BEMIDJI STATE SKATES TO 2-2 TIE WITH WESTERN MICHIGAN
Sophomore forward Danny Mattson posts goal and assist for Beavers

Danny Mattson had a goal and an assist for the Beavers

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - Danny Mattson (So., F, Minneapolis, Minn.) registered a goal and an assist Saturday to lead the Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team to a 2-2 nonconference tie versus No. 7 Western Michigan University at Sanford Center. The Beavers scored the first two goals of the game and held off a third period charge by the Broncos to salvage the draw.

Sophomore goaltender Andrew Walsh (Dawson Creek, British Columbia) turned aside 31 WMU shots and added his first collegiate assist in the game as he improved to 4-7-3 on the season.

Freshman Cory Ward (F, Las Vegas, Nev.) chipped in the Beavers' other goal, while senior Brance Orban (F, Lethbridge Alberta) added to his team-high point (16) and assist totals (11).

The Beavers dictated the pace of the game from the opening moments, knocking the Broncos off pucks, while out shooting WMU 8-6 in the first period. With each team misfiring on its only power-play chance of the opening session, the Beavers and Broncos finished the first period locked in a scoreless tie.

Bemidji State looked to have the spark it needed to avenge Friday's 6-0 loss, when it opened the second period on the man advantage for the final 3:37 of a five-minute major penalty to Colton Hargrove for charging the BSU goaltender. The Beavers not only came up dry on the opportunity, they logged just one shot on goal during the man advantage. However, BSU got a rebound goal from Mattson on the Beavers' next power-play chance to take the first lead of the game at the 8:08 mark of the second. Orban picked up a loose puck behind the net and funneled it around to the front of the crease where Radoslav Illo (Jr., F, Bystrica, Slovakia) took a stab at it before Mattson, who was on the right post, and deposited it into the back of the net for his third tally of 2012-13.

BSU stretched its lead to 2-0 2:32 later (10:40) as Walsh redirected a WMU shot in front to Mattson, who connected with Ward streaking alone through the neutral zone. Ward skated up the ice and tapped the puck past the Broncos' goaltender Frank Slubowski.

Walsh's assist on the play marked the first helper by a BSU goaltender since March 3, 2012 when Dan Bakala (2008-12) posted the fourth of his career.

The Broncos cut the deficit to one goal 5:37 into the third period making good on chance with Orban in the penalty box. Kenney Morrison was credited with the goal with help from Dennis Brown and Shane Berschbach.

Two minutes and six seconds later (7:43), WMU got the game-tying goal off the stick of Dane Walters with Berschbach again helping on the goal.

Bemidji State rallied, thanks to solid play by Walsh, to hold off the WMU charge in the game's final 12 minutes to get to overtime for the seventh time this season.

Walsh again answered the call in overtime, making three saves to extend the game and help BSU earn the draw.

The Beavers finished the night 1-for-4 on the power-play, while WMU was 1-for-3.

The Beavers finish the 2012-13 nonconference season 1-4-2, while they pushed the all-time series versus Western Michigan to 3-3-2.

The Beavers, now 5-11-4 on the season, break from action for a week before jumping back in to Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play Jan. 18-19 when they travel to Houghton, Mich. to face Michigan Tech.