By Austin Monteith
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Charlie Combs clinched an extra point in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings for the Bemidji State men’s hockey team Friday night, Feb. 8, at Ferris State. Following a scoreless overtime that officially saw the game end in a 3-3 tie, the sophomore fired a shot off the crossbar and into the back of the net for the winner in the waning seconds of 3-on-3 overtime. The goal, which came with 9.7 seconds left, wasn’t the only late goal of the night.
The Beavers (13-12-4, 11-8-2-1 WCHA) nearly won in regulation before the Bulldogs (7-20-2, 4-15-2-0 WCHA) scored an extra-attacker equalizer with 9.1 seconds to go in the third period, sending the game to overtime tied at 3-3.
BSU had to recover from a 2-1 deficit to regain a 3-2 lead in the third period.
Tyler Kirkup gave the visitors the lead initially in the first period, scoring his second goal in as many games. The freshman flipped a loose puck by a sprawling Justin Kapelmaster with 4:05 remaining in the first period to send the Beavers into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.
Despite being down a man to start the second period, Hunter Wendt deflected in a Zac Tierney at the 1:53 mark for the game-tying, shorthanded goal.
Lucas Finner’s slap shot caught a deflection off a BSU defender less than five minutes later to hand FSU a 2-1 lead.
Trailing 2-1 entering the third period, Tyler Vold leveled the score only 2 minutes, 48 seconds into the frame on his long-range shot.
Barely three minutes later, Alex Ierullo tipped in a Dillon Eichstadt shot to regain a 3-2 lead with 13:51 to play in regulation.
With time winding down, FSU pulled its goalie for the extra attacker. Only 9.1 seconds remained on the clock when Trevor Recktenwald swept a loose puck on his backhand to tie the game and send it to overtime.
The Bulldogs came away with one WCHA point after the first overtime, but Combs secured the Beavers two points with his 3-on-3 goal.
Zach Driscoll stopped 32 of 35 shots for Bemidji State to move to 8-6-2 on the season. Kapelmaster made 26 saves on 29 shots as he moved to 1-7-1 for Ferris State.
The teams will meet again at 6:07 p.m. tonight for the series finale in Big Rapids, Mich.
Bemidji State 3, Ferris State 3 (BSU wins 3-on-3 OT)
BSU 1 0 2 — 3
FSU 0 2 1 — 3
First period — 1, BSU, Kirkup (unassisted), 15:55.
Second period — 2, FSU, Wendt (Tierney, Norris), 1:53, SH; 3, FSU, Finner (Norris), 5:36.
Third period — 4, BSU, Vold (Johnson, Ierullo), 2:48; 5, BSU, Ierullo (Eichstadt, Kirkup), 6:09; 6, FSU, Recktenwald (Mackin, Zech), 19:50.
Overtime — No scoring.
Goalies (saves-shots) — BSU, Driscoll (32-35); FSU, Kapelmaster (26-29).