BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - The Bemidji State University hockey team relinquished a 4-1 lead in its first home game since Oct. 20 and fell to WCHA foe Michigan Tech University 5-4 in overtime at the Sanford Center on Friday night. The Beavers dropped to 2-4-1 on the season with a 1-3-1 conference ledger.
The loss was BSU's first in its last seven meetings with the Huskies. Bemidji State swept Michigan Tech last season and was 5-2-1 all-time against its opponent entering the night.
The game got off to a slow start BSU, which did not produce until the 13:18 mark of the opening period. In the meantime, the Huskies opened the scoring after Brady Wacker (Sr., D, Jansen, Saskatchewan) was called for holding 2:46 into the contest. A Steven Seigo shot 13 seconds into the man advantage made its way through traffic past BSU netminder Andrew Walsh (So., Dawson Creek, B.C.) and into the net.
After killing off another MTU power play, the Beavers came to life when Milos Gordic was sent off for tripping. On the ensuing five-on-four, Danny Mattson (So., F, Minneapolis, Minn.) picked up a loose puck in the slot and fed a pass across to Aaron McLeod (Sr. F, Ottawa, Ont.), who buried the game-tying goal.
Just 1:16 later, Beaver captain Ben Kinne (Sr., F, St. Paul, Minn.) took a shot that Michigan Tech goaltender Kevin Genoe kicked aside, but Jordan George (Sr., F, Madison, Wis.) was waiting or the doorstep to pot his second goal of the season and put Bemidji State in the lead.
The 2-1 score held until a Dennis Rix took a tripping penalty with 5:26 left in the middle frame encited a flurry of goals before the end of the period.
BSU capitalized on the power play again when freshman Cory Ward (F, Las Vegas, Nev.) broke into the Husky zone and laid the puck of to Kinne, who snapped a shot over Genoe's left shoulder into the rafters of the net.
Jeff Jubinville (Jr., F, Edmonton, Alberta) continued the scoring barrage 3:32 later by depositing a pass from David Boehm (Sr. F, Naples, Fla.) for his first goal of the season. The Huskies answered to begin their rally and make it 4-2 with 19 ticks left in the period when Blake Pietila banged home a David Johnstone shot from the point.
In the third period, Bemidji State took two costly penalties to give MTU some life as time began to wind down.
After Graeme McCormack (Fr., D, Thunder Bay, Ont.) was sent to the box for high-sticking, Johnstone seized a Beaver turnover and worked the puck in front where freshman Jujhar Khaira pounced for his first collegiate goal at the 12:32 mark.
Khaira wasn't done there, however, as the 6-3 freshman doubled his goal total after Ward was called for hooking with just under three minutes to play. With 2:17 remaining in regulation and 1:18 to go on the man advantage, fellow freshman Alex Petan forced the play in front of Walsh and Khaira slammed the loose puck home in the crease to knot the score.
MTU capped in the victory in the overtime session when Khaira notched his third point in a 9:40 span, setting up Petan's game winner. Petan iced the game by scoring on a sharp-angle shot from in tight.
The Beavers went two-for-three on the power play, while MTU scored on three of five man-up chances. Walsh finished the game with 25 saves on 30 shots and Genoe stopped 26 of 30 BSU offerings.
Bemidji State and Michigan Tech will meet again on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Sanford Center for the series finale. The Beavers will remain at home next weekend the University of Alaska Anchorage comes to town.