Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. New rules: Fans in Mankato, as well as both teams, got to experience the WCHA's new tiebreaking format on Friday night. Bemidji State came away with the 3-on-3 victory. Although the game officially went down as a tie after the first five-minute overtime, the Beavers got the extra point for the WCHA standings thanks to Charlie O'Connor's goal in the second session. Had no one scored in that five-minute, open-ice period, there would have been a shootout. "It was fun," BSU coach Tom Serratore said, "for the players and the fans."
2. What happened to the scoring? With one goal on Friday, the Mavericks have just four total over their last three games. Freshman forward Charlie Gerard scored his first career goal to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead, which they clung to until the Beavers tied it midway through the third period. Freshman Parker Tuomie had four shots on goal and also hit a post during a dominant first period in which MSU needed to get a second goal. Credit Bemidji State goalie Michael Bitzer, too, though as he came up big in the first period and in overtime when MSU had a 5-1 shot advantage.
3. All even: Both Bitzer and Mavericks goalie Jason Pawloski finished the game with 23 saves. It was a hard-ice game between the first- and second-place teams in the WCHA. “You know it’s going to be a real close game when you play these guys,” Mavericks coach Mike Hastings said. “It’s playoff-type hockey.” Said Serratore: “That was a game for the ages. It was an epic battle with no easy ice. It was like a heavyweight fight — punch and counterpunch.”
Read my game story here.
Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 6, Lake Superior State 1 ... Bowling Green 5, Northern Michigan 1 ... Alaska 3, Alabama Huntsville 3 (Alaska wins in 3x3) ... Penn State 6, Alaska Anchorage 3