BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Aaron Miller logged a pair of assists and Zach Driscoll stopped 22-of-23 shots to lead the Bemidji State University men's hockey team to a 3-1 victory over the University of Alaska Friday at Sanford Center.
The Beavers trailed early, but bounced back to score the final three goals of the game, ride a strong defensive effort to their eighth victory of the season, and remain atop the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings. Backed by Driscoll, the BSU penalty-kill unit was a perfect 3-for-3, which included more than a minute of an Alaska 5-on-3 power play to open the third period, to headline a staunch defense that totaled 11 blocked shots in front of Driscoll and allowed the Nanooks only 23 shots on goal.
Eriks Zohovs put Alaska in front, 1-0, at the 8:24 mark of the first period. The Nanooks won an offensive zone face off and although Driscoll was able to make a save on the first Alaska shot, Tyler Cline took the rebound behind the net and fed Zohovs for a point-bank shot that beat the BSU goaltender stick side.
The lead would last just over 6 minutes.
The Beavers turned the intensity up a notch and before the first frame would come to an end, Ethan Somoza netted his second goal of the season to tie the game, 1-1. Tyler Kirkup started the scoring play with a corner-to-corner pass behind the net to Miller. The junior found Somoza in the slot for a one-timer that found the back of the net at the 15:03 mark.
Bemidji State added two more goals in the second period and leaned on its defense in the third.
The Nanooks opened the second period buzzing. With the Beavers backed into a corner, an Alaska shot sticked aside by Driscoll found Combs streaking up the left wall. The St. Louis, Mo. native picked a corner and finished the 2-on-1 with his fifth goal of the season at the 2:56 mark of the second. The assist stood as the first of Driscoll's collegiate career.
Tyler Vold added the Beavers' third goal of the night at the 13:09 mark of the second. Just moments after the Beavers' first power-play opportunity came to an end, the blueliner unleashed a rocket from the point through traffic and the shot beat Anton Martinsson. Miller was credited with his second helper of the night on the play.
Although the Beavers' third goal came on the heels of a power-play chance, BSU came up dry on the man advantage for the first time since Nov. 16, going 0-for-5.
Bemidji State, now 8-4-3 overall and in first place in the WCHA standings at 8-2-1-0 in league play, will seek its third series sweep of the season tomorrow when the same two teams clash for a 6:07 p.m. opening face-off.