BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bemidji State rallied from a 2-0 deficit, scoring single goals in the second and third periods to pick up a 2-2 tie with the Air Force Falcons Saturday at John Glas Fieldhouse. Nonetheless, the tie dropped BSU out of first place in the College Hockey America standings, one point behind Wayne State.
The teams played an even first period, with BSU holding a 9-8 advantage in shots on net, but Air Force capitalized on its opportunities and at the first intermission held a 2-0 lead. Derek Olson got the Falcons on the board just 37 seconds into the game, scoring his third goal of the season with assists from Tom Starkey and Brian Rodgers.
Kyle Fransdal then put the Cadets up 2-0 at the 11:07 mark, scoring his sixth goal of the season and second of the series unassisted. The goal was a wrister from the right faceoff circle that beat BSU starting goaltender Grady Hunt high and over the right shoulder.
Air Force held the 2-0 lead until the 14:32 mark of the second period, when Jared Hanowski pumped home his fifth goal of the season on a power play. Riley Riddell broke down the right side of the ice and rotated the puck across the top of the crease to Hanowski through Wade Chiodo; Hanowski squeezed the puck between the left post and Air Force goaltender Mike Polidor.
Hanowski picked up his second goal of the night, and the eventual game-tying goal, at 9:29 of the third period and again the play started on a Riddell breakaway, who fed the puck in through Chiodo. Hanowski beat Polidor inside the right pipe to knot the score at two goals apiece. The two-goal effort marked Hanowski’s first career multi-goal game.
BSU dominated the second period, outshooting Air Force 17-9, and had numerous point-blank opportunities in the waning moments of the third period, but several brilliant saves by Polidor — including a perfect pad save on a one-on-one breakaway opportunity against BSU’s Brendan Cook in the final 30 seconds — saved the regulation draw and forced the overtime. The teams were even at three shots apiece in the extra frame.
“We’ll take a tie in that situation, being down 2-0,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “The guys showed resilience coming from behind, and overall it was a good weekend for the Beavers.”
With 24 saves and two goals against, Hunt remains undefeated against the CHA with the tie, moving to 8-0-3. For the season, Hunt moves to 11-7-3. Polidor recorded 34 saves for Air Force to earn his first tie of the season and move his record to 9-12-1.
BSU moved to 7-5-2 all-time against Air Force with the tie; the Beavers are unbeaten in each of the last three games in the series.
Bemidji State remains at .500 for the season at 12-12-4 overall but falls to second place in College Hockey America with 21 points (8-2-3). Air Force dropped to 10-15-1 overall and 1-10-1 in CHA play.