Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Bemidji State playing better -- just in time for Gophers

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Bemidji State, Gophers, Men's hockey Updated: March 4, 2013 - 10:14 AM

Bemidji State, the Gophers' next opponent, is coming off one of its best games of the season.

The Beavers tied No. 2 North Dakota 2-2 after a scoreless overtime last Saturday before the second largest crowd ever at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, 12,117.

BSU led 1-0 and 2-1, but North Dakota tied the score the second time with irs first power-play goal of the weekend with 8 minutes, 37 seconds in the game.

It was Bemidji State's 11th overtime game of the season.

The Beavers got a tie because of sophomore Andrew Walsh's 28 saves and his teammates' 28 blocked shots.

BSU took a 1-0 lead on freshman Phil Brewer's third goal of the season at  3:23 of the opening period.

Sophomore Danny Mattson gave BSU a 2-1 lead in the second period.

UND tied the score at 2-all on Jordan Schmalz's power-play goal in the third. With 7:07 left, North Dakota's Corban Knight had a  go-ahead goal waved off because of high sticking.

BSU's Ben Kinne had a breakaway with 30 seconds to play in the final period, but Zane Gothberg made one of his 16 saves.

So the Beavers remain winless (0-3-8) in overtime games this season.

The Gophers play BSU at Sanford Center at 7:37 pm Friday and 7:07 pm Saturday. Senior Night will be celebrated the second night.

The Beavers have eight seniors: Jake Areshenko, David Boehm, Matt Carlson, Jordan George, Ben Kinne, Aaron McLeod, Brance Orban and Brady Wacker.

The Gophers, in contrast, have one: defenseman Seth Helgeson. The Gophers won 5-1 over Denver last Saturday on their Senior Night.

LATE UND CHARGE

In Friday's 4-2 loss to UND, the Beavers also played pretty well. Walsh had 24 saves and his teammates blocked 17 shots.

It was scoreless after the first period, then BSU took a 1-0 lead for five seconds. Cary Ward scored for the visitors at 5:49, but Mark MacMillan retaliated almost immediately.

Then MacMillan's brother, Mitch, gave UND a 2-1 lead on UND's first shot of the second period. Joe Gleason's deflection and Mark MacMillan's second goal, into an empty net made it 4-1.

Radoslav Illo's goal for BSU with 36 seconds left closed the gap to 4-2.

TALE OF THE NUMBERS

                                     Gophers                             Beavers

 Offense                      3.59 gpg, 1st WCHA         2.06, 11th

Defense                      1.97, 1st                              2.97, 9th

Penalties/gm             10.0, 2nd                             11.9, 3rd

Power play                  24.5%, 1st                          18.3%, 9th  

Penalty kill                   86.7%, 1st                          81.4%, 7th

LONG-AWAITED WIN

Before playing UND last weekend, Bemidji State had a bye week. The series before that, BSU played Minnesota Duluth and in the first game scored four power-play goals to win 4-2 on Friday and then tied the Bulldogs 1-1.

The win on Friday, Feb. 15 broke a 12-game winless streak (0-9-3). It also was the Beavers' first win this season on a Friday. They are 1-10-4 on Fridays, 5-6-4 on Saturdays.

Overall, BSU is 6-18-8 overall, 5-14-7 in the WCHA for 17 points -- one behind Michigan Tech -- for 11th place in the conference. If the season ended today, the Beavers would play the Gophers at Mariucci Arena in the first round of the conference playoffs.

The Gophers (22-7-5, 14-7-5) are tied for second place with North Dakota, but have the tie-breaker over UND, because they took three of four points in the one series they played.

ETC.

* Brance Orban has game-winning goals in three of BSU's six victories. He also leads the team in scoring with eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. That put him tied for 51st in the league in points. ... Eight teammates have between 10 and 18 points. ... Aaron McLeod has a team-high 11 goals; he has 16 points.

* Sophomore goalie Andrew Walsh has played two-thirds of the time. He has a 2.58 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

 * Last season the Gophers swept Bemidji State at Mariucci, 3-0 and 4-1 on Feb. 17-18. It was not nearly as easy in Bemidji on March 4-5, when the two teams met on the last weekend of the regular season like this time again. In two overtime games, the Gophers tied 2-2 and won 3-2. 

* Gophers junior forward Tom Serratore is the nephew of BSU's head coach, who has the same name.

 

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