Alaska Anchorage vs Bemidji State 2/21/15
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) — Senior Matt Prapavessis tallied two points (1g-1a) and Gerry Fitzgerald notched a power-play goal to help the Bemidji State University men’s hockey team to a series sweep over University of Alaska-Anchorage Saturday at Sanford Center.
With the victory, the Beavers improve to 14-14-4 overall and 10-10-4 in league play. BSU also extends its home unbeaten streak to nine games (7-0-2) dating back to Nov. 29.
The Seawolves had the Beavers on their heels from the outset, directing play for large portions of the first period. Tad Kozun got UAA on the board at the 7:55 mark of the frame tipping a Hayden Trupp shot from the point past the BSU goaltender Michael Bitzer.
Bemidji State opened the second period with a bit more jump and used three power-play opportunities to get momentum in its favor, out shooting UAA 11-4. Prapavessis knotted the score with a bullet from the top of the right face off circle at the 14:02 mark. Mitch Cain and Philip Brewer were credited with assists on the play.
The score would remain locked 1-1 through the end of the period, but as time expired UAA’s Derek Docken was whistled for holding, setting the Beavers up with their sixth power-play opportunity of the night to open the third period.
It would take BSU just 1:06 to convert the opportunity into a goal. Prapavessis fired a shot from the top of the slot. UAA goaltender, Olivier Mantha, kicked it aside, but Leo Fitzgerald gathered the puck on the right post and spotted his brother Gerry with a pass for the eventual game-winner.
UAA would pull Mantha with just over 90 seconds to play. After several near misses, BSU’s Nate Arentz would deposit the puck in the empty net to seal the victory for the Beavers.
Defensively, BSU made it difficult on UAA. BSU allowed the Seawolves only 19 shots on goal, which included just one shot on three power-play chances, and Bitzer made 18 saves. He improves to 12-9-2 on the season.
BSU now hits the road for its final road series of the WCHA regular season. The Beavers make the trip to Big Rapids, Mich. to a two-game set at Ferris State University. Opening face-off is set for 6:07 p.m. (CST) both Friday and Saturday.
Bemidji State notables:
• Bitzer made 18 saves to pick up his 12th win of the season Saturday. He became the first BSU goaltender to post 12 or more wins in a season since Dan Bakala recorded 14 in 2010-11.
• Gerry Fitzgerald’s sixth goal of the season stood as his fourth game-winning goal. He leads the team in that category.
• With a goal and an assist, Matt Prapavessis tied Kyle Bauman with his team-leading fifth multi-point game of 2014-15.
• Matt Prapavessis takes control of the team’s scoring lead with 22 (10g-12a), which includes a career-high 10 goals.
• Since the turn of the calendar year, Bauman has a team-best 11 points (7g-4a) in 14 games played.
• The Beavers’ second period power-play goal marked the end of a four-game streak without a power-play tally. The Beavers have just two power-play markers in their last 21 opportunities and seven games.
• Nate Arentz’s empty-net goal in the closing minutes of the game marked his first point since an assist Jan. 10—marking a string of 12 games without a point.
• Saturday night’s 3-1 victory moved BSU to 4-14-3 when scoring three or fewer goals, however, the Beavers are now 10-0-1 when netting four or more.
• The Beavers are 7-1-4 versus the Seawolves in a series that got its start in 2010. BSU’s last lost to UAA came Nov. 12, 2010—in the first meeting of the all-time series. BSU is unbeaten in the last 11 meetings and is now 5-1-2 when hosing UAA at Sanford Center.
• The Beavers are 9-4-2 at home this season and are 7-0-2 at Sanford Center since Nov. 29th.
• BSU’s current nine-game home unbeaten streak (7-0-2) is the longest in Sanford Center history and the team’s longest on home ice since BSU strung together eight wins at the John S. Glas Fieldhouse to open the 2009-10 season.
• The victory helped BSU claim its fourth series sweep of the season.
• BSU is 11-4-4 in their last 19 games (.684) and have moved back to .500 on the season for the first time since the team was 3-3-0 Nov. 1.
• The last time BSU won at least nine games at home in a single season was 2011-12, when the team went 11-6-1 at Sanford Center.