BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University men's hockey team rallied to erase a 2-0 deficit and win 4-3 against the United State National Development Program Under-18 Team on Saturday night in its final exhibition contest at the Sanford Center. The Beavers scored three shorthanded goals in the second period and Brance Orban (Sr., F, Lethbridge, Alta.) notched the game-winner 58 seconds into the third period.
BSU finishes 2012-13 with a 1-0-1 record in exhibitionplay after skating to a 3-3 tie with the University of Manitoba in its first unofficial competition last weekend.
In the first period, Bemidji State came out fast, but a pair of minor penalties halted its momentum. The Beavers generated several shorthanded opportunities, but could not solve U.S. goaltender Hunter Miska.
The U.S. Under-18 Team got on the board 4:32 into regulation when defenseman Will Butcher finished off a feed from Frankie Vatrano. Team USA padded its lead with 12 seconds left in the period when Tyler Kelleher beat BSU netminder Andrew Walsh (So., Dawson Creek, B.C.) on a quick shot off the post and in after opting to shoot on atwo-on-one chance.
Bemidji State began its comeback in the second period after redshirt freshman Phil Brewer (F, Cambridge, Ont.) took a roughing penalty and David Boehm (Sr., F, Naples, Fla.) pounced on a USNDT turnover with Miska out of position. Boehm potted the first of his two goals in the period by roofing a shot into the half-empty net.
Jeff Jubinville (Jr., F, Edmonton, Alta.) knotted the score with another shorthanded tally at the 15:36 mark, taking a pass by Aaron McLeod (Sr., F, Ottawa, Ont.) and beating two U.S. defenders to the outside before cutting in and beating Miska five-hole on a backhander that trickled over the goal line. Just 38 seconds later, Boehmstruck again while the Beavers were killing off the same Brady Wacker (Sr., D, Jansen, Sask.) interference penalty, going in on a breakaway and sliding the puck through Miska's legs on the backhand after a nifty move.
Just over two minutes later, Team USA earned a man-down goal of its own when Ryan Fitzgerald picked off a BSU pass and unleashed a breakaway shot that beat Walsh to the stick side, tying the score at three heading into the third.
Fabian Sivnert (Fr., G, Holviken, Sweden) entered the game in relief of Walsh in net for the final 20 minutes after the sophomore goalie conceded three goals on 15 shots.
Less than a minute into the final frame, Orban worked his magic, walking the puck out front off a feed from Jubinville and going bar-down to score on a backhand opportunity.
Sivnert took over from there, turning aside all 15 shots he faced to earn the win. His biggest test of the period came at the 12:15 mark when he pushed quickly across the crease to take away an open net and snare a Kevin Labanc one-time blast after a Team USA point shot hit the back boards and landed right in the U.S. forward's wheelhouse.
Jubinville and Boehm each tied team leads for the Beavers by putting three shots on goal and posting a plus-2 plus/minus rating. Forward Jordan George (Sr., Madison, Wis.) also hit the net three times and defenseman Matt Prapavessis (So., Oakville, Ont.) also finished the night at plus-2.
BSU opens regular-season play at home next weekend against Lake Superior State University before opening WCHA play at the University of Nebraska Omaha the following week.