BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Ethan Somoza scored with 1:08 left in the 3-on-3 overtime period to steal an extra point in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings after Bemidji State University battled back to even the score late and open its series versus Northern Michigan University with a 2-2 draw.
Special teams played a pivotal role in game as the Beavers allowed two shorthanded goals and found a power-play goal for the second straight game.
After the first 20 minutes of play, the Beavers and Wildcats were tied 1-1.
The teams played more that 14 minutes locked in a 0-0 tie, but at the 14:33 mark, Troy Loggins slipped the puck past the BSU goaltender Zach Driscoll with help from Adam Rockwood and James Vermeulen for a short-handed goal. Just 50 seconds later, however, the Beavers bounced back when Charlie Combs came out of a scrum near the red line with the puck. He skated into the zone and fired a shot from just inside the blue line that caromed off a NMU defender and into the back of the net past the Wildcat goaltender Atte Tolvanen.
The teams would play the entire second period without a goal despite BSU getting a pair of power-play chances and Northern Michigan going on the man advantage for five minutes.
Special teams again played a role in the third period scoring. At the 3:02 mark of the frame, NMU's Garrett Klee was whistled for a five-minute boarding infraction. Again BSU's power-play struggled, giving Joseph Nard a chance to get the puck out of the zone and onto the stick Griffin Loughran, who beat Driscoll one-on-one to give NMU a 2-1 lead with 13:09 to play.
At the 13:35 mark, BSU would again get put on the man advantage when the Wildcats' Ryan Black was sent to the penalty box for slashing. Just 22 seconds later, Brad Johnson unloaded a rocket from the top of the right face off circle and the shot found the back of the net.
Although the Wildcats had a 4-0 edge in shots on goal in the five-on-five overtime period, Driscoll kept NMU off the scoreboard and helped BSU solidify the point in the standings for the tie and supply the Beavers and Somoza with a chance for more.
The Beavers power-play unit finished the night 1-for-6, while is penalty kill was again perfect snuffing out all three of NMU's chances to stretch its streak of opponents' power-play chances without allowing a goal to 37.
Driscoll finished the night with 16 saves in the tie. He moves to 9-6-3 on the year.
The Beavers, now 14-12-5 overall and 12-8-3-2 in WCHA play, remain fifth in the league standings, three points behind Lake Superior State University and Northern Michigan, who are tied for third. BSU and NMU will return again tomorrow night to wrap up their league series. Opening face off is set for 7:07 p.m. at Sanford Center.