Bemidji State men’s hockey team loses to Miami 3-2, leave Ohio with split in season-opening series

The Bemidji State men’s hockey team lost to Miami 3-2 Saturday night at Steve Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio to leave the weekend series with a split.

Matt Tomassoni scored two goals including the short-handed, game winner for the No. 2 ranked RedHawks with 4:55 left in the third period.

“They were the better team in the third period tonight and we had a chance at the end with the power play,” Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said. “We put ourselves in position to win and we let it slip away.”

Shea Walters and Jordan George scored both of Bemidji State’s goals in the second period. BSU goalie Dan Bakala finished with 23 saves. Miami replaced Friday starter Cody Reichard with Connor Knapp and he had 19 saves.

The Beavers (1-1) remain on the road next weekend to face Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo. Friday and Saturday. The Tigers are ranked No. 7 in the national poll and the series will mark the Western Collegiate Hockey Association opener for both teams.

Miami scored first Saturday at 8:06 of the first period by converting on a turnover inside the BSU defensive zone. Tomassoni scored for the RedHawks on a cross-ice pass from Austin Czarnik for the 1-0 lead.

Bemidji State answered with the next two goals.

Walters scored four minutes into the second period on the power play. Brance Orban’s shot deflected off a defenseman’s leg and out to Walters, who was in front of the net to put back the shot.

Jordan George put the Beavers ahead 2-1 in the middle of the period. Ben Kinne’s rebound kicked out to George between the circles and he finished the play.

Miami scored the last goal of the period and tied the game two minutes later when the Beavers fell into penalty trouble. With Radoslav Illo and Jake Areshenko in the penalty box, Miami’s Chris Wideman scored on a slap shot from the blue line on the five-on-three power play.

Miami showed its offensive skill in the third period and outshot the Beavers 13-6. But the RedHawks did not score on an early power play in the period and neither team converted during a 1:55 stretch of four-on-four play.

BSU was unable to replicate the offense from the third period of Friday’s 5-3 win.

BSU defenseman Matt Prapavessis slipped at the Miami blue line during a power play trying to keep the puck in the zone and the following play resulted in Miami’s game-winning goal.

Trent Vogelhuber was there to take the puck, skate down the ice and put the initial shot on Bakala. Tomassoni scored on the rebound and the play stood under video review.

“I thought it was a clean goal,” Serratore said. “They had sustained pressure in the third period, they got it deep and they work low very well. They had a lot of desperation in their game in the third period.”

Scoring Summary

BSU 0 2 0 – 2
MU 1 1 1 – 3

First period – 1, MU, Tomassoni 1 (Czarnik), 8:06.
Second period – 2, BSU, Walters 1 (Orban, Hunt), 4:03, (pp). 3, BSU, George 1 (Kinne, Hunt), 10:20. 4, MU, C. Wideman (A. Wideman, Coleman), 12:10, (pp).
Third period – 5, MU, Tomassoni 2 (Vogelhuber, Cameron), 15:05, (sh).
Shots on goal – BSU, 10-5-6-21. MU, 6-7-13-26.
Goalies – BSU, Bakala (26-23). MU, Knapp (21-19).
Power Plays – BSU, 1-for-4. MU, 1-for-4.

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.