DULUTH, Minn. — Michael Bitzer turned aside a season-high 35 shots and Phillip Marinaccio supplied the offense as No. 15 Bemidji State went on the road to earn a 1-1 tie at top-ranked Minnesota Duluth on Friday. Freshman Zach Whitecloud scored in the first minute of 3-on-3 play to earn bragging rights heading into the non-conference series finale.
FINAL: (unofficially) BSU 2 UMD 1. Beavers win in 3v3 OT #RoadWarriors— Bemidji St. MHockey (@BSUBeaversMHKY) December 17, 2016
The Beavers went toe-to-toe with the No. 1 Bulldogs during the first period. Marinaccio put the Beavers on top at the 15:30 mark of the first period, netting his seventh goal of the season during BSU's third power play of the night. Brendan Harms and Jay Dickman were credited with assists on the play.
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After a scoreless second period that saw the Beavers snuff out three UMD power-play opportunities, the Bulldogs would scratch their way back into the game at the 6:23 mark of the third. Parker Mackay was credited with the goal after it was deflected out of a scrum in front of the net and past Bitzer.
The Beavers' junior goaltender backstopped a BSU penalty-kill that held the top-ranked Bulldogs scoreless on five man advantage opportunities.
Tied at the end of regulation, the teams played a scoreless five-minute overtime period split the game, force a 3-on-3 exhibition and set up Whitecloud's heroics. In a NCHC or WCHA game, an extra point in the standings would be up for grabs in the 3-on-3 play or ensuing shootout, but in non-conference play the extra play stands as an exhibition.
Officially in the books as a tie, the Beavers are now unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Bulldogs (4-0-1) and move to 3-12-2 versus the nation's No. 1 team since making the jump to the NCAA Division I level for the 1999-2000 season.
The Beavers (13-5-3) and Bulldogs (11-3-3) will attempt to settle the series Saturday when they travel to Bemidji, Minnesota, and Sanford Center for a 7:07 p.m. CT opening faceoff.