BEMIDJI, Minn. — On an historic night for Bemidji State hockey, the Beavers delivered with an exciting game on the ice as Wade Chiodo’s goal in the final minutes of regulation helped BSU to a 1-1 draw with the Clarkson Golden Knights.
“It was the happiest tie I’ve ever got,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “Any time you get a goal late, your expectations change and you just want to get out of there alive.”
Prior to Saturday’s game, the Beavers celebrated the 20th anniversary of their 1983-84 team, which went 31-0-0 and won the NCAA Division II national championship. They also retired jersey No. 24 in honor of Joel Otto, a senior on the ’84 team who earned First-Team All-America honors and won the Division II Hobey Baker Award. Otto’s 24 becomes the first jersey ever retired by the Beavers.
After an uneventful first period which saw the teams combine for 17 shots on net, just six by Clarkson, the pace picked up in the second.
The Golden Knights needed 12:50 of the period to get on the board, scoring on a power play for the second consecutive night. Tristan Lush took a pass from Jamie McKinven and fired it at BSU goaltender Dannie Morgan, who got his pads on the shot but was unable to freeze the rebound. Mac Faulkner took the carom and fired it between Morgan and the right pipe to give the Knights a 1-0 edge.
Morgan was lifted immediately after the goal and replaced with freshman Layne Sedevie in a designed switch; as this was Family Weekend for the BSU program, it was pre-arranged to have each goaltender play half the contest.
The switch was one of several unusual occurances during the second period. A bat made its way into John Glas Fieldhouse and flew several laps around the arena, at one point dive-bombing the BSU mascot and enticing the vintage “Batman” television theme to be played over the arena sound system.
Still, Clarkson took its 1-0 lead into the second intermission. The teams then played an up-tempo third, combining for 24 shots and six penalties — the most shots by the teams in any period of the weekend series. Clarkson’s Dustin Traylen remained on his game, holding BSU down despite several flurries in front of the net and two solidly-hit pipes by Luke Erickson and Andrew Murray.
“They were both great posts,” Serratore said. “You could hear both of them in Bagley [25 miles west of Bemidji].”
But Chiodo finally solved Traylen at 18:21 of the third, taking a rebound off a shot by Ryan Huddy and beating him for the game-tying goal. It was Chiodo’s second career game-tying goal; he also scored the equalizer Oct. 26, 2002, against Union in a 5-5 draw.
Chiodo’s goal was a rare blemish on Traylen’s stat line for the weekend, as he played a dominant series against the Beavers. He allowed just three goals in the series while saving 78 shots, including a career-high 40 in Game 1 — a .963 save percentage.
“Traylen was the best player on the ice for the whole weekend,” Serratore said.
The draw moves BSU to 1-2-1 all-time against Clarkson and 1-4-4 in its Division I era against the ECAC.
For Clarkson, defenseman Matt Curley was injured on a hit by Chiodo behind the Golden Knight net, and is out with a separated shoulder.
BSU moves to 0-1-1 with the draw, the third time in the last four years the team has gone winless in its opening series of the season. Clarkson moves to 1-0-1.