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MEN'S HOCKEY: Lake Superior State sweeps Bemidji State after tying goal is waved off

Bemidji State senior Jordan Heller (15) fires a shot toward the Lake Superior State goal in the first period of Saturday's game at the Sanford Center. Jillian Gandsey | Forum News Servide1 / 2
Bemidji State junior Dan Billett keeps the puck from Lake Superior State's Hampus Eriksson in Saturday's game at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn. Jillian Gandsey | Forum News Service2 / 2

BEMIDJI, Minn.—Aaron Miller appeared to have finally ended the Bemidji State men's hockey team's scoring drought in the third period Saturday night, Feb. 3. But it was not meant to be.

Officials overturned the goal and the Beavers suffered their second straight 2-0 defeat to Lake Superior State at the Sanford Center.

Miller's would-be tying goal was waved off upon review due to goalie interference with 9:52 left in regulation. The Beavers (14-10-6, 11-7-4-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) were on the power play at the time, but could not find an equalizer in the final minutes as the Lakers (8-20-4, 6-15-3-0 WCHA) left Bemidji with a sweep.

Despite outpacing their opponents 63-37 in shots on goal for the weekend, the Beavers could not crack the LSSU defense.

"We didn't score a goal on the weekend so we got what we got right there," BSU coach Tom Serratore said. "Last night, I wasn't happy with our performance even though we had our chances. But again, overall, I thought we were easy to play against last night.

"Tonight, shot attempts were 81-29 (in favor of BSU). We couldn't ask much more out of our guys than that.... Overall, as much as this stings, we played pretty good tonight."

Mareks Mitens earned the second shutout of the weekend for a Lakers goaltender. The freshman turned aside all 36 shots he faced.

"I thought he saw the puck awful well," Serratore said. "I thought he tracked the puck well. Hats off to him right there.... They did what they did last night—they simplified their game and they cleared pucks."

The first period came and went without a goal, though the Beavers held a decisive 13-3 advantage in shots on goal.

Only 1 minute, 14 seconds had elapsed in the second period when the Lakers rendered the difference in shots moot. Max Humitz scored on a redirect in front of Michael Bitzer for the 1-0 lead.

The Beavers kept hammering away at the LSSU netminder but entered the third period down a goal.

BSU had arguably its best power play of the night in the third when Miller's goal was waved off. The Beavers had multiple close calls on the man advantage, but went 0-for-5 on the power play, while the Lakers went 1-for-4.

Myles Fitzgerald went to the penalty box with 2:15 left, and Bitzer vacated his net for the extra attacker.

Diego Cuglietta tallied a power-play goal with 22 seconds left, shooting into the empty net to clinch the win.

The Beavers will attempt to put this weekend past them and head to Houghton, Mich., next weekend for an important WCHA series with Michigan Tech.

"We have to turn the page and we have to go get it done on the road right now," Serratore said.

Lake Superior State 2, Bemidji State 0

LSSU 0 1 1—2

BSU 0 0 0—0

First period—No scoring.

Second period—1, LSSU, Humitz (Saccoman, Miura), 1:14.

Third period—2, LSSU, Cuglietta (Torrel), 19:38, PP, EN.

Goaltending (Shots-Saves)—BSU, Bitzer (17-15); LSSU, Mitens (36-36).

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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