BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Junior goaltender Zach Driscoll stopped 24 shots and backstopped a penalty-kill unit that snuffed out six power-play opportunities and netted a short-handed goal to lead the Bemidji State University men's hockey team to a 4-1 victory to open a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with Michigan Tech.
The victory extends Bemidji State's winning streak to a season-high five games and marks it's longest string of wins since it won six straight Dec. 15-Jan. 6 of the 2017-18 season.
Owen Sillinger led the Beavers with a goal and an assist, while Adam Brady netted his team-leading 12th goal of the season and Hampus Sjodahl's short-handed tally, his first since Nov. 23, stood as the first game-winning goal of the senior's career.
Despite taking a penalty just 40 seconds into the game and spending a total of 4:50 minutes down a man, Bemidji State controlled play in the first period. It's stingy penalty-kill unit set the tone early allowing just four shots on net in three MTU power-play opportunities, including 1:50 of 5-on-3 play. Owning a 1-0 lead on a goal off the stick of Alex Ierullo, the unit added its fourth short-handed goal of 2019-20 at the 17:11 mark of the frame as Sjodahl gave BSU a 2-0 lead to close the first period.
Brady added to BSU's lead at the 6:00 mark of the second period, netting the only goal of the frame with help from Alex Adams.
The goal ended Blake Pietila's night in the crease as Matt Jurusik took over MTU's goaltending duties for the final 34 minutes.
The Beavers' power-play unit finally broke through on its fourth opportunity of the evening. Owen Sillinger made good on his eighth goal of the season at the 3:34 mark firing a shot from beyond the goal line that found its way across the line and into the back of the net.
While BSU owned a 4-0 lead early in the third, it was whistled for three penalties during the final 16:01 leaving Driscoll and the penalty-kill unit to defend its lead and preserve the win. With 1:04 left, just 28 second into MTU's seventh power-play chance of the game, the Huskies spoiled Driscoll's shutout with a meaningless goal.
Driscoll earned his 12th win of the season and improves to 12-5-2 on the season.
The Beavers, now 13-7-3 overall and 13-3-1-0 in WCHA play, will host the Huskies again tomorrow as the team wrap up their WCHA series. The opening faceoff is set for 6:07 p.m. from Sanford Center.