MEN’S HOCKEY: Beavers skate to 4-4 tie with NMU, Wildcats take extra point in shootout
BEMIDJI -- For the second consecutive night, the Bemidji State men's hockey team played to an official tie with Northern Michigan with the visitors again securing an extra point in the standings in the shootout.
BEMIDJI -- For the second consecutive night, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team played to an official tie with Northern Michigan with the visitors again securing an extra point in the standings in the shootout.
The Beavers (5-6-5, 2-4-4-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) skated to a 4-4 tie with the Wildcats (8-8-2, 6-4-2-2 WCHA) after 65 minutes of play. Neither team scored in 3-on-3 overtime but Robbie Payne scored in the shootout to clinch two WCHA points for NMU.
“Our guys played their hearts out,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “We had good possession and we had good puck pressure. Our guys played with a lot of desperation, but at the end of the day, we’re losing points on the weekend…. Again, it feels like a loss but you haven’t lost. I’ve even said to myself, “We lost, we lost,’ but we really didn’t lose.”
A pair of Beavers bagged their first career goals with Carter Struthers and Hampus Sjodahl lighting goal light for the first time Saturday night.
“That’s always nice to see that,” Serratore said. “Those guys are both really good kids and it’s good to see those guys get rewarded.”
Adam Rockwood got the Wildcats on the board with 3:31 to go in the opening frame. Zach Diamantoni dished a pass across the slot to Rockwood for the 1-0 lead.
Struthers picked an opportune time to score his first career goal. Just 44 seconds after NMU’s goal, Struthers fired a shot from just past the left circle that rang off the post and in for the equalizer with 2:55 left in the frame. Saturday was only the third appearance of the season for the senior blueliner.
The second period featured five goals, two lead changes and another first-time goal scorer.
Darien Craighead scored the first of his two second-stanza goals just 1 minute, 28 seconds into the frame, as he skated in and roofed a goal at the left post.
Charlie Combs levelled the game at 2-2 as the freshman hacked away in a scrum in the crease. The goal was initially ruled no good due to the net coming off its moorings, but the call was overturned upon review.
Later in the period, Aaron Miller played a puck ahead to Sjodahl, a sophomore forward, on a partial breakaway, burying his first career goal after collecting his own rebound. The goal gave BSU its first lead at 3-2 with 7:44 left in the frame.
However, Craighead equalized 30 seconds later on a long shot from the blue line in front of his own bench.
Only 33 seconds remained in the second when Diamantoni redirected a Payne shot through traffic to regain a 4-3 lead for the Wildcats entering the intermission.
The Beavers took advantage of a power-play opportunity to knot the game once more.
Myles Fitzgerald snuck a puck between the left post and Israelsson to even the score at 4-4. Justin Baudry set up the power-play goal with his shot that Fitzgerald scooped up on the rebound.
For the second straight night, the teams required overtime, and like Friday, the game officially resulted in a tie after a scoreless first overtime period. The score stayed locked at 4-all in 3-on-3 to send the game to a shootout.
Payne scored in the first round and Jay Dickman, who has scored three shootout goals this season, was denied for the first time on the year.
Bemidji State will continue its six-game homestand at the Sanford Center with a WCHA series against Alaska Anchorage next weekend.
Northern Michigan 4, Bemidji State 4 (NMU wins SO 1-0)
NMU 1 3 0 0 0 -- 4
BSU 1 2 1 0 0 -- 4
First period -- 1, NMU, Rockwood (Diamantoni, Loggins), 16:21; 2, BSU, Struthers (Heller, Roo), 17:05.
Second period -- 3, NMU, Craighead (Vermeulen), 1:32; 4, BSU, Combs (G. Fitzgerald), 5:55; 5, BSU, Sjodahl (Miller, Roo), 12:16; 6, NMU, Craighead (Klimek), 12:46; 7, NMU, Diamantoni (Payne, Nardi), 19:27.
Third period -- 8, BSU, M. Fitzgerald, (Baudry, Bauman), 14:10, PP.
Overtime -- No Scoring.
Second Overtime -- No Scoring.
Goaltending (Shots-Saves) -- BSU, Bitzer (29-25); NMU, Israelsson (41-37).