HOUGHTON, Mich. — The No. 16 Bemidji State Beavers (12-7-3 overall, 7-2-3 CHA) carried a 2-0 lead into the third period against the Michigan Tech Huskies (10-12-3 overall, 5-9-2 WCHA), but the Huskies managed three third-period tallies to skate away with the 3-2 victory and the sweep on home ice for the second time this season.
“I gave it to the guys between the second and third period,” said Huskies head coach Jamie Russell. “Getting that first one on the power play was a big lift on the bench emotionally.”
Huskies goaltender Rob Nolan was forced to come up big right off the bat, stopping senior center Ryan Miller just 33 seconds in. The Beavers would get three more shots through to Nolan before the Huskies even got the puck to junior goaltender Orlando Alamano of the Beavers.
The Beavers struck gold when junior forward Blaine Jarvis netted his eighth of the year at 6:30 of the opening frame. With the man advantage, Jarvis cut out from Nolan’s left, and fired a shot that found its way through Nolan and into the back of the net. Miller and freshman defenseman John Vadnais both assisted on the goal.
“The goal was to get a lead because Michigan Tech is hard to play against when they have the lead,” said Beavers head coach Tom Serratore.
The Huskies managed to give Alamano fits a few times as the period progressed. Assistant captain Tyler Skworchinski fired a shot from an impossible angle that Alamano nearly kicked in after the shot about 13 minutes in.
About two minutes later, sophomore center Ryan Angelow found a rebound on his stick off a shot from sophomore defenseman John Schwarz, but again Alamano was there to make the stop on both chances.
Junior center Matt Pope extended the Beaver lead to two in the second period after roofing a shot over Nolan’s outstretched glove hand. The goal, which came at the 5:22 mark of the period, was set up by freshman forward Joey Moggach, who fed Pope near the Husky net. Sophomore forward Matt Allen also assisted on the goal.
Junior center Peter Rouleau had the best chance for the Huskies to cut the Beaver lead to one, but Alamano was equal to the task with just under eight minutes left in the period.
With senior forward Shane Holman off for four minutes, the Huskies notched a power-play marker for the second time this weekend as Tyler Shelast got the Huskies on the board with a redirection just 40 seconds into the third. Junior forward Jimmy Kerr fed the puck out to co-captain Lars Helminen, whose shot from the blueline was tipped by Shelast.
“That power-play goal zinged us right away,” said Serratore.
Freshman center Alex Gagne, playing in his second game since the Great Lakes Invitational, evened the game for the Huskies when he and Rouleau broke in on an odd-man rush, and Gagne’s shot was knocked back into the net by Alamano. The goal, Gagne’s fourth of the year, was scored at the 7:27 mark of the period, with Helminen and Rouleau assisting.
“Our point of emphasis heading into the third period was getting the puck to the net,” said Russell.
The Huskies struck again at the 11:53 mark when Skworchinski lasered a wrist shot over Alamano’s shoulder, lifting the 2491 Husky faithful out their seats again. The Beaver defenders turned the puck over just inside their own blueline, and Skworchinski jumped all over the loose puck, cutting between the defensemen and firing the shot. The goal was Skworchinski’s seventh of the season.
“We were confident that if we could get one (goal), we could get another,” said Skworchinski. “I was playing that rink-wide pass, and I managed to pick it off and get a great shot on net.”
Nolan was forced to come up big for the Huskies in the last couple of minutes of the period as sophomore center Travis Winter got loose in front, but couldn’t bury the puck.
Serratore pulled Alamano with 57 seconds remaining, but the Beavers couldn’t really muster any constant pressure.
Both the Huskies and the Beavers finished the game one-for-four on the power play.
Nolan came up with 15 saves in his sixth win of the year, while Alamano stopped 22 in the loss, just his second on the season.
Both teams will face off against WCHA opponents next weekend, with the Beavers facing the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, and the Huskies traveling to face Alaska-Anchorage.
“We’ve got some momentum and some confidence heading up to Anchorage,” said Russell. “We’ve got to go up there and come away with some points.