Alex Berg | Sports Editor | 2-27-2012
“It stinks getting swept at home,” Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said. “It hasn’t happened to us all year and we had the best home record in the WCHA coming into this weekend.”
Wisconsin, who made its first visit to the Sanford Center, is now 5-0 against BSU in the Serratore era.
“They have all been close games,” Serratore said, “Give them credit for fighting hard and finding a way to get it done.”
The Beavers got on the board first on Friday thanks to a late first period goal from junior defenseman Jake Areshenko. Shea Walters picked up his 11th assist of the year on the play.
The Badgers responded with a huge second period. They scored three goals from Frankie Simonelli, Justin Schultz, and Michael Mersch to take a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.
Jamie MacQueen scored his third goal of the season in the first two minutes of the third period to cut the Wisconsin lead in half. The goal was reviewed by the officials, but it stood. Ben Kinne and Jeff Jubinville assisted on the goal.
John Ramage added an empty-net goal in the final minute to secure the 4-2 win for the Badgers.
Wisconsin goaltender Landon Peterson made 28 shots on the night.
BSU senior goaltender Dan Bakala stopped 22 shots on the night.
Kinne got the Beavers on the board first again on Saturday with a goal midway through the first period. Walters and Brad Hunt assisted on the goal.
The Badgers countered with a goal early in the second period from Brad Navin to tie the game.
Five minutes later, BSU got its second power play goal of the night on a shot from junior forward Jordan George. The goal was George’s 16th of the year.
“I thought the power play was good,” Hunt said. “We got two goals off of it.”
Hunt and Walters assisted again on the goal.
Wisconisn tied the game late in the period on a goal from Sean Little. The goal was Little’s first of the season.
The score remained tied at two goals each heading into the third period.
Schultz scored a power play goal early in the third period to give Wisconsin a 3-2 lead.
“We spent too much time in the penalty box tonight,” Serratore said. “It was hard to get into a rhythm.”
The Beavers spent 23 minutes in the penalty box on their six penalties.
Wisconsin got an empty-net goal with exactly a minute left to send the Beaver fans home disappointed again.
Goaltender Joel Rumpel made 21 saves for the Badgers in the win.
Bakala turned away 31 shots for BSU.
The wins were rare road wins for the Badgers, who entered the weekend with just a 1-8-1 road record this season.
“It’s really tough, especially in front of our own fans,” Hunt said. “Getting swept is never easy. We just need to forget about it and go into Anchorage and finish the season off on a high note.”
“It is playoff hockey right now,” Hunt said. “Every team needs to win these games and that was expected.”
Bemidji State (15-16-3; 9-14-3 WCHA) will finish its regular season this weekend with a road series against Alaska-Anchorage.
“We dug our own hole,” Serratore said. “Now we just have to regroup.”