COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Cadet Ice Arena) - Henry Johnson posted a career-high 30 saves and Justin Baudry recorded a goal and an assist to lead the Bemidji State University men's hockey team to a 3-3 tie at the Air Force Academy Saturday. The Beavers battled back from a one-goal deficit on two occasions, including a tally from Owen Sillinger with just 4:02 left in regulation, to push the game to overtime and eventually settle for the draw.
The Beavers returned to action after a 13-day break for the holidays and jumped right back into competition taking a 1-0 lead over the Falcons just 10:24 after the opening face off. BSU's first goal of the second half of the season came off the stick of Aaron Miller, who netted his eighth goal of the season with help from the Beavers' top assist man, Justin Baudry. Baudry's 13th assist of the season stands as a career-high for the senior.
The lead would last only 3:35 before Joe Tyran and the Falcons bounced back to tie the game sending the teams into the first intermission locked in a 1-1 tie.
Air Force grabbed its first lead of the evening at the 3:58 mark of the second period, converting a power-play blast from Walker Sommer. However, before the second period expired, the Beavers reeled in the Falcons. Baudry netted his second goal of the season, and second in BSU's last three games, at the 18:45 mark. Freshmen Tyler Kirkup and Alex Adam assisted on the play for their first collegiate points.
The teams opened the third period tied 2-2, but the deadlock lasted only 4:09 before Kieran Durgan beat BSU goaltender Henry Johnson for his seventh goal of the season. But BSU battled back to tie the score, 3-3, and push the game to overtime on a goal from Owen Sillinger with 4:02 left. Charlie Combs, BSU's leading scorer (9g-6a), earned the assist on the play.
BSU, which opened the series 0-1-2 in extra time this season, looked to have its first overtime victory 2:58 in when Tommy Muck found the back of the net for what would have been his first collegiate goal. However, the goal was disallowed due to too many men on the ice.
The Beavers put Air Force on the man advantage for the final 1:32 of overtime when Dillon Eichstadt was whistled for slashing. Johnson and the BSU defense withstood the test, turning aside three Air Force shots in the final 92 seconds and keep the Falcons off the scoreboard.
Johnson, who was making his third consecutive start, stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced and backstopped a penalty-kill unit that finished the night 4-for-5. His record moves to 5-4-2 on the season.
The Beavers move to 8-8-3 overall and will complete non-conference play tomorrow when they again face Air Force. The faceoff is set for 4:05 p.m. (CT).