HANOVER, N.H. - The Bemidji State University men's hockey team relinquished a 2-0 lead en route to a 4-3 loss Sunday in the tournament-opener at the Ledyard National Bank Classic in Hanover, N.H. against the University of Massachusetts. The loss dropped BSU to 5-9-3 on the season.
The contest was the second all-time between the Beavers and UMass. BSU topped the Minutemen 4-2 at the 2008 edition of the Ledyard Bank Classic.
Not having played since Dec. 15 in a 5-1 win over Denver University, Bemidji State picked up where it left off and controlled play in the first period and the team was rewarded for its effort.
Shortly after killing off a Jake Areshenko (Sr., D, Port Coquitlam, B.C.), the Beavers staked themselves a 1-0 lead on a power play of their own when Aaron McLeod (Sr., F, Ottawa, Ontario) whacked home his seventh goal of the season on a Brance Orban rebound. Defenseman Brady Wacker (Sr., D, Jansen, Saskatchewan) earned his fourth assist of the year on the play.
Less than five minutes after assisting on the game's first goal, Orban made it 2-0 by pouncing on a David Boehm (Sr., F, Naples, Fla.) dump-in that took a fortuitous bounce of the end wall and ended up in front of a gaping Minuteman net as UMass netminder Kevin Boyle went behind the cage to make a play. Boehm, who was playing against his former team, earned his sixth assist of the season and junior Jeff Jubinville (F, Edmonton, Alberta) notched his fourth helper on Orban's fifth goal of 2012-13.
After edging UMass 9-7 in shots in the first period, the tables turned in the middle frame.
Michael Pereira cut the Beavers' lead in half just over five minutes into the second by snapping a feed from Branden Garcel past Bemidji State goaltender Andrew Walsh (So., Dawson Creek, B.C.) into the top left corner of the net. The Minuteman power play then converted to knot the score when Darren Rowe's shot from the right circle went in off the post at the 9:32 mark. UMass struck again on the man advantage when Adam Phillips scored with 1:16 remaining.
BSU was outshot 18-5 in the second period and could not recover from a 3-2 deficit in the final 20 minutes.
In the third period, the Beavers could not capitalize on two power plays in the first ten minutes and Zack LaRue scored on an odd-man rush immediately following a Minuteman penalty to make it 4-2 with 10:59 remaining in regulation. Jordan George (Sr., F, Madison, Wis.) tallied his sixth goal of the season with 2:23 to play, but the Beavers were unable to tie the score in the final two minutes of play despite getting quality chances after pulling Walsh for an extra attacker.
The Beavers pick up play Sunday at either 3 p.m. or 6 p.m. against the loser of the tournament's second game between host Dartmouth College, the nation's second ranked team, and No. 2 University of New Hampshire. If UNH wins, BSU will play Dartmouth at 6 p.m. and if Dartmouth wins, Bemidji State will take on the Wildcats at 3 p.m.