Kyle Looft, Bemidji State topple Minnesota State in Mankato for first time since 2020
Kyle Looft wasn’t missing a chance to send his hometown team home unhappy. The Mankato native wound up and blasted home a game-winning one-timer in the Bemidji State's OT triumph over Minnesota State.
MANKATO -- Kyle Looft wasn’t missing a chance to send his hometown team home unhappy on Thursday.
The Bemidji State men’s hockey defenseman and Mankato native wound up for a one-timer deep into overtime, blasting home the game-winning goal in the Beavers’ 4-3 triumph over No. 16 Minnesota State. The victory marked the first for BSU in Mankato since Jan. 25, 2020.
Highlights from @BSUBeaversMHKY's 4-3 overtime victory at No. 16 Minnesota State on Thursday night.— CCHA (@CCHAHockey) December 16, 2022
🎥: https://t.co/yRw1IaFMPQ#CCHAHockey pic.twitter.com/F8YyXjQC0e
Bemidji State got on the board first with Alexander Lundman’s 2-on-1 finish at 5:44 in the first period, but MSU answered with David Silye’s unassisted score off a blue line turnover at 17:08. Jakub Lewandowski then waited out Mavericks goaltender Alex Tracy at 2:04 in the second, making Tracy dive to the ground before lacing a shot over him for a 2-1 lead.
Special teams dominated the third period, and they initially proved to be the Beavers’ undoing. BSU conceded a power-play goal to Christian Fitzgerald on a rocketed one-timer from the right circle at 1:56, then fell behind on another 5-on-4 score after Ryan Sandelin deflected in a shot from the point exactly one minute later. But Bemidji State answered with a man advantage score of its own, as Aaron Myers poked a loose puck past Tracy in the crease for a 3-3 tie at 7:22.
In overtime, the game seemed destined for a shootout until the Beavers nabbed another power play and cycled the puck through the offensive zone, setting up Looft from the top of the right circle with 29 seconds remaining in the extra frame.
Mattias Sholl stopped 34 shots in net to earn the win for Bemidji State, and Tracy compiled 21 saves for the Mavericks.
With the overtime victory, BSU (8-5-4, 6-2-3 CCHA) captures two points in the CCHA standings, while Minnesota State (10-8-1, 7-5-1) is left with one.
Bemidji State and MSU will conclude their two-game set at 7:07 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, back in Mankato.
Bemidji State 4, Minnesota State 3 (OT)
BSU 1 1 1 1 -- 4
MSU 1 0 2 0 -- 3
First period -- 1, BSU GOAL, Lundman (Roed, Zmolek), 5:44; 2, MSU GOAL, Silye (unassisted), 17:08.
Second period -- 3, BSU GOAL, Lewandowski (Jutting), 2:04.
Third period -- 4, MSU GOAL, Fitzgerald (Hirose, Silye), 1:56, PP; 5, MSU GOAL, Sandelin (Hirose, Livingstone), 2:56, PP; 6, BSU GOAL, Myers (Jones, Rosén), 7:22, PP.
Overtime – 7, BSU GOAL, Looft (Martin, Zmolek), 4:31, 4v3.
Saves -- Sholl (BSU) 34; Tracy (MSU) 21.