MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (3M Arena at Mariucci) - Tied 2-2 with time running out in the second semifinal game of the Mariucci Classic, University of Minnesota forward Blake McLaughlin found the back of the net to give the Golden Gophers their first lead of the game. Minnesota piled on a pair of empty-net goals in the before the final horn to take the contest 5-2.
The Beavers skated to the locker room at conclusion of the first period locked in a 1-1 tie.
Bemidji State was first to find the back of the net when Ross Armour won an offensive zone face off to Will Zmolek. The rookie defender fired a shot on goal that the Minnesota goaltender, Jack Lafontaine, kicked back onto the stick of Armour in the slot and the sophomore potted his third goal of his sophomore season at the 13:33 mark. The Golden Gophers answered at the 16:49 mark. Scott Reedy tipped a Tyler Nanne shot from the top of the right face-off circle and past Zach Driscoll.
BSU took its second lead of the evening with a man in the penalty box. Owen Sillinger forced a turnover and beat the Minnesota defense to the crease to net the second shorted-handed goal of the Beavers' 2019-20 season and the second of the sophomore's career at the 5:20 mark of the second period. But again, Minnesota responded to tie the game despite being outshot 10-5 in the frame and giving up a pair of power-play chances. Garret Wait pulled the Gophers to 2-2 at the 14:39 mark of the second.
The teams opened the third period locked in a 2-2 tie setting up a 20-minute battle to a right to play for the 2019 Mariucci Classic title.
The Beavers will now face Minnesota State University, Mankato which was defeated by St. Cloud State University, 7-2, in the first game of the Mariucci Classic, third place. The nonconference match up between Western Collegiate Hockey Association foes, is set for a 4 p.m. puck drop tomorrow from 3M Arena at Mariucci.