BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - Owen Sillinger scored midway through the third period to break a 1-1 tie and propel the Bemidji State Men's Hockey team to a 2-1 victory over No. 13 North Dakota Friday. Henry Johnson turned aside 28-of-29 shots in the season-opening victory.
After going nose-to-nose with the Fighting Hawks for the first 10 minutes, BSU got a break when UND's Dixon Bowen was called for interference. The Beavers first power-play unit needed just 36 seconds to find the back of the net and it was junior Adam Brady who connected on a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle. Brendan Harris and Justin Baudry were credited with assists on the play.
North Dakota bounced back in the second to dominate play from the drop of the puck to the horn. Aided by a pair of power-play opportunities, the visitors outshot the Beavers 13-2 in the frame.
Johnson kept the game close with several point-blank saves. Although he allowed an even-strength goal to Gabe Bast at the 6:27 mark, he kept the game within reach through 40 minutes of play as the teams skated to the locker room tied 1-1.
The Beavers pushed back in the third and got the go-ahead goal off the stick of Sillinger with just over 13 minutes to play.
UND finished the game with a 29-18 edge in shots, but it was BSU's special teams that made the difference. The Beavers got a power-play goal in one of its three opportunities, while its penalty-kill unit held UND scoreless on four opportunities.
The Beavers (1-0-0) and Fighting Hawks (0-1-0) finish the home-and-home series tomorrow in Grand Forks, N.D. Opening face off is set for 7:07 p.m. at Ralph Engelstad Arena.