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Jack Hittinger / Forum News Service, Published March 16 2013

Minnesota clinches series with Bemidji St.

MINNEAPOLIS – For the second straight night, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team gritted its teeth through a stressful third period.

And for the second straight night, it ended in heartbreak for the Beavers.

Despite leading Minnesota 2-0 in the second period, Bemidji State couldn’t contain the second-ranked Golden Gophers.

Ben Marshall scored the game-winning goal for Minnesota with 52.7 seconds to go in regulation to help the Gophers escape with the 4-3 win in their Western Collegiate Hockey Association first-round playoff game at Mariucci Arena.

Despite owning a 2-0 lead midway through the second period – Jordan George and Cory Ward each scored for BSU – the Beavers were unable to hold the lead thanks to two Gophers goals in the third frame. Minnesota wins the best-of-3 series 2-0.

The Beavers finish the season 6-22-8. Minnesota (26-7-5) advances to the Final Five next weekend in St. Paul, where it’ll get a first-round bye into the semifinals.

On Saturday night, BSU led 3-2 after two periods.

A.J. Michaelson scored the equalizer for the Gophers at the 7:38 mark of the third.

Marshall’s game-winner came just as it appeared that the Beavers would once again force overtime. He took a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated all the way in, backhanding the puck through Walsh’s

5-hole.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, BSU, George (Kinne, Illo) 16:49 (pp).

SECOND PERIOD: 2, BSU, Ward (Windle, Rendle) 9:27. 3, M, Bjugstad (Rau, Huala) 15:33 (pp). 4, BSU, Jubinville (Brewer, Orban) 15:47. 5, M, Condon (Huala, Budish) 18:54.

THIRD PERIOD: 6, M, Michaelson (Huala, Budish) 7:38. 7, M, Marshall 19:07.

SAVES: BSU, Walsh 37. M, Wilcox 19.


Hittinger writes for the Bemidji Pioneer