BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - The Bemidji State University men's hockey team fell 2-1 to the University of Nebraska Omaha at Sanford Center Saturday night. The victory capped a weekend series sweep for the No. 14 Mavericks, who got goals from Brainerd, Minn. native Josh Archibald and Dominic Zombo to earn the victory.
BSU, which is now 5-14-5 with a 4-10-4 mark in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), fell 5-3 in the series-opener Friday night.
After more than seven minutes of uneventful play to open the game, the Beavers got on the board at the 7:48 mark with a goal that took a review from the officials to register. Jordan George (Sr., F, Madison, Wis,) carried the puck into the zone to lead a 3-on-2 break and found Brance Orban (Sr., F, Lethbridge, Alberta) to his right. Orban passed to Aaron McLeod (Sr., F, Ottawa, Ontario), who was charging down the slot, got a shot off, collected the puck off the UNO goaltender John Faulkner's pad and pushed it through before sliding into the goal.
Nebraska-Omaha would come back less than three minutes later, when the nation's leading scorer, Ryan Walters, picked up a loose puck on the halfboards and skated it into the zone to lead a 2-on-1. He found Josh Archibald on the left post for a tap in to beat BSU's goaltender Mathieu Dugas (Sr., L'Assomption, Quebec), who was making his first start since Dec. 7.
With the score tied, 1-1, UNO took an edge in shots, 10-7, into the locker room after 20 minutes of play.
The Mavericks grabbed their first lead of the night at the 1:56 mark of the second period. Johnnie Searfoss collected a loose puck in the neutral zone skated it in and connected with Dominic Zombo to complete the 2-on-1 goal.
Aided by three minutes of power-play time to wrap up a major penalty to Nick Seeler, Bemidji State picked up steam during the final 10 ten minutes of the second period, but came up with nothing to show for it despite out shooting UNO 9-8 in the session.
Nebraska-Omaha stepped up their defensive effort during the third period clogging the Beavers' offensive zone and limiting their opportunities.
Trailing by a goal with 1:14 left, Bemidji State pulled its goaltender for an extra attacker. The mover produced scoring chances, but Faulkner and the Mavericks held strong and copleted the 2-1 victory.
Bemidji State was 0-for-2 with a man advantage on the night marking its third consecutive game without a power-play goal (0-for-17), while the BSU penalty-kill unit held UNO scoreless on its only power-play chance of the night.
UNO outshot Bemidji State 26-23 in the game.
Dugas finished the night with 24 saves, but surrendered both UNO goals and was tagged with the loss. He drops to 1-5-1 on the season.
BSU continues leagueplay next weekend when it welcomes first-place St. Cloud State University to Sanford Center for Athletic Hall of Fame weekend. The Beavers will be looking to put a halt to an eight-game (0-6-2) winless streak when the series gets underway at 7:37 p.m. Friday. Opening faceoff for Saturday's series finale is set for 7:07 p.m.