BEMIDJI, Minn. – The No. 20-ranked Michigan Tech hockey team fell 4-2 at Bemidji State Friday (Feb. 3) night. The Huskies twice took the lead but the Beavers came back both times and scored three goals in the third period to secure the win at the Sanford Center
"With a game of this magnitude, and this importance, for us to let them sneak back in and take it was disappointing," Tech coach Mel Pearson said. "They (Bemidji State) weren't very good tonight, but they found a way to capitalize on their chances and win the game."
Bemidji (17-11-3, 17-4-2-2 WCHA) tied it up five minutes later on a bouncing shot that found its way past Angus Redmond. Mike Soucier scored with assists to Jordan Heller and Dan Billett.
Cliff Watson scored the only goal of the second period with another one-timer from the blue line. Reinke had the pass and Michael Neville won the draw to pick up the assists on the captain's second of the season.
Soucier again tied it up for the home team 3:45 into the third. Leo Fitzgerald scored the go-ahead goal 2:07 later, and Kyle Bauman sealed the win with an empty net tally with 60 seconds left.
Leibinger had the two best scoring chances for the Huskies in the third. He redirected Roy's shot moments after the Beavers' third goal that Bitzer had to steer away. Leibinger also jammed at the puck in front of Bitzer with 4:00 left after Gavin Gould stole the puck behind the net and fed it out front.
Redmond was pulled with 1:50 left to add the extra attacker. The Huskies controlled the puck but never got a shot off before the empty net goal.
Tech outshot BSU 35-19 with 13 in the first, 14 in the second, and eight in the third. Redmond had 15 saves and Bitzer finished with 33.
Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play.
Tech falls to 16-9-8 overall and 13-4-6-3 in the WCHA, snapping a seven-game unbeaten streak and nine-game WCHA unbeaten streak. The Huskies now trail the Beavers by seven points in the league standings.
"This series isn't going to define our year," added Pearson. "We've put ourselves in position to play for first place and that's not over. If we want any chance of trying to keep the MacNaughton Cup we have to find a way to win tomorrow's game."
Despite the loss, Tech clinched home ice for the first round of the playoffs for the third year in a row. The WCHA Quarterfinals will be a best-of-three series on March 3-5. Ticket information will be released soon.