Michigan Tech Sweeps Quarterfinal Series with 5-4 Win Against Bemidji State
Senior forward Joel L'Esperance scores goal and two assists for Huskies

Senior forward Joel L'Esperance scored a goal and two assists for the Huskies
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 0:41  MTU1-0 EV Mitch Reinke (3)Joel L'Esperance/13, Jake Lucchini/18
1st 4:13  MTU2-0 SH Jake Lucchini (16)Joel L'Esperance/14
2nd 11:03  BMJ1-2 PP Gerry Fitzgerald (7)Zach Whitecloud/13, Adam Brady/17
3rd 13:01  MTU3-1 PP Justin Misiak (7)Mark Auk/22, Mitch Reinke/21
3rd 15:16  MTU4-1 EV Joel L'Esperance (9)Jake Lucchini/19, Dane Birks/12
3rd 17:48  BMJ2-4 EV EA Jay Dickman (15)Gerry Fitzgerald/18, Zach Whitecloud/14
3rd 18:32  MTU5-2 EV EN GW Mark Auk (8)Dylan Steman/11
3rd 18:47  BMJ3-5 EV EA Justin Baudry (9)Leo Fitzgerald/2
3rd 19:04  BMJ4-5 EV EA Charlie Combs (13)Adam Brady/18, Zach Whitecloud/15
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Michigan Tech  2035
Bemidji State  0134
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
Michigan Tech  97925
Bemidji State  9151337
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Michigan Tech (19-15-5)  1/2 5/10 1
Bemidji State (16-14-8)  1/5 2/4 0
Michigan Tech Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Devin Kero (W, 8-5-1)60:004 9141033
Bemidji State Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Michael Bitzer (L, 16-13-8)56:554 77620
Empty Net3:051     

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - Bemidji State scored three extra attacker goals in the final 88 seconds of play, but simply ran out of time Saturday, dropping game two of its WCHA Playoff best-of-three series to Michigan Tech, 5-4.

The Huskies used game two to punch their ticket to the semifinal round with an opponent and location to be determined. The top seed, Minnesota State University, Mankato and the third-seeded Bowling Green State University also used sweeps to advance to the semifinal round, while the series between the No. 2 seed, Northern Michigan University and No. 7 University Alabama-Huntsville is tied, 1-1.

Owning a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series, it took Michigan Tech just 41 seconds to apply significant pressure to the hosting Beavers. Mitch Reinke cleaned up a loose puck and slid a shot through traffic to beat Michael Bitzer and put the Huskies up 1-0. BSU caught a break at the 4:01 mark when an MTU player was whistled for hooking, but just 12 seconds later; Jake Lucchini took a pass from Joel L'Esperance and finished the rush with his 16th goal of the season.

The Beavers used three power-play opportunities to generate momentum, control play and cut the Huskies' lead in half during the second period.

Gerry Fitzgerald found the score sheet at the 11:03 mark of the frame, capping 50 seconds of 5-on-3 play with his seventh goal of the season. Zach Whitecloud, who finished the night with a BSU-best and career-high three points (3a), and Adam Brady were credited with assists on the power-play goal.

Trailing 2-1 midway through the third period, MTU scored a pair of quick goals to put BSU in a desperate position. Justin Misiak posted a power-play goal at the 13:01 mark to spark the rally and Joel L'Esperance game MTU a 4-1 lead at the 15:16 mark with his ninth goal of the season.

With just over three minutes to play, BSU elected to pull Bitzer for an extra attacker and at the 17:48 mark the tactic paid off. Jay Dickman potted his team-leading and career-high 15th goal of the season from the doorstep to jus the MTU lead to 4-2. After a Michigan Tech empty-net goal at the 18:32 mark, Justin Baudry pulled the puck off the wall and funneled a shot toward the goal that found the back of the net to make it 5-3. Seventeen seconds later Charlie Combs was on the right post to cut the MTU Huskies' lead to 5-4, but BSU was unable to complete the comeback in the final 54 seconds and saw its season end abruptly.

Bitzer finished the night with 20 saves and four goals allowed. The Beavers all-time saves leader completed his collegiate career with 3,165, a BSU-best 21 shutouts and his 65 wins stands second on BSU's wins list.

BSU finished the season 16-14-8 overall and finished the 2017-18 WCHA season fourth with a record of 13-9-6-4 in regular-season league play.