HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The winless streak for Bemidji State reached seven games Saturday as Alabama-Huntsville completed a two-game series sweep of the Beavers with a 5-3 win at the Von Braun Center.
The Beavers held a 2-0 lead at the end of the first intermission on the strength of goals from Wade Chiodo and Brendan Cook. Chiodo got BSU on the board first with his seventh goal of the season, a power-play goal at the 4:29 mark of the first, and Cook’s second goal of the year, unassisted, gave the Beavers a 2-0 lead at 16:00 of the first.
But like Friday, when it used a four-goal third to blow open a close game, Alabama-Huntsville put up three goals in the second period to swing the momentum.
Craig Bushey scored even-strength for the Chargers, unassisted, at 2:25 of the second period to cut the BSU lead to 2-1. Bushey and Karlis Zirnis then assisted on Jared Ross’s ninth goal of the year at the 9:59 mark of the second period to even the score.
BSU regained the lead when Bill Methven scored his third goal of the year, even strength, with a helper by Riley Riddell at the 14:26 mark of the second. But Ross lit the lamp for Huntsville for the second time in the period at 16:34 for the eventual game-winning goal.
The Chargers piled on two insurance goals in the third, as Tyler Butler scored his 10th of the season at 11:50, and Ross completed a hat-trick with his third goal of the evening and 11th of the season, with a helper from Zirnis, at 16:09.
Grady Hunt got the start in net for BSU and saw his winless streak against CHA opposition reach seven games. Hunt saved 29 of 34 shots faced and allowed all five Charger goals. Adam MacLean saved 27 of 30 shots faced in a complete-game win for the Chargers.
Riddell finished the game with two assists, running his season total to 18 — the second-highest total for a freshman in CHA history. Air Force’s Andy Berg holds the record with 22 assists as a freshman in 1999-00. Riddell also improved his season total to 32 points, the second-highest single-season total in CHA history, trailing only Berg’s 33 points in 1999-00.
BSU was penalized nine times for 26 minutes in the contest. Frank Udovich picked up three penalties for six minutes, and Bill Methven picked up a 10-minute misconduct penalty with six seconds left in regulation. The nine goals led to six Huntsville power-play opportunities, and the Chargers converted on two.
Ross’ hat trick led a group of three Chargers with three points apiece. Bushey had a goal and two assists and Zirnis added three assists.
With the loss, Bemidji State falls to 12-17-5 overall and remains in second place in College Hockey America with 22 points (8-7-4). BSU is now winless in its last seven games, tied for the fourth-longest winless streak in school history. Alabama-Huntsville improves to 16-17-1 overall, 10-9-1 against College Hockey America foes (21 points).
Next action for Bemidji State comes Friday in the second round of the College Hockey America postseason championship. The Beavers have a first-round bye for the championship, which begins Thursday, and await the winner of the Alabama-Huntsville/Findlay first-round matchup.