Bemidji State ties with Nebraska-Omaha in men's hockeyThe Bemidji State men’s hockey team and No. 11 Nebraska-Omaha traded goals and skated to a 2-2 overtime tie Friday night at the Qwest Center.
By: Eric Stromgren, Bemidji Pioneer
BEMIDJI - The Bemidji State men’s hockey team and No. 11 Nebraska-Omaha traded goals and skated to a 2-2 overtime tie Friday night at the Qwest Center.
Radoslav Illo and Ryan Cramer scored for the Beavers, and Matt Ambroz scored two quirky goals for the Mavericks in the fast-paced game.
“It was just a heck of a hockey game – nobody deserved to lose that sucker,” Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said. “I can’t say enough about what an entertaining game. It would have been nice to win that game but both teams deserved a point.”
The Beavers (8-11-2 overall, 4-9-2 WCHA) and the Mavericks (12-7-2 overall, 9-4-2 WCHA) wrap up the weekend series Saturday at 7:07 p.m.
The two teams traded scoring chances throughout the night and the Beavers killed four of the five power plays it faced in the game through the first two periods.
Omaha outshot the Bemidji State 32-26 in the game. Bemidji State goalie Dan Bakala had 30 saves and Omaha goalie John Faulkner had 24 saves.
The first period was fast and physical.
Bemidji State scored first on a play that started with Cramer pinned along the backboards behind the Omaha net. He centered a quick pass to Illo in front of Faulkner and he slapped the one-timer through for the goal 6:14 into the game.
Ambroz, UNO’s leading goal scorer, answered seven minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. Bakala made the initial save on Rich Purslow’s shot, but Ambroz followed the rebound behind the goal line, spun around and banked a low shot off Bakala’s leg into the net.
Omaha defenseman Tony Turgeon checked BSU’s Aaron McLeod at the red line late in the first period and was ejected from the game on a contact to the head major penalty and a game misconduct.
It gave the Bemidji State a power play to close the first period and open the second period, but the Beavers were unable to convert the opportunity into a goal.
Bemidji State had trouble generating scoring opportunities in the second period and was outshot 8-4.
Ambroz scored his second of the game and 12th of the season 6:55 into the second period on the power play. He redirected a centering feed from Purslow and the shot had enough power on it to skip off BSU defenseman Matt Carlson’s stick at the crease and over Bakala’s glove.
The goal gave UNO a 2-1 lead and BSU needed to kill only one power play the rest of the game as no penalties were called in the third period or overtime.
Cramer saved a tough second period for the Beavers when he skated in all alone on Faulkner, moved the puck to his backhand and lifted a hard shot over Faulkner’s glove to even the score at 2-2 with 3:52 to play.
McLeod sprung Cramer at the blue line with a crisp pass and the goal was Cramer’s first of the season.
Both teams played an even third period with shots tied at 10-10 as Bakala and Faulkner traded saves.
McLeod and Drew Fisher produced the best chances for the Beavers late in the third period. Omaha recorded the only two shots on goal in the overtime period.