MEN'S HOCKEY: Offense off for BSU in 3-2 loss to Lake Superior

BEMIDJI -- Bemidji State's two power plays goals weren't enough to overcome an early two-goal deficit, as the Beavers dropped Friday night's game to Lake Superior State 3-2.

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Bemidji State’s Kyle Bauman (14) beats Lake Superior State’s Aidan Wright’s (22) and C.J. Hayes (14) to the puck during the first period of a game held Friday in Bemidji. Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI - Bemidji State’s two power plays goals weren’t enough to overcome an early two-goal deficit, as the Beavers dropped Friday night’s game to Lake Superior State 3-2.
“It was a situation where I thought 5-on-5 we weren’t very good,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “I felt we were making a lot of long passes. I didn’t think we were in a good rhythm.”
Gus Correale opened the scoring for the Lakers (3-8-2; 1-2-2 WCHA) halfway through the first period, snapping a shot past BSU goalie Michael Bitzer. It was the first shot Bitzer saw since last Friday’s 4-3 loss to Alaska, as he had the night off the next night in BSU’s 6-3 win.
“We started off strong, I thought, the first 10 minutes,” Serratore said. “But from the 10-minute mark on in the first period it was really hard for us 5-on-5.
“They clogged it up pretty good on us. We just didn’t make a lot of plays. We were spending more time making long passes than short passes and we can’t do that.”
At the 4:26 mark of the second, Mitch Hultz scored short side on a 2-on-1 to take a 2-0 lead.
Less than five minutes, later senior defenseman Graeme McCormack scored a power play goal to cut the deficit in half. He took a pass from Markus Gerbrandt at the point and fired through traffic to beat Lakers goalie Gordon Defiel.
But Anthony Nellis answered right back to take a 3-1 lead with a goal at the 11:42 mark of the second.
The game wasn’t looking promising for the Beavers (2-6-2; 1-5-1 WCHA) until Josh Nenadal took a major contact to the head penalty, giving BSU a full five-minute powerplay to attempt to make a comeback.
Gerry Fitzgerald was able to bring the Beavers within one. He took the puck on the power play and handled it for a couple seconds before sniping the top right corner of the net past Defiel.
“Some people try to think the power play,” said McCormack, who assisted on Fitzgerald’s goal. “You really just gotta shoot pucks.”
He said the forwards do a good job drawing the opponent’s attention, which makes it easier for the defensemen to find shooting lanes.
Bemidji State outshot the Lakers a 35-17, but Serratore said that doesn’t mean much.
“It doesn’t matter about the shots on net, doesn’t matter if the shots were two to one,” he said. “…The bottom line is, we just didn’t get it done, and that’s what it’s about. This game’s about results, and we didn’t get it done.”
Late in the third period, a penalty was called on both teams on the same play with just less than two minutes to play. That’s when BSU pulled Bitzer for the extra 5-on-4 attacker.
Despite their efforts, the Beavers couldn’t capitalize and the game ended 3-2.
Bitzer finished the game with 14 saves, while Defiel had 33.
“He played well in the nets,” Serratore said of Defiel’s performance. “The kid played well against us last year, he played well again tonight.”
The teams return to the ice at 7:07 p.m. tonight for the series finale.

Lake Superior State 3, Bemidji State 2
LSSU 1 2 0 - 3
BSU 0 2 0 - 2
First Period - 1, LSSU, Correale (Spratte), 9:57. Penalties - LSSU-Chatham (Interference), 2:39; BSU, Pedan (Hooking), 5:03; BSU, Janco (Hooking), 12:07.
Second Period - 2, LSSU, Hults (Schmitt, Chatham), 4:26; 3, BSU, McCormick (Gerbrandt, Eichstadt), 9:01; 4, LSSU, Nellis (Wright, Chatham), 11:42; 5, BSU, G. Fitzgerald (L. Fitzgerald, McCormack), 14:30. Penalties - LSSU, Roll (Cross Checking) 7:38; LSSU, Nenadal (Major/Game Misconduct - Contact to the Head), 12:16.
Third Period - No scoring. Penalties - BSU, Gerbrandt (Tripping), 1:08; LSSU, McArdie (Roughing), 18:07; BSU, Beauvais (Unsportsmanlike Conduct), 18:07.
Shots On Goal - LSSU, 6-5-6-17 ; BSU, 11-19-6-35. Goaltenders (Shots-Saves) - LSSU, Defiel (35-33); BSU, Bitzer (17-14). Penalties-Minutes - LSSU, 15-21; BSU, 4-8. Power Plays-Opportunities - LSSU, 0-3; BSU, 2-4.

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BSU junior Brendan Harms (18) and Lake Superior State’s James Roll (6) battle in front of LSS goalie Gordon Defiel during a game held Friday in Bemidji. Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer

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