BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - Tyler Kirkup scored one of Bemidji State University's two power-play goals and added an assist to lead the Beavers to a 4-1 victory over Bowling Green State University to open a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series Friday at Sanford Center.
The Beavers took the lead early and despite a slip up to open the second period, bounced back to rip 20 shots on net in the frame and controlled every facet of play. The Beavers finished the night with a 40-30, edge in shots on goal, 2-for-6 on the man advantage and snuffed out all four of the Falcon's power-play chances.
Ethan Somoza got the Beavers on the scoreboard at the 4:53 mark of the first period. The junior alternate captain took passes from Aaron Miller and Tyler Kirkup and completed the rush by beating Eric Dop for his fourth goal of the season.
The 1-0 lead would last through the first period, but just 28 second in to the second period, the Falcons caught the Beavers on their heels. Will Cullen tapped his third goal of the season past Zach Driscoll.
The Beavers regained their lead with a pair of power-play goals during the last six minutes of the frame. Kirkup put BSU back in the lead at the 14:40 mark. After Elias Rosen dug a puck out of a scrum in the corner, Brad Johnson unleashed a rocker from the point. The shot deflected off Kirkup's helmet in front of the crease for an unconventional power-play tally that eventually stood as the game winner. Aaron Miller added to the BSU lead at the 17:53 mark when he skated down the slot and fired a wrister past Dop for his 11th goal of 2019-20 and his second point of the night. Rosen and Owen Sillinger were credited with assist son the power-play goal.
Ierullo brought the score to its final resting place at the 6:36 mark of the third period. From the corner, Charlie Combs fed Sillinger in the slot. The sophomore slid a pass across the crease to Ierullo, who skated from post to post, before picking his spot and depositing his five goal of the season into the back of the net.
Zach Driscoll stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced in 59:50 between the pipes. He improved to 14-6-3 overall.
Bemidji State, now 14-8-4 overall and 14-4-2-1 in WCHA play, is back at Sanford Center tomorrow with its sights set on a WCHA series sweep. The Beavers and Falcons face off at 6:07 p.m.