BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - Sam Rendle (So., D, Grand Rapids, Minn.) picked a good time for his first collegiate game-winning goal.
Saturday his defensive effort sparked a scoring play, that he would finish with his first goal of the season, to lift the Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team to a 5-4 victory over University of Alaska Anchorage at Sanford Center.
With the score knotted 4-4 and less than 90 seconds to play, Rendle picked off an errant UAA pass in the neutral zone and found Jordan George (Sr., F, Madison,Wis.) streaking into the Beavers' attacking zone. George returned the favor threading a pass through the Seawolves' defense and to the top of the crease where Rendle got just enough of the puck to tip it past the UAA goaltender Rob Gunderson to put BSU in the lead for good.
Leading 4-1 just 4:13 in the second period, the Beavers found themselves in a position they've been often as of late; watching as their opponents cut into their lead late, with goal after goal. Three unanswered goals by UAA evened the score with 4:20 left in regulation, but with its back against he wall, BSU answered and snapped itswinless streak at four games (0-4-1).
The Beavers came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. A night after playing an entire game without a power-play opportunity, the Beavers took advantage of their first man-advantage chance of the night. Just 45 seconds into the game, UAA's MattBailey was whistled for slashing and the Beavers needed only 14 seconds to capitalize. Radoslav Illo (Jr., Bystrica, Slovakia found Danny Mattson (So., F, Minneapolis, Minn.) with a pass on the left post, Mattson slid the puck across the ice to Aaron McLeod (Sr., F, Ottawa, Ontario) on the back door and McLeod buried his third goal of the season.
Ninety-four seconds later (2:33), McLeod potted his second goal of the night to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead. Mattson and Jake Areshenko (Sr., D, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) were credited with assists on the play.
The Beavers would head to the locker room with a two-goal lead, 2-0, after 20 minutes.
After a lengthy delay to the start of the second period due to an issue with the Sanford Center ice, theteams combined for three goals during the first 4:13 of play. The Seawolves open the flurry with an unassisted goal from Scott Allen at the 59-second mark.
Bemidji State waited all of 36 seconds to reclaim its two-goal cushion when Illo collected his second assist of the night in a hard-nosed, solo effort. The junior took an initial shot that was saved, fired a second shot of a rebound, gathered the rebound again behind the net and fed Cory Ward (Fr., F, Las Vegas, Nev.) in the slot for the newcomer's third goal of the season.
Brance Orban and the Beavers stretched their lead to three goals, 4-1, at the 4:13 mark when the Graeme McCormack (Fr., D, Thunder Bay Ontario) fed Mattson streaking through the neutral zone. The sophomore advanced the puck into the zone and found Orban between the dots. The senior netted his second goal of 2012-13 stuffing the puck between the UAA goaltender and the left post. With assists on the play, Mattson established a single-game, career-high three helpers, while McCormack collected his first collegiate point.
Before the period would end, the Seawolves cut the BSU advantage in half when Derek Docken unleashed a laser from the point the deflected off the bottom of the crossbar and into the back of the net. Allen and Blake Tatchell were credited with assists on the play.
At the 15:40 mark of the third period, Allen recorded his second goal of the game, capitalizing on a majorpenalty to Areshenko to complete the comeback and tie the score, 4-4, with help from Quinn Sproule and Tatchell.
However, play was equalized when Allen was escorted to the penalty box at the 16:53 mark of the session for holding, sitting up a 4-on-4 situation on the ice. BSU would use the momentum swing and the extra space on the ice to force and complete the game-winningscoring play.
The Beavers finished the night netting one power-play goal on three chances (1-for-3), while UAA scored twice in four man advantage opportunities.
Mathieu Dugas (Sr., G, L'Assomption, Quebec) collected his first win of the season turning aide 23 of 27 Alaska Anchorage shots. He moved to 1-1-1 in three starts this season.
Bemidji State, not 3-5-2overall and 2-4-2 in WCHA play, is back on the road Nov. 30-Dec. 1, when ittravels to Minnesota State University, Mankato (5-5-2; 3-5-2 WCHA) for a two-game WCHA set. The series is set to begin at 7:37 p.m. Friday with the finale scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Saturday. Both games will take place at Verizon Wireless Center.