BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Beavers battled back to erase a two-goal deficit and tie the game 2-2 with 15 minutes to play, but No. 3, Minnesota State got a power-play goal in the final seconds of their third opportunity of the night to steal a one-goal victory late in the third period Friday earning a 3-2 victory in the series opener.
The victory was the Mavericks' 10th of the season and left the Beavers without a win in their last four outings.
The teams used the first period to feel each other out.
In a physical 20 minutes of play, each team struggled to sustain offensive flow or generate momentum. Despite the Beavers getting the advantage of two power-play opportunities during the first period, BSU failed to convert, but held an 11-7 edge in shots on goal.
The score would remain 0-0 nearly half way through the second period, but when MSU's Parker Tuomie corralled a BSU turnover along the boards in the Mavericks' offensive zone, he snapped a shot past the BSU goaltender Henry Johnson to put the visitors up 1-0 at the 8:36 mark. Minnesota State scored again off the stick of Josh French at the 12:45 mark of the frame to take a two-goal lead.
Bemidji State found the back of the net at the 16:05 mark in a play the spanned nearly 200 feet. Defenseman Dillon Eichstadt, who got the puck behind the goal, fed Ethan Somoza. The sophomore skated the puck up the ice and found Owen Sillinger streaking into the zone. Somoza got the puck back for a quick shot and his first goal of the season.
Trailing 2-1 to open the third, BSU swung momentum in its favor at the 4:25 mark. With Dillon Eichstadt in the penalty box, sophomore Brad Johnson fired a slap shot on net that the MSU goaltender Mathias Israelsson wasn't able to get all of and the puck trickled in for Johnson's first collegiate goal.
BSU misfired on its fourth power-play chance of the evening midway through the third and a cross-checking penalty at the 13:53 mark of the period would set up the MSU game-winner. The Beavers stood tall the bulk of the penalty, but Henry Johnson was unable get a handle on a MSU shot from the point and Marc Michaelis got two chances at the rebound and found the back of the net with 4:15 to play. BSU pulled its goaltender to add an extra attacker for the final 90 seconds, but was unable to match the Mavericks.
The Beavers (5-4-1; 3-1-0 WCHA) Minnesota State complete the two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series tomorrow. The puck is set to drop at 7:07 p.m.