BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Bemidji State University goaltender Zach Driscoll turned aside all 27 shots he faced to propel the second-seeded Beavers to a 2-0 victory to open the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs and take a 1-0 lead over Lake Superior State University, the seventh seed, in the opening round, best-of-three series.
With Driscoll and the BSU defense doing its part, Adam Brady supplied the Beavers with all the offense they would need. Brady netted his 19 goal of the season 3:07 into the first period to put the Beavers in front.
While BSU held the lead for the bulk of the first period, LSSU did its best to keep the Beavers on their heels. The Lakers out shot the Beavers 10-8 in the frame and looked to have a step on BSU, calling Dricoll in to action more often than the Beavers would have liked. But the junior stood tall and made 10 stops, including on on the penalty-kill to preserve the Beavers' 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
Just as they did in the first, the Beavers opened the second with a goal. This time it was Owen Sillinger, who finished a tic-tac-toe passing exhibition by Alex Adams and Kyle Looft on the doorstep to push the BSU lead to two goals with his 13th lamplighter of the season.
Driscoll backstopped a BSU penalty-kill unit that held the Lakers without a goal in four attempts en route to his fourth shutout of the season.
Bemidji State, now 21-9-5 overall, will attempt to end this opening round series and advance to the semifinal round for the first time since 2017 tomorrow when the Beavers host the Lakers for game two. Opening face off is set for 6:07 p.m.
If LSSU battles back to slit the series tomorrow, it will force a third and deciding game at 6:07 p.m. Sunday.