HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Bemidji State and Alabama-Huntsville combined for three goals in the first 15:53 of the contest, then became deadlocked in a defensive struggle which saw Alabama-Hunstville hold on for a 2-1 victory in College Hockey America play. The win helped break a deadlock atop the CHA standings and move the Beavers two points behind the Chargers for the conference lead.
BSU trailed, 2-1, at the first intermission despite outshooting the Chargers by an 18-7 margin. A cross-checking penalty to Huntsville’s Mike Salekin at 3:06 of the first led to the game’s opening goal. The Chargers opened scoring by picking up an unassisted shorthanded goal from Bruce Mulherin at 3:44. It marked the sixth shorthanded goal allowed by BSU in its last 12 contests.
Six seconds after the Salekin penalty expired, BSU evened the score at a goal apiece. Tyler Scofield picked up his third goal of the season with assists from Matt Pope and Riley Weselowski. Pope extended his personal scoring streak to a career-high five games, while Weselowski pushed his scoring streak to three games.
It was the only goal BSU would see in the contest. The Chargers recaptured the lead, 2-1, on a Chris Martini even-strength marker 10 minutes later, and would win a defensive battle in the game’s final two periods and eke out the victory.
Sophomore goaltender Matt Climie saw his four-start unbeaten streak come to an end. He saved 30 shots, including 11-of-11 in the second period and 14-of-14 in the third, and allowed only the two first-period goals to take the hard-luck loss. He saw his season record fall to 5-6-2, as the defeat marked third time this season Climie has allowed just two goals and lost. It also marked the fourth time he has received two goals or less of support from the BSU offense.
Scott Munroe out-duelled Climie, posting 33 saves, including 16-of-16 in the second and third periods, to improve to 12-6-2.
True to form, the Beavers and Chargers played a penalty-riddled contest which featured numerous scuffles. BSU was hit for nine minor penalties for 18 minutes, while the Chargers drew 14 minors for 28 minutes – the second-most penalties this season by a BSU opponent. Three players drew roughing minors at 14:50 of the second period, leading to a BSU power play; two Chargers drew penalties with 52 seconds to play in the second leading to another BSU power-play chance, and a total of five penalties were issued during a fracas around the BSU net at 16:28 of the third.
The Beavers went 0-for-11 on the power play, tying a Division I-era record for worst single-game power-play performance, against a Charger penalty-killing unit which entered the game ranked 47th in the nation. It matched an Oct. 28, 2000 game at Alabama-Huntsville, which also saw the Beavers go 0-for-11 with the man advantage, and marks just the third time since 1999 the Beavers have failed on 10 power-play chances in a single contest.
The Chargers went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
BSU’s lone goal tied its single-game season low, set on five previous occasions. The Beavers have been held to one goal five times in their last 12 starts dating back to a 2-1 loss to Lake Superior State on Dec. 9, 2005.
The loss dropped BSU to 12-24-1 in its all-time series with Alabama-Huntsville and snaps a two-game Beaver winning streak in the series. The Beavers are 4-16-0 all-time against the Chargers in Huntsville, Ala.; BSU had won two of its last three games played at the Von Braun Center.
BSU saw its season record fall to 13-9-3 with tonight’s loss and dropped to 8-4-1 for 17 points in CHA play. Alabama-Huntsville improves to 13-8-2 overall and 9-3-1 for 19 points in CHA play. The teams wrap up their two-game series tomorrow with a 4:05 p.m. afternoon start at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala.