Bemidji State vs Alabama Huntsville Highlights 02/26/16
BEMDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) – Cory Ward scored his eighth goal of the year to force overtime and Michael Bitzer turned aside 21 shots, including a penalty shot with 1:49 left in extra time, to help the Bemidji State men’s hockey team to a 1-1 tie to open a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
The Beavers struggled to settle into the game and used momentum gained from Ward’s third-period goal to finish strong and survive overtime to gain a point in the league standings.
The teams opened a second period littered with penalties locked in a scoreless tie, despite BSU taking an 11-5 edge in shots on goal during the first 20 minutes of play. In all, six penalties were called in the second and 16 minutes were served making it tough for either team to settle into a rhythm. But with Kyle Bauman in the box for interference, UAH got a goal off the stick of Madison Dunn to break the deadlock and capitalize on the Chargers’ only power-play goal of the night (1-for-4).
Trailing, 1-0, the Beavers opened the third on mission and out played the Chargers for the bulk of the frame. BSU took a 14-5 edge in shots on goal in the period and one of those found the back of the net to send the game to overtime.
Phillip Marinaccio started the Beavers’ scoring play muscling the puck out from behind the net and onto the stick of Brendan Harms in the slot. Harms passed to Ward standing on the back post for a tap in.
Overtime was wild. Not only did Bemidji State take a penalty just 48-seconds in, the Chargers were awarded a penalty shot with 1:49 to play. In both cases, Bitzer and BSU weathered both storm and the Beavers escaped with the tie.
Bitzer finished with 21 saves on 22 shots faced and backstopped a penalty-kill unit that was 3-for-4 on the night. He moves to 10-13-4 on the season.
The Beavers (14-13-6; 9-11-5 WCHA) wrap up the home portion of their 2015-16 season at 7:07 p.m. tomorrow when they again host the Chargers (6-19-6; 4-15-6 WCHA).
Bemidji State will also celebrate its senior class prior to the game as Markus Gerbrandt, Graeme McCormack, John Parker and Cory Ward will skate in the final home game of their Beaver Hockey careers.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.