BEMIDJI, Minn. - A young, injury depleted Bemidji State University line up scored twice during the first six minutes of play and clamped down its defensive pressure to snap a four-game losing skid and hand No. 3 Minnesota State University, Mankato its first Western Collegiate Hockey Association loss of the season Friday, 4-2, at Sanford Center.
Despite surrendering a pair of power-play goals to high-powered Mavericks, the Beavers got timely scoring and used a strong defensive effort to press MSU and made 5-on-5 play very difficult for Minnesota State.
Charlie Combs led a BSU attack with a pair of assists, while Jay Dickman was credited with the game-winning goal as seven different Beavers got in on the scoring effort.
The Beavers got on the board just 53 seconds after the opening face off. Adam Brady was the beneficiary of nifty passing from Owen Sillinger and Combs for his fourth goal of the season. Less than five minutes later (5:50) Nick Cardelli put the Beavers up 2-0 and chased the MSU goaltender Mathias Israelsson for the game after just 5:50.
Bemidji State clung to a two-goal lead deep into the second period before the Mavericks broke up the shutout. With Darby Gula in the penalty box, Edwin Hookenson scored a power-play goal from Jared Spooner and Dryden McKay at the 14:50 mark sent MSU into the third period trailing 2-1.
The Beavers stretched their lead back to two goals 3:29 into third period when Dickman deflected a shot Justin Baudry shot for his third goal of the season.
With just under seven minutes to play, the Beavers were whistled for a too many men penalty providing MSU with another man advantage opportunity and the Mavericks made them pay. Just 16 seconds into the power play, Charlie Gerard scored to reel the Beavers to within a goal.
The tally brought MSU within reach and the Mavericks' bench would push to tie the game late playing the bulk of the final three minutes with an extra attacker and an empty net. After a near miss, Bemidji State would put the game out of reach with 67 seconds to play. Aaron Miller picked off a pass in the neutral zone and flushed his team-leading fifth goal of the season.
The Beavers finished the night 1-for-3 on the man advantage, while its penalty-kill until was 2-for-4.
McKay totaled 51:50 between the pipes and allowed just one goal, but was tagged with the loss after allowing the game-winning goal early in the third period.
Goaltender Zach Driscoll made 19 saves and allowed two goals in his third victory of the season. He improved to 3-1-1.
The Beavers improved to 6-5-1 overall and 4-2-0-0 in WCHA play. The Beavers will be back on the road Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 as they travel to Houghton, Mich. for a two-game league series with WCHA-leading Michigan Tech. Opening face off is slated for 6:07 p.m. (CT) each night from McInnes Student Ice Arena.