BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - Ashton Calder scored two third-period goals to complete a hat trick and put the game out of reach as Lake Superior State University eared a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series victory with the 5-2 win over Bemidji State University Wednesday at Sanford Center.
The teams traded power-play goals to open the game.
Louis Boudon scored to get LSSU on the board first, netting his seventh goal of the season 5:00 after the opening faceoff. At the 6:50 mark, Alex Ierullo found Aaron Miller with a pass and Miller beat the LSSU goaltender, Mareks Mitens, for his fourth goal of the season. The assist extended Ierullo's point streak to six games (2g-4a).
Midway through the second period, the Lakers struck again to break the tie. Mitchell Oliver fired a shot from the point stopped by the BSU goaltender, Zach Driscoll, but Calder crashed the net, corralled a rebound and slid his 10th goal of the season across the line and into the back of the net.
The Beavers' power-play unit answered at the 17:19 mark. Lukas Sillinger found Erick Martin in the left faceoff circle and the Calgary, Alberta native earned his second goal of the season on a one-timer that got past Mitens.
Tied 2-2 to open the third period, momentum started to swing in the Lakers' favor early. The Beavers spent six of the first 10:04 with at least one man in the penalty box and BSU finished the period with 18 minutes of penalty time. While the BSU penalty-kill didn't break, and snuffed out all five LSSU power-plays in the frame, The Beavers were unable to generate any flow and spent the second half of the period chasing.
At the 10:57 mark, LSSU's Jacob Bengtsson broke the tie with an even-strength goal. Seventeen seconds later, the Lakers stretched their lead to 4-2 on another even-strength goal off the stick of Calder. With just over three minutes to play, BSU pulled its goaltender for an extra attacker and Calder completed the hat trick with and empty-net goal to put the game out of reach, 5-2, with 2:30 to play.
BSU finished the game with superior special teams play. While the Beavers held LSSU to just one power-play goal on nine opportunities, BSU was a perfect 2-for-2 on the man advantage.
Driscoll turned aside 25 shots and surrendered four goals in the loss. His season record dips to 10-8-3.
The 11-7-3 Beavers are now 6-4-1 in WCHA play. BSU wraps up its 2020-21 WCHA regular season with a series versus longtime rival University of Alabama-Huntsville March 6-7. BSU welcomes the Chargers for a 4:07 p.m. opening faceoff Saturday before the regular season comes to an end with a 2:07 p.m. start Sunday.
The Beavers will then wait to find their postseason fate. Following Sunday's play, the league will seed all eight teams with the top four earning the right to host the first round best-of-three playoff series.
BSU will open the weekend in sixth place in the WCHA standings, just two points behind Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan, who are tied for fourth place with 20 points.