BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team battled back from a two-goal deficit early and held off a late rally to hand Michigan Technological University its first loss of the season 6-5 in the Beavers' 2011-12 home-opener Friday evening at Sanford Center.
Eleven different BSU players found the scoring column in the game, led by Jordan George (Jr., F, Madison, Wis.) and Brance Orban (Jr., F, Lethbridge, Alberta), who each netted two goals, and Matt Prapavessis (Fr., D, Oakville, Ontario) who posted a career-high three assists.
Junior captain Ben Kinne (F, St. Paul, Minn.) opened an action-packed first period that saw seven goals scored with is second lamplighter of the season at the 2:51 mark on a wrist shot from between the circles. George and Prapavessis were credited with assists on the play.
Carl Nielsen tied the score 6:17 mark sparking a run of three goals by the Huskies, including tallies by David Johnstone and Blake Pietila, to take a 3-1 lead 12:49 into the first.
Following MTU's third goal, BSU head coach Tom Serratore quickly pulled goaltender starting goaltender Dan Bakala (Sr., Calgary, Minn.) and inserted Andrew Walsh (Fr., G, Dawson Creek, British Columbia). The move proved to stir a BSU comeback as the newcomer's teammates responded by potting three goals during the final four minutes of the period and took a 4-3 advantage into the first intermission.
George started the flurry with his second goal of the season at the 16:52 mark. He added a rebound goal from the right post 56 seconds later (17:48) to knot the score at 3-3 before Orban finished a nifty display of power-play passing from Jamie MacQueen (Sr., F, St. Thomas, Ontario) and Shea Walters (Sr., F, Hibbing, Minn.) as the Beavers' regained the lead, 4-3, with just 1:16 remaining in the first period.
Bemidji State's lead swelled to two goals on an unassisted marker by Orban at the 10:32 mark of the second frame.
Leading 5-3 to open the third period, the Beavers scored their fifth unanswered goal 8:17 mark. Brad Hunt (Sr., D, Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) recorded the first goal of his senior season on a slapshot from the point just moments after the Beavers' fifth power-play opportunity of the evening had expired.
Three minutes later, the Huskies reeled the Beavers to within two goals, 6-4, when Alex McLeod collected a Steven Seigo attempt that rung off the right post and deposited it into the back of the net for his first of the 2011-12 season.
The Huskies put the Beavers on the ropes late as Seigo added a goal through traffic with 33 seconds remaining.
MTU would pull its goaltender in the game's final moments and would generate two quality scoring changes with the extra attacker, but was unable to penetrate the goal as the Beavers escaped with a 6-5 victory.
BSU out shot the Huskies 34-23 and went 1-for-6 on the power play, while its penalty-kill unit was flawless snuffing out all four of MTU's power-play opportunities.
Walsh posted 17 saves and allowed two goals in relief of Bakala. The rookie gained the victory in his collegiate debut.
Josh Robinson was tagged with the loss after he allowed all six of the Beavers' goals. He turned away 28 BSU shots in the game as he fell to 4-1-0 on the season.
The win extends the Beavers' unbeaten streak versus the Huskies to five games (4-0-1) as BSU improved to 4-2-1 in the all-time BSU/MTU series.
Be is a perfect 3-0-0 versus Michigan Tech in games played in Bemidji, Minn.
Bemidji State (2-3-0; 1-2-0 WCHA) looks to complete the series sweep tomorrow at Sanford Center. The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) series finale versus Michigan Tech (4-1-0; 2-1-0 WCHA) is set for a 7:07 p.m. opening face off.