BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bemidji State and Alabama-Huntsville played like the longstanding rivals they are Friday, combining for 19 penalties in a wild 7-3 BSU win in John Glas Fieldhouse.
Two Charger players — starting goaltender Adam MacLean and Joel Bresciani — were issued game misconduct penalties and ejected during the contest.
The win for BSU snapped a six-game losing streak in the series, and the seven goals scored by the Beavers marks their highest single-game total ever against the Chargers. BSU’s previous high was five goals, set in a 5-4 overtime win on Feb. 4, 2000 in Huntsville.
“We needed to beat them,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “They handled us the last couple of years. If we want to be a contender in this league, we have to beat the best teams.”
BSU freshman Riley Riddell got things rolling for the Beavers with two first-period goals, his sixth and seventh of the season. BSU went into the first intermission up 2-0, marking the fourth consecutive game in the series the Beavers had shut out the Chargers in the first period. In the three previous meetings, UAH was able to rally — but not this time.
BSU extended its lead to 4-0 in the second period on an even-strength goal from Andrew Murray at 2:45 and Wade Chiodo’s first career goal at 3:24.
MacLean was issued a game misconduct after Chiodo’s goal and ejected, and was replaced by Mike Slaton.
Later in the period, BSU survived a 5-on-3 without giving up a goal, but allowed Bresciani to score at 6:22 elapsed in the second to pull the Chargers within 4-1.
Jeff McGill’s sixth goal of the season, an even-strength tally at 14:04 of the second, put BSU up 5-1, where the score would stay until the third period.
Bresciani cut the deficit to 5-2 at 5:19 of the third, but goals by Kurt Knott at 8:44 and Andrew Murray at 11:46 propelled BSU to a 7-2 advantage which would be too much for UAH to overcome. Jason Tinwick scored at 14:10, and Bresciani was issued his game misconduct and ejected after an elbowing penalty just 42 seconds later.
“Coach has kept talking about how big this rivalry was,” Riddell said. “We wanted to score first and get the first couple of hits. We did it, and we won.”
Bemidji State evens its overall record at 5-5-1 with the win, and improves to 2-1-0 in the CHA, while Alabama-Huntsville falls to 6-5-0, 3-2-0.
The teams conclude their two-game series Saturday night in Glas Fieldhouse.