SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team avenged Friday’s road loss by defeating Lake Superior State 5-3 Saturday night to force the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series split.

The Beavers (13-12-3, 11-8-1-0 WCHA) struck twice in the first period and never relinquished the lead.

Alex Adams became the first of two BSU freshmen to score their first collegiate goals Saturday. The Grand Rapids, Minn., native buried the night’s first goal just 2 minutes, 19 seconds into the contest.

Charlie Combs extended the lead four minutes later by going five-hole for the two-goal lead.

That’s what the scoreboard read until Will Riedell scored for the Lakers (16-8-2, 11-7-2-0 WCHA) to cut the lead in half at 13:59 of the second period.

Tyler Kirkup wasted no time in restoring the two-goal lead. The freshman from Virden, Manitoba, extended the advantage to 3-1 with his first collegiate goal only 50 seconds after Riedell’s strike.

Nick Cardelli and Ethan Somoza each got on the scoresheet with third-period goals as the Beavers assumed their largest lead of the night at 5-1.

The Lakers added goals from Brayden Gelsinger and Bryan Basilico late in regulation, but by then, the game was already out of reach.

Zach Driscoll turned aside 24 of 27 shots to improve to 8-6-1 with the win. Nick Kossoff saved 30 of 35 shots in the loss to fall to 12-4-2.

The Beavers picked up three points in the league standings with the win. LSSU and Michigan Tech are now tied for fourth place with 35 points while BSU is hot on their heels at 34 points in the chase for the final WCHA home playoff spot.

Bemidji State will have to wait two weeks to gain more ground in the playoff race. The Beavers are off next weekend and will return to action with a Feb. 8-9 series at Ferris State.

Bemidji State 5, Lake Superior State 3

BSU 2 1 2 -- 5

LSSU 0 1 2 -- 3

First period -- 1, BSU, Adams (Soucier, Kirkup), 2:19; 2, BSU, Combs (Dickman, Baudry), 6:34.

Second period -- 3, LSSU, Riedell (Nellis), 13:59; 4, BSU, Kirkup (Soucier), 14:49.

Third period -- 5, BSU, Cardelli (unassisted), 2:07; 6, BSU, Somoza (Brady), 10:54; 7, LSSU, Gelsinger, Calder), 12:02; 8, LSSU, Basilico (McKay), 13:31.

Goalies (saves-shots) -- BSU, Driscoll (24-27); LSSU, Kossoff (30-35).