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MEN’S HOCKEY: Beavers’ unbeaten run ends in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Unbeaten and win streaks in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play came to an end for the Bemidji State men’s hockey team Friday night as Alabama Huntsville cruised to 5-1 win at the Von Braun Center.

The Chargers (9-16-2, 8-11-2-1 WCHA) scored four unanswered goals to take a 4-0 lead early in the third period before Aaron Miller put the Beavers (13-8-6, 10-5-4-2 WCHA) on the board in the final frame, though it was too little, too late.

Huntsville, playing its first home game since Nov. 25 following 12 straight road contests, was raring to go from the start. On a night the Chargers celebrated the 20th anniversary of their 1998 Division II national championship win over the Beavers, UAH snapped BSU’s 11-game unbeaten run and eight-game win streak in the WCHA.

Josh Kestner struck on the breakaway with his goal 6 minutes, 36 seconds into the game. The Huntsville, Ala., native took advantage of an interception and skated to a breakaway, burying the shot for a 1-0 lead.

Madison Dunn one-timed a shot for a 2-0 lead early in the second period. Hans Gorowsky’s power-play goal at 17:25 of the frame put the Chargers up 3-0 heading into the third period.

Tyler Poulsen extended the lead to 4-0 a little more than three minutes into the final frame before Miller tallied the second goal of his freshman season to make it 4-1 a minute later.

The Beavers had an extended power play after Adam Wilcox was given a five-minute major penalty for kneeing with 4 minutes, 34 seconds to go. Michael Bitzer vacated his net to give BSU a 6-on-4 advantage, but Dunn scored his second goal of the game on an empty net to put the game away at 5-1.

UAH goaltender Jordan Uhelski made 30 saves to earn the win in net, while Bitzer stopped 19 shots for the Beavers in the loss.

Bemidji State’s power-play unit was shut out, going 0-for-3 on the night, while Huntsville converted on one of its two power-play chances.

After sustaining their first league loss since Dec. 1, the Beavers will look to get back in the win column tonight in the series finale at 7:07 in Huntsville.

Alabama Huntsville 5, Bemidji State 1

BSU 0 0 1 -- 1

UAH 1 2 2 -- 5

First period -- 1, UAH, Kestner (Teets), 6:36.

Second period -- 2, UAH, Dunn (Rajic), 3:32; 3, UAH, Gorowsky (McHugh, Gosselin), 17:25, PP.

Third period -- 4, UAH, Poulsen (Dunn), 3:10; 5, BSU, Miller (L. Fitzgerald, Billett), 4:06; 6, UAH, Dunn (empty net), 18:28, SH.

Goaltending (Shots-Saves) -- BSU, Bitzer (24-19); UAH, Uhelski (31-30).

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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