BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Bemidji State University goaltender Andrew Walsh (So., Dawson Creek, British Columbia) turned aside 33 shots and Aaron McLeod (Sr., Ottawa, Ontario) netted the game-tying goal with just 8:30 to play as the Beavers battled back to salvage a 1-1 tie with No 10 University of Denver Saturday evening at Sanford Center.
Saddled with five penalties, which included a pair of five-minute majors, the BSU penalty-kill unit's solid play kept the Beavers in the game, holding a potent Pioneer team to just 1-for-5 on 14 minutes of power-play time.
Bemidji State set the tone early controlling play and but when Cory Ward (Fr., F, Las Vegas, Nev.) was whistled for checking from behind at the 15:38 mark of the first period, it gave the Pioneers the spark they needed. Two minutes into the penalty, Denver's Chris Knowlton corralled a puck that deflected off the leg of a BSU defender and deposited it in the back of the net to give DU a 1-0 advantage.
The Pioneers would take the one-goal lead into the first intermission.
Just 53 seconds into the second frame, BSU's Matt Carlson (Sr., D, Grand Forks, N.D.) was escorted off the ice after being called for a five minute checking from behind penalty. The BSU penalty-kill unit would answer the call and hold DU without a goal, but was never able to regain momentum and opened the third trailing by one goal, 1-0.
Bemidji State's desperation fueled a solid third period of play. Despite being outshot 11-8, the Beavers carried play for large potions of time and when sophomore defender Sam Rendle (Grand Rapids, Minn.) fired a shot towards the net, McLeod, who was screening the goaltender on the play, tipped the puck across the goal line to know the score, 1-1. Senior captain, Ben Kinne (F, St. Paul, Minn.) was also credited with an assist on the play.
Walsh made the only save of the overtime period as the teams would settle for the 1-1 draw.
DU out shot the Beavers 34-21 on the night, which included 12 shots on goal during penalty time.
Walsh moved to 3-4-2 on the season following the tie.
The Beavers move to 4-8-3 overall and 3-7-3 in WCHA action, while DU remains without a win since Nov. 17 (0-4-3) and is 9-5-3 overall and has a league mark of 7-3-3.
BSU and DU will wrap up the two-game WCHA set tomorrow with the opening face off in the series-deciding game set for 7:07 p.m.
The BSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will be holding its annual Teddy Bear Toss tomorrow. After the Beavers' first goal, you are invited to throw stuffed animal donations, wrapped in plastic, onto the ice. All items collected will be given to local charitable organizations to be distributed in Bemidji and the surrounding area.