FRASER, Mich. — In a game filled with chippy play and hard-hitting action, Bemidji State came out on top, 2-1, against host Wayne State at the Great Lakes Sports City in a College Hockey America conference game Friday night.
“They (Bemidji State) came out with a lot of emotion right off the bat,” WSU head coach Bill Wilkinson said. “We harped on that all week that they were gunning for us. But you can’t lead a horse to water and make him drink. We came out flat.”
The Beavers (6-6-1, 3-2-0 CHA) got on the board first just 3:01 into the game. With bodies in front of him, Warriors goalie David Guerrera was unable to see Todd Knott’s shot from between the circles and it eluded him over his blocker for an early 1-0 BSU lead.
That would be the only scoring until late in the second period. Playing four-on-four, Bemidji State’s Riley Riddell beat Guerrera from the bottom of the right faceoff circle to stake the Beavers to a 2-0 lead at 15:55.
WSU (4-8-1, 2-1-0 CHA) finally got on the board at the 17:05 of the final period, but it proved to be too little, too late, even if the goal was a highlight-reel tally.
Wayne State defenseman Tyler Kindle picked up the puck behind his own net and went coast to coast, splitting two BSU defenders and sliding a backhand shot past Beavers netminder Grady Hunt to bring the home team within 2-1.
But the visitors held on with some tight defense in the final minute with Guerrera on the bench for an extra attacker and the end result was the 2-1 squeaker.
“We really have no excuses,” Wilkinson said. “We only gave up two goals, but we couldn’t penetrate on the other end. We’ll just have to be more mentally prepared tomorrow.”
The two CHA rivals meet again Saturday night at 7:05.