penalty for charging. The Beavers killed the ensuing power play without a whistle stoppage and then went on three consecutive power plays to close the period.

With 19 seconds left in the third power play, Matt Read scored his team-leading 15th goal for the Beavers. He hesitated with his slap shot from just inside the blue line and when he let it go, the puck stayed low and beat Lee with 1:15 left in the period.

St. Cloud State took a pair of penalties in the first half of the third period to end a string of five straight penalties, but Bemidji State could not take advantage.

"It's tough to score goals and they killed penalties well. You can't worry about it because those are those some things you can't control," Serratore said. "You just have to keep fighting, keep scratching and keep clawing. I think we did that."

Bemidji State had a steady stream of scoring chances in the third period and outshot the Huskies 8-6 in the third period.

The best chance for the Beavers came from defenseman Dan MacIntyre with 1:45 left in overtime. He had the puck on his stick with a wide-open look in front of the net, but Lee made the save on the low shot before the puck could get between his legs.

Just over a minute later, Dowd ended it on a rebound to the right of Bakala. With Bakala down and players laying on the ice in front of the net, Dowd spun around and his low shot from the face-off dot found a way though all the players.

"I thought it was a pretty good game," Read said. "We played well but we could not get the lucky bounce at the end...It's obviously frustrating. I hate losing at home, especially in overtime with 28.5 seconds left."

Bemidji State fell to 2-2-2 in overtime games this season and lost in overtime for the first time since Oct. 29 to Minnesota-Duluth. BSU lost that game 3-2 with seven seconds left in overtime.

"I wouldn't say it was our best game of the year but it wasn't our worst," Read said. "We made good plays there at times. I don't know if our legs were at 100 percent all the time. I thought we played pretty smart out there for what we did and at the end of the game we lost, so we have to be better tomorrow."

St. Cloud state 0 1 0 1 - 2

Bemidji State 0 1 0 0 - 1

First period: No scoring.

Second period: 1. SCSU, Jensen 4 (Roe, Reid), 6:37. 2. BSU, Read 15 (George, Hunt), 1:15, (pp).

Third period: No scoring.

Overtime: 3. SCSU, Dowd 4(Festler, LeBlanc), 4:32.

Shots on goal: SCSU, 11-8-6-2-27. BSU, 5-8-8-2-23.

Goalies: SCSU, Lee (23-21). BSU, Baklala (27-25).

Power plays: SCSU, 1-for-5. BSU, 1-for-5.

A: 4,373