MEN'S COLLEGE HOCKEY: Explosive second period propels Beavers to 6-3 win over LSSU
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.—A five-goal second period let the Bemidji State men's hockey team overcome an early two-goal deficit to blow past Lake Superior State 6-3 Saturday night, Jan. 6, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Kyle Bauman scored two goals—both short-handed—and assisted on another to lead the Beavers to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series sweep.
The victory is the sixth straight for Bemidji State (11-6-5, 8-4-4-2 WCHA) and extends the team's unbeaten streak to nine games. The last time BSU won six straight games was during the 2008-09 season, while the unbeaten run is the longest since a 10-game stretch in 2006-07.
Jacob Hand tallied twice early for the Lakers (5-15-4, 3-10-3-0 WCHA) to give the home team a 2-0 lead 4 minutes, 9 seconds into the game.
Justin Baudry scored on the power play from just inside the blue line to halve the deficit near the midpoint in the first period. The goal was the first of four unanswered for Bemidji State.
The Beavers almost equalized in the final seconds when a puck stopped on top of the goal line. The play was reviewed and ruled no goal as BSU entered the second period trailing 2-1.
Bauman eventually did bag a tying goal, off iron, for his first short-handed goal at 6:26 of the second period.
Four minutes later, T.J. Roo gave the Beavers a 3-2 lead when he stuffed a shot between goalie Nick Kossoff and the right post. Bauman's second short-handed goal in less than six minutes brought the lead to 4-2 before Max Humitz narrowed the deficit to one goal with his power-play strike.
Not long after, Charlie Combs restored a two-goal lead on his one-timer off a pass from Gerry Fitzgerald. Zach Whitecloud scored the final goal of the explosive period, firing a slap shot from near the blue line through traffic for a 6-3 lead.
There was more than enough offense to go around in the first two periods, and the teams played to a scoreless third.
Besides Bauman's three points, Roo (1g-1a), Ethan Somoza (2a) and Gerry Fitzgerald (2a) also had multi-point games.
Michael Bitzer, fresh off his 20th career shutout in Friday's 3-0 win, made 15 saves to pick up his 11th win and improve to 11-5-5 on the season. He and the Beavers have not lost since a 3-1 defeat at Bowling Green Dec. 1.
Bemidji State will dip out of WCHA play next weekend for a non-conference, home-and-home series with North Dakota Jan. 12-13. The Sanford Center will host the first game Friday, Jan. 12, at 7:07 p.m. before the series shifts to Grand Forks, N.D., for a 7:07 p.m. start Saturday, Jan. 13.