Northern Michigan at Bemidji State 11/19/16
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) — Led by its upper classmen and strong special teams play, the Bemidji State University men’s hockey team used a 5-2 victory to complete the Western Collegiate Hockey Association sweep of Northern Michigan University and remain unbeaten in league play.
The Beavers opened the game with a flurry, netting four goals during the first 8:30. Senior Phillip Marinaccio contributed a pair of goals and an assist, while fellow senior Brendan Harms ignited the scoring spark assisting on the Beavers’ first four goals.
After going three games without a power-play goal, Bemidji State posted goals on its third three power-play opportunities and finished the night going 3-for-5 on the man advantage. The Beavers also held the Wildcats without a goal on five power-play chances and added a short-handed goal.
Marinaccio got the scoring started just 52 seconds after the opening face off, corralling a rebound and stuffing it just inside the right post for a power-play goal. The Nobleton, Ontario native put the Beavers up 2-0 at the three-minute mark after forcing a turnover in the neutral zone. Harms picked up the puck and found Marinaccio for a goal in the high slot. The Beavers went back on the man advantage at the 5:26 mark of the frame and Gerry Fitzgerald would need only 49 seconds to find the back of the net, with the eventual game-winning goal, with Harms and Marinaccio credited with assists for their third points of the night on the play.
With Adam Lovick in the penalty box, Harms tied a WCHA record for assists in a period when he found Nate Arentz streaking up the ice for a short-handed goal at the 8:30 mark of the first period.
The Beavers would hold the four-goal advantage through the period and 5:10 into the second, when Myles Fitzgerald scored a power-play goal with help from Jay Dickman and Kyle Bauman.
Michael Bitzer posted 26 saves on 28 shots faced, keeping the Wildcats off of the scoreboard until the 14:46 mark of the third period to improve to 11-2-1 on the season.
NMU got goals from Phillip Beaulieu and Casey Purpur in the last 5:14 of the game to bring the final score to 5-2.