BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Zach Driscoll turned aside 21 shots, while Adam Brady, Brendan Harris and Nick Cardelli each recorded a goal to lead the Bemidji State University men's hockey team to a 3-0 victory over Northern Michigan University Saturday. The win allowed the Beavers to take 5-of-6 points out of the series and climb into a tie with the Wildcats for the fourth spot in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings.
In one of its most complete performances of the season, Bemidji State controlled every facet of the game for 60 minutes.
The Beavers posted a power-play goal and finished the night 1-for-4 on the man advantage, it's penalty-kill unit was 2-for-2 to extend its string of opponent power play opportunities killed to 39, Driscoll was sharp between the pipes and physical play translated into 14 blocked shots, while BSU held a 32-21 edge in shots on goal.
Adam Brady put the Beavers up early chipping the puck out of a scrum in the neutral zone to himself, behind a pair of NMU defenders, and beat Atte Tolvanen for his eighth goal of the season at the 10:21 mark of the first period. From there BSU bucked down to keep the Wildcats off the board.
BSU held a 13-8 edge in shots on goal in the first and held the Wildcats to just five shots in the second (12-5) to open the final 20 minutes of play owning a 1-0 lead. At the 5:48 mark of the frame, NMU's Darien Craighead was whistled for tripping, supplying BSU with its fourth power-play opportunity of the night and it took the Beavers just 15 seconds to make Northern Michigan pay. Aaron Miller got the play started behind the NMU net, finding Jay Dickman in front. A shot of the pad of Tolvanen found the stick of Brendan Harris and the sophomore playmaker put it in the open side of the net.
With just under three minutes to play, NMU pressed, pulling Tolvanen for an extra attacker. BSU run on attempt off the post of the empty net from 130 feet. Later Nick Cardelli beat the Wildcats back, picked up the puck and wrapped it around the left post for his eight goal of the season giving the Beavers a three-goal cushion with 1:41 to play.
Now 10-6-3 on the year, Driscoll's shutout Saturday is the third of 2018-19 and the fourth of his career.
After splitting with the Wildcats in Marquette, Mach, Oct. 28-29, be wins the season series with NMU, 2-1-1, and is unbeaten the last five games versus NMU at Sanford Center 2-0-3.
The Beavers, now 15-12-5 overall and 13-8-3-2 in WCHA play. The stretch run to the playoffs continue next weekend when BSU hosts Bowling Green State University. The series will get underway with a 7:07 p.m. opening face off Friday and the regular-season finale is slated for a 7:07 p.m. start at Sanford Center.
Tickets for both games of the series are available at the Sanford Center Box Office and begin at just $12. Box office hours are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.