HOUGHTON, Mich. -- A trio of third-period goals and a 47-save performance by Zach Driscoll paved the way for a 4-1 road victory for the Bemidji State men’s hockey team over No. 18 Michigan Tech on Friday night.
Despite getting outshot twofold, 48-24, Driscoll’s season-high 47 stops helped the Beavers (8-6-3, 3-3-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) open the series on the right foot. The senior netminder’s save total was one shy of a career high.
With the game tied at 1-1 approaching the midpoint in the third period, Brad Johnson and Ethan Somoza fired in two goals in 46 seconds to propel BSU into the lead for good. Somoza tallied his second goal of the night in the final minutes to seal the win.
The Huskies (14-7-1, 4-4-0 WCHA) dominated the first period despite conceding an early goal.
Elias Rosén scored off of a faceoff win by Tyler Kirkup only 1:16 into the game to hand the visitors an early one-goal advantage.
The Beavers failed to record a shot on goal the rest of the period and got outshot 19-4, but Driscoll bailed them out with his display in net.
Tech nearly solved the Bemidji State goaltender seven minutes into the game when Justin Misiak batted a puck out of midair for what was initially ruled a goal. After review, however, officials deemed the puck to have been played with a high stick and the goal came off the board.
The Huskies finally got a goal to count when, with seven minutes to play in the second, Tristan Ashbrook skated into the slot and buried a feed from Nick Nardella.
BSU picked up the pace in the offensive end in the middle frame, and that paid off in the third period.
Lukas Sillinger chased down a puck to prevent an icing call. Alex Ierullo collected it behind the MTU cage and hit Johnson at the top of the right circle for the goal with 12:06 to play.
Bemidji State didn’t give the Huskies time to respond before the lead reached 3-1. Somoza struck 46 ticks after Johnson’s goal after receiving a pass from Miller behind the net.
There was 4:05 remaining when Brendan Harris dug out a puck from the end boards in the Tech zone and fed a no-look pass to Somoza at the right circle for the goal. Will Zmolek also earned an assist on the play in his first game back from injury since Dec. 13.
Bemidji State’s nation-leading penalty kill held Michigan Tech 0-for-5 and improved to 93.6% on the season. BSU finished 0-for-1 on the power play.
Blake Pietila posted 20 saves on 24 shots for the Huskies in the defeat.
The Beavers will look to complete the sweep at 5:07 p.m. Saturday in Houghton, Mich.
Bemidji State 4, No. 18 Michigan Tech 1
BSU 1 0 3 -- 4
MTU 0 1 0 -- 1
First period -- 1, BSU, Rosén (Kirkup), 1:16.
Second period -- 2, MTU, Ashbrook (Nardella, Halonen), 13:12.
Third period -- 3, BSU, Johnson (Ierullo, L. Sillinger), 7:54; 4, BSU, Somoza (Miller), 8:40; 5, BSU, Somoza (Harris, Zmolek), 15:55.
Goalies (saves-shots) -- BSU, Driscoll (47-48); MTU, Pietila (20-24).