BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- The Bemidji State University men's hockey team put 45 shots on net Saturday, but Lake Superior State goaltender Mareks Mitens was on his game from the opening faceoff. The native of Latvia stopped 42 BSU attempts to back the Lakers to a 5-3 victory and extend the best-of-three WCHA Playoff quarterfinal series to a decisive third game.
The Beavers scored first and capped a frantic first period of action, that saw three goals scored in 88 seconds, with a second goal to go into the second period locked in a 2-2 tie. The Lakers responded with a pair of goals in the first eight minutes of the second frame and rode the two-goal lead deep into the third period before BSU rookie Elias Rosen found the back of the net to make it a one-goal game with 6:17 to play.
BSU pulled Zach Driscoll with just under 1:45 to play, but the Beavers were unable to even the score and Max Humitz netted his 21st goal of the season on an empty net at time expired to seal the 5-3 victory.
Bemidji State was led in scoring by Alex Ierullo and Owen Sillinger, who each netted two points. Ierullo scored a goal and added an assist, while Sillinger assisted on two of the Beavers' three goals to match senior Adam Brady for BSU's scoring lead with 33 points (13g-20a).
Driscoll finished the night stopping 24 of the 28 shots he faced and backstopped a BSU penalty-kill unit that was 1-for-1. He moves to 20-8-4 on the season.
Second seeded Bemidji State, now 20-10-5, will battle 14-22-4 Lake Superior State, the seventh seed, again tomorrow in an elimination game three. The winner earns the right to move on to the semifinal round and continue a pursuit of the WCHA Playoff title and an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Tickets for game three begin at $12 for adults and $8 for youth and will be available at the Sanford Center box office beginning at 11 a.m. tomorrow.