BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) --- St. Cloud State University stole a 2-1 overtime victory and two points in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) standings from the Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team Friday in front of a capacity crowd of 4,373 at the Sanford Center. Nic Dowd flipped in the game-winning goal with just 28.5 seconds remaining in the extra frame to end the game after the teams played 52:08 with the score tied.
The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in a well-played, evenly-matched WCHA contest 6:37 into the second period when Nick Jensen scored with help from Garrett Roe and Cam Reid.
Bemidji State looked to have tied the game on a Jake Areshenko (So., D, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) goal poked through a scrum in front of the net at the 13:15 mark, but after a review of the scoring play, the officials determined that a BSU player contacted the SCSU goaltender and the crew waved the goal off.
But the Beavers bounced back to get the goal they needed with 1:15 left in the second period and headed into the second intermission with the score even, 1-1. Senior Matt Read (Sr., F, Ilderton, Ontario) netted his team-leading 15th goal of the season to set up a 20-minute race for the victory. The team captain took a pass from Brad Hunt (Jr., D, Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) in the high slot and patiently waited for a clear shot before firing a wrister through heavy traffic in front of the crease and past SCSU's Mike Lee. Jordan George (So., F, Madison, Wis.) was also credited with an assists on the power-play goal.
A scoreless third period set the Beavers up with overtime for the third consecutive game and the sixth time this season. BSU entered the game 1-1-2 in extra time to this point in 2010-11 and had not lost an overtime contest since Oct. 29 when University of Minnesota Duluth's Travis Oleksuk scored a power-play goal with seven seconds left in the extra frame--a streak spanning four overtime games. So when the score was still 1-1 with the clock ticking below a minute, it looked as if BSU would salvage a tie, but Jensen would have a say in that.
A narrowly missed scoring opportunity by BSU's Dan MacIntyre (Sr., D, Fort Frances, Ontario) was followed by a rush into the Huskies' offensive zone. Jared Fessler got the puck on net and after a rebound shot was blocked by BSU's goaltender Dan Bakala (Jr., Calgary, Alberta), Dowd collected the puck in the slot, lifted the it up and over a pair of BSU defenders and past the Beavers' netminder to allow SCSU to escape with the win and extend its winning streak to five games.
Solid defensively through the game, the Beavers piled up 19 blocked shots in front of Bakala's 21-save night. Bemidji State's penalty-kill unit was flawless snuffing out all five of SCSU's power-play opportunities, which included a five-minute major early in the second period.
With five man advantage opportunities, Read potted BSU's only power-play goal of the evening.
Despite being handed a disappointing loss Friday, the Beavers maintain a handle on the all-time series with the Huskies. BSU owns a 44-38-3 mark versus St. Cloud State since 1948.
Bemidji State, now 9-12-2 overall and 5-10-2 in league play, and St. Cloud State, which is 10-11-2 and 6-9-2 within the WCHA, will wrap up the series tomorrow at the Sanford. The opening face-off is set for 7:07 p.m.