BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Propelled by a three-goal second period, the Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team returned from a two-week layoff to claim a 4-1 victory over Bowling Green State University Friday night at Sanford Center.
Toting a 1-0 advantage out of a sloppy first period, Aaron McLeod (Jr., F, Ottawa, Ontario), Drew Fisher (Sr., F, International Falls, Minn.) and Ben Kinne (Jr., F, St. Paul, Minn.) each found the net in the second, while freshman goaltender Andrew Walsh (Dawson Creek, British Columbia) picked up 26 saves backstopping the Beavers to the nonconference win.
BSU was sluggish out of the gate and was out shot 12-6 in the first period, but a wrist shot from between the face off circles by Radoslav Illo (So., F, Bystrica, Slovakia) gave the Beavers a lead they would never relinquish. Shea Walters (Sr., F, Hibbing, Minn.) was credited with an assist on the play after wining the offensive zone face off to Illo.
McLeod put the Beavers up 2-0 jut 42 seconds into the second frame after Jordan George (Jr., F, Madison, Wis.) found the junior in front of the crease with a pass from the end boards.
The BSU lead swelled to three goals at the 14:16 mark when Brance Orban (Jr., F, Lethbridge Alberta) found Fisher on the left post in front of a virtually open net. Fisher tapped in his third goal of the season.
Bowling Green cut its deficit to 3-1 just 32 seconds later when Ted Pletch corralled a BSU turnover on the red line, skated it into the zone and beat the BSU goaltender, snapping Walsh's shutout streak at 163:02--a streak reaching back four games to the third period of BSU's 2-1 victory over the University of Denver Dec. 10.
Kinne settled the score at 4-1 at the 19:50 mark of the second. He took a pass from Matt Prapavessis (Fr., D, Oakville, Ontario) on the goal line and skated the puck around the right face off circle before firing a shot through traffic from the slot. The goal was his seventh of the season and counts as his 50th collegiate point (24g-26a).
Out shot 27-16 in the game, the Beavers scored on four of their first 13 shots.
Walsh improved to 6-2-1 in 2011-12 with the win, as he extended his unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1). He turned aside 26 shots and allowed just one goal, while serving as the last line of defense for a penalty-kill unit that was a perfect 4-for-4 to extend is string of scoreless opponent power-pay opportunities to 26. The Beavers have not allowed a power-play goal since Dec. 2 at St. Cloud State.
Hammond was tagged with the loss after allowing four goals and making just nine saves in 39:54 of play.
Zacharias stopped three shots and held Bemidji State without a goal during the final 20 minutes.
The victory in the first ever meeting between the Beavers and Falcons allows BSU to claim a 1-0-0 edge in the all-time series, while holding BGSU without a win in its last nine outings (0-7-2).
BSU is now 5-2-0 in nonconference play this season.
Bemidji State (10-9-2) and Bowling Green (6-12-3) wrap up the nonconference series and ring in the new year tomorrow. Opening face off is set for 7:07 p.m. at Sanford Center.