|1st||2:14||MTU||1-0||EV||Mitch Reinke (5)||Reid Sturos/10, Jake Jackson/2|
|1st||7:19||BMJ||1-1||EV||Mike Soucier (2)||Jordan Heller/4, Dan Billett/9|
|2nd||7:08||MTU||2-1||EV||Cliff Watson (2)||Mitch Reinke/10, Mike Neville/8|
|3rd||3:45||BMJ||2-2||EV||Mike Soucier (3)||Jordan Heller/5, Tommy Muck/5|
|3rd||5:52||BMJ||3-2||EV GW||Leo Fitzgerald (5)||Brendan Harms/10, Tommy Muck/6|
|3rd||19:00||BMJ||4-2||EV EN||Kyle Bauman (10)||Tommy Muck/7|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Michigan Tech (16-10-7)||0/3||6/20||0|
|Bemidji State (17-11-3)||0/3||4/8||0|
|Michigan Tech Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Angus Redmond (L, 15-5-5)||59:10||3||4||9||2||15|
|Bemidji State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Michael Bitzer (W, 17-10-3)||60:00||2||12||13||8||33|
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Mike Soucier scored two goals and Tommy Muck added three assists to help lead the Bemidji State University men's hockey team to a 4-2, series-opening victory over Michigan Tech, Friday.
Slow out of the gate, the Beavers battled back from a pair of one-goal deficits to take their first lead of the game on a Leo Fitzgerald goal at the 5:52 mark of the third period before adding an empty-net goal with 60 seconds left to solidify the Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory.
The Huskies had the Beavers on their heels early. Aided by more than two minutes of power-pay time, MTU out shot BSU 13-5 in the period and drew first blood. Mitch Reinke found the back of the net with a slap shot from the top of the left face off circle at the 2:14 mark of the first period to give the Huskies an early lead.
The Beavers got the bounce they needed at the 7:19 mark of the period when Soucier fired a puck form the top of the zone and got the Michigan Tech goaltender crossed up. The shot bounced off his glove hand and rattled in. Jordan Heller was credited with an assist on the long pass out of the zone to start the scoring play.
Michigan Tech continued to shower Michael Bitzer with shots in the second period, out shooting BSU 14-9 to open a 27-14 edge in shots on goal through 40 minutes of play. At the 7:08 mark of the period, the Huskies got one of those shot through to regain its lead, 2-1, directly off an offensive zone face off. Cliff Watson was credited with the goal.
Bitzer's 33-save performance loomed in the shadows of the third-period comeback, making several game-saving stops during the first 40 minutes of play to keep the Beavers in position to strike. He also backstopped a BSU penalty-kill unit that was a perfect 3-for-3. He moves to 17-10-3 on the season and surpassed Robin Cook (1992-96) for eighth place (2,115) on BSU's all-time saves list with 2,130. He also moved into a tie with Dan Bakala (2008-12) for 10th place on BSU's career wins list with 44 (44-37-11) during his first three seasons in the green and white.
Up seven points on second place MTU (16-12-3; 13-4-6-3 WCHA), the Beavers (17-11-3; 17-4-2-2 WCHA) look to strengthen their grip on the chase for the WCHA championship tomorrow when the teams wrap up the two-game series. Opening face off is set for 7:07 p.m.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota's wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men's and women's hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.