Freshman goaltender Andrew Walsh picks up second straight shutout with 27 saves for Bemidji State

Andrew Walsh stopped 27 shots for Bemidji State

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- The Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team got scoring from 10 different players, netted three power-play goals and freshman goaltender Andrew Walsh (Dawson Creek, British Columbia) recorded 27 saves en route to a 5-0 shutout victory to wrap up a nonconference series sweep of the University of Alabama-Huntsville (1-19-1) Saturday at Sanford Center.

The Beavers built an early two-goal lead and would not look back using the victory to climb to 9-9-2 overall and reach .500 for the first time since the team was 3-3-0 following an Oct. 22 triumph over Michigan Tech. The win also marked BSU's sixth (6-3-1) of the season at Sanford center surpassing its win total from the 2010-11 capaign--its first in the facility.

It took the Beavers just 31 second to find the back of the net for the first time.

Brad Hunt (Sr., D, Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) got the play started passing the puck up the boards to Jordan George (Jr., F, Madison, Wis.). George skated the puck deep into the zone and found centerman Aaron McLeod (Jr., F, Ottawa, Ontario) skating down the slot for a quick shot from between the faceoff circles.

The Beavers constructed a two-goal advantage at the 12:12 mark of the period taking advantage of its first power-play opportunity of the evening.

Radoslav Illo (So., F, Bystrica, Slovakia) beat UAH goaltender Clarke Saunders with a slap shot from the point that just snuck in over his outstretched blocker. Brady Wacker (Jr., D, Jansen, Saskatchewan) and Tyler Tosunian (Fr., F, Whittier, Calif.)--the rookie's first point at BSU.

Up 2-0 after the first 20 minutes of play, the Beavers kicked the pedal to the floor in the second out shooting UAH 11-6 while building a 4-0 lead.

Bemidji State's third goal of the night came off the stick of Wacker marking his second point of the night and his second multi-point game of the season.

Ben Kinne (Jr., F, St. Paul, Minn.) found Brance Orban (Jr., F, Lethbridge, Alberta) on the right post from behind the net. The forward then shuttled the puck to Wacker on the point and the blueliner riffled the puck through traffic and off the foot of a Charger defender at the 1:16 mark for his third goal of the season and the Beavers' second power-play marker of the night.

The BSU cushion grew to 4-0 at the 15:26 mark of the second when Hunt posted power-play goal in the midst of a five-minute major penalty to UAH's Brice Geoffrion.

The goal, Hunt's fourth of the season, came with help from Matt Prapavessis (Fr., D, Oakville, Ontario) and the first collegiate assist from fellow freshman Danny Mattson (F, Minneapolis, Minn.).

The goal forced UAH head coach Chis Luongo to pull Saunders and insert backup goaltender John Griggs.

Mattson slammed the door on the Chargers at the 13:28 mark of the third period. With the teams playing 4-on-4, he tipped a Charger pass to himself in the neutral zone, beat the UAH blueline to the crease and posted his first goal in the green and white.

The Beavers finished the night 3-for-4 on the man advantage marking the first time BSU netted three power-play goals in a single game since Jan. 3, 2010. On the flip side, the Beavers' penalty-kill unit was flawless. The Beavers held Ala.-Huntsville scoreless on three power-play chances.

Walsh improved to 5-2-1 in 2011-12 with the win, as he extended his unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1) and his shutout streak to 134:08.

Saunders stopped 10 shots in 35:26 and allowed four. He falls to 1-14-1 on the season. Griggs finished the game allowing one goal and turning away 13 shots.

The victory allows the Beavers to build upon its lead in the series. Since the rivalry began in 1994, BSU is 38-28-4, while it has not lost a game to the Chargers on its home ice since a Feb. 17, 2007--a streak spanning 11 games (11-0-0).

BSU is now 4-2-0 in nonconference play this season.

Bemidji State (9-9-2) now breaks for the holidays, but will return to Sanford Center Dec. 30-31 when it hosts Bowling Green State University (6-11-3) for a two-game nonconference series. The series is set to get underway at 7:37 p.m. Dec. 30 and the teams will wrap up the calendar year with a 7:07 p.m start Dec. 31.