PLYMOUTH, Mich. — The Bemidji State Beavers (6-3-0, 3-0-0 CHA) rolled to their fifth straight win as they climbed past the Wayne State Warriors, 3-1, at the Compuware Ice Arena in Plymouth on Monday night.
“Our guys are playing really well right now and they’re digging down deep,” said Beavers head coach Tom Serratore. “They’re playing with a lot of heart and I’m really proud of our effort right now.”
Bemidji’s special teams were the difference in beating the Warriors (7-5-1, 1-1-1 CHA) for the fifth straight time. They held WSU to an 0-6 effort on the power play while scoring two extra-man goals of their own.
“We’ve been doing a combination of things well on the power play in the last few games,” said Serratore. “We’ve also been getting good goaltending, rotating well and not giving backside shots up on the penalty kill.”
The Beavers showed no ill effects of playing their third road game in four days as they came out flying and held a 14-8 shooting edge after a scoreless first period.
Then, just seconds after a WSU penalty expired, Beaver defenseman John Haider floated a shot in from the blueline for the first goal of the contest at 5:05 of the second period.
The Beavers got their second goal from a blueliner when Peter Jonsson ripped a shot through the five-hole on a 5-on-3 power-play to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. The tic-tac-toe passing play was assisted by Luke Erickson and Haider at 16:25 and proved to be the eventual game winner.
“We didn’t look really tired and we just kept rolling,” said Haider. “We took two in Niagara and we were just trying to keep going from there. The wins just build more confidence in the guys.”
The Warriors finally cracked the scoring column when Stavros Paskaris ripped a slapshot into the top corner at 18:42 of the second period, but the goal was the only one to find its way past the Beavers’ Layne Sedevie in 26 chances.
“He’s been standing tall and playing well all weekend,” said Serratore.
The major blow to the Warriors’ efforts to tie the game was the Beavers killing off a five-minute major penalty to Jake Bluhm in the third period.
“That was huge,” said Warriors head coach Bill Wilkinson. “Anytime you get a chance to tie the game, maybe win the game with a power play, you have to do it. They did a great job killing power plays and they did the same thing at Niagara. They’re a solid team with good players, good goaltending and well coached.”
Matt Kelly helped cement his bid for the Warriors number-one goalie spot by stopping 41 of 43 shots.
The Beavers iced the game with a Brendan Cook empty-net power-play marker with just 41 seconds left, but also touched off some rough play after the light came on. Warriors freshman Tylor Michel rode Cook into the boards after the goal and was assessed a major for excessive roughness and a disqualification, barring him from Tuesday night’s finale with the Beavers.
Serratore also received a bench minor and game misconduct while protesting the play.
The Warriors and Beavers will conclude their two-game Battle O’ the Green with a 7:05 PM faceoff back at Compuware on Tuesday night.