BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bemidji State defenseman John Haider scored from just inside the blue line on an extra-attacker opportunity with 57 seconds to play in regulation, forcing overtime in an eventual 3-3 draw with the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers.
The extra-attacker goal was the first of the season for Bemidji State and first since Jeff McGill scored in a 4-2 loss against Wayne State on Feb. 7, 2003. However, it was the first extra-attacker goal BSU has used to help earn a draw since a 2-2 tie at Union on Nov. 3, 2001.
Bemidji State needed the late goal to overcome a furious third-period Charger rally, which saw the visitors net three goals in a span of just 7:53 to erase a 2-0 Beaver advantage.
“The effort wasn’t there,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “We were lucky and fortunate to get a point out of this game. To give up a 2-0 lead in your own house, it’s just disappointing. Give full credit to Huntsville. They dictated and played the style they wanted to play.”
Jared Ross got the rally started with his 16th goal of the season at 6:10 of the third. Taking advantage of a power-play opportunity after a slashing penalty to BSU’s Rob Sirianni, Ross took a pass from Jeremy Schreiber and Adam MacLean and fired a low shot on BSU goaltender Layne Sedevie. Sedevie appeared to make the save, but the puck was tipped into the air by Sedevie’s stick. It flipped over Sedevie’s head and into the net to get the Chargers on the board, 2-1. Charger goaltender Adam MacLean picked up an assist on the goal.
“Ross is a threat every time he’s on the ice,” Serratore said. “There’s no question he’s the best player we’ve seen this year.”
That goal turned the momentum squarely in Huntsville’s favor. The Chargers would pick up two more goals in the next eight minutes to erase the 2-0 deficit which had stood for the majority of the contest. Schreiber scored even-strength, his first of two goals during the rally, at 12:30 to even the score off helpers from Todd Bentley and Keith Rowe, then capped the flurry with his seventh lamp-lighter of the season at 14:07 to give the Chargers the lead.
Schreiber’s second goal came after a beautiful cross-ice pass from Ross, who finished with a goal and an assist.
Sedevie picked up the draw, and has been the goalie of record in all three BSU ties this season. He saved 27 of 30 shots faced to see his season record hold even at 4-4-3. Sedevie was very strong in the first two periods of play, saving all 19 shots he faced, but allowed three goals on just seven shots in the pivotal third period.
One of Sedevie’s four saves in the period was a highlight-reel goal line pad save on Bruce Mulherin which every Charger on the ice thought had scored. However, television replays showed the puck never crossed the goal line and it was the back of Sedevie’s stick which hit the net. Mulherin and one other Charger player went so far as to challenge the goal judge on the call afterwards before the officials sent them back to their bench.
Riley Riddell picked up his 12th goal of the season, unassisted, at 4:45 of the first to stake BSU to a 1-0 lead. It was the third time this season and seventh of his career Riddell has scored the game’s first goal. It was Riddell’s second unassisted goal this season and seventh of his career.
Brendan Cook then helped BSU take advantage of a power-play opportunity after Mulherin was whistled for tripping at 18:21 of the first period. He became the first player in BSU’s Division I era to score 20 goals in a season, taking helpers from Bryce Methven and Peter Jonsson to stake BSU to a 2-0 lead with his seventh power-play goal at 19:35. Cook’s seven power-play goals are just one shy of BSU’s Division I-era single-season record, held by Marty Goulet (2002-03) and Stefan Bjork (1999-00).
The tie marked the first-ever draw between Bemidji State and Alabama-Huntsville in the fifth overtime game between the long-time rivals. Huntsville still leads the all-time series, 21-8-1, although BSU is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings — its most-successful run in the history of the series.
The draw moves Bemidji State to 15-11-3 overall, 12-2-1 in College Hockey America play, while Huntsville moves to 10-11-4, 9-5-1 in CHA play. BSU’s lead over Niagara for first place in CHA was cut to one point tonight when the Purple Eagles defeated Air Force, 4-1. The Beavers and Chargers wrap up their series tomorrow night with opening face-off set for 7:05 p.m. Central time at BSU’s John Glas Fieldhouse.
“We still control our own destiny,” Serratore said. “We’ve just got to worry about beating them tomorrow.”