BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Bemidji State University out shot Merrimack College 38-17, but the Warriors found the back of the net to earn a 1-0 victory Saturday to wrap up the non-conference series.
Just 24 hours removed from an eleven-goal affair the teams combined for a single goal in the penalty-filled finale. The teams totaled 15 penalties putting special teams play in the spotlight all night and it was visiting Merrimack that won the special teams battle slipping a 5-on-3 goal past BSU goaltender Zach Driscoll and holding the Beavers without a goal in nine power-play chances.
The first whistle of the night came just 1:15 in and sent BSU's captain Dillon Eichstadt to the penalty box for high sticking. It was a sign of things to come. Merrimack supplied the Beavers with their first of three first-period power-play chances at the 4:25 mark. Despite registering 17 shots in the first period, which included six on the man advantage, Merrimack goaltender Craig Pantano was up to the challenge and the teams skated into the second period locked in a scoreless tie.
The second period brought seven power-play chances. After the Warriors weathered the first power-play just 34 seconds in, they broke through scoring 28 seconds into a 5-on-3 at the 4:48 mark of the period. MC's leading goal scorer Tyler Irvine was on the back door to tap in a rebound and net what would stand as the game-winning goal.
The Beavers out shot the warriors 11-5 in the third and got two power-play chances, but could not get one past Pantano, who logged his third shutout of the season stopping a season-high 38 shots for BSU.
Zach Driscoll totaled 16 saves and surrendered just one goal but was tagged with his first loss of the season. He moves to 2-1-1.
The 5-2-1 Beavers continue play outside the WCHA next weekend as they travel to St. Cloud, Minn. to battle intrastate rival St. Cloud State University. Opening face off from the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center is set for 7:07 p.m. Friday with the series finale scheduled for a 7:07 p.m. again Saturday.