DULUTH -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team traveled to Duluth on Saturday with a chance to avenge a close 4-2 loss suffered in the season opener against Minnesota Duluth on Friday.
But despite the change of scenery, it was more of the same for the No. 15 Beavers, as No. 5 UMD clamped down on BSU’s attackers, holding them to just one goal and zero power-play scores in a 2-1 win to sweep the two-game series.
“It was a heck of a game tonight, and we played a good hockey game,” head coach Tom Serratore said on the Beaver Radio Network. “Kind of ran out of a little gas probably in the third. They had a little more probably jump in the third right there. I thought the first two periods, we kind of dictated play. We lost the game, but again, I thought we played good hockey.”
The first period was a scoreless stalemate, as the two teams traded six shots each but were unable to find the back of the net.
In the second period, Minnesota Duluth’s Kobe Roth broke the tie with a power-play goal at 12:35, just five seconds after the Beavers started their third penalty kill of the period. But back at even strength, BSU quickly answered with a goal of their own, a 3-on-1 five-hole shot by Alex Ierullo off a pass from Kyle Looft at 13:06.
The game was decided in the third period, as Blake Biondi whipped in a shot off an assist from Quinn Olson at 10:10 to give UMD the advantage. Bemidji State put six pucks on net in the period, but none found nylon.
Gavin Enright started in net for the Beavers and stopped 27 shots one night after Michael Carr opened the season between the pipes for BSU.
Ryan Fanti stopped 15 of Bemidji State’s 16 shots and helped the Bulldogs hold the lead down the stretch in the third period. So did UMD’s skaters, who possessed the puck so effectively that the Beavers were never able to pull Enright for a sixth skater in the final minutes.
“They kept pucks low. They were strong on pucks, they were heavy,” Serratore said. “That's the biggest thing right there, they're just heavy and they're persistent. They're a good hockey team.”
Bemidji State falls to 0-2 early in the season. Their next series comes next weekend, another home-and-home with No. 8 North Dakota. The series opens with a 7:07 p.m. game on Friday, Oct. 15, at the Sanford Center and continues at 6:07 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, from Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D.
No. 5 Minnesota Duluth 2, No. 15 Bemidji State 1
BSU 0 1 0 -- 1
UMD 0 1 1 -- 2
First period -- No scoring.
Second period -- 1, UMD GOAL, Roth (Cates, Galling), 12:35, PP; 2, BSU GOAL, Ierullo (Looft), 13:06.
Third period -- 3, UMD GOAL, Biondi (Olson), 10:10.
Saves -- Enright (BSU) 27; Fanti (UMD) 15.