MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Zach Driscoll posted a 21-save shutout as the No. 16 Bemidji State men’s hockey lit up No. 19 Northern Michigan for five goals in a 5-0 victory Friday night, Feb. 14.
The win moved the Beavers (17-8-4, 17-4-2-1 WCHA) 10 points ahead of the Wildcats (16-11-4, 14-8-1-1 WCHA) for second place in the league standings. They also crept within eight points of idle Minnesota State for first place in the race for the MacNaughton Cup.
Adam Brady notched a pair of power-play markers only 38 seconds apart during a five-minute major to lead BSU in the goal-scoring department, in addition to assisting on another. Owen Sillinger also finished three points by picking up three helpers, including on Brady’s goals.
Aaron Miller scored from the slot for the game’s opening goal just past the midpoint in the first period.
Seconds earlier, Miller kept the play alive and saved BSU from an icing call as he got a piece of the puck while jumping over the boards to join the attack. About 13 seconds after his quick-thinking move, he lit the lamp for his 12th goal of the season.
Stationed by the left post, Charlie Combs tapped in Sillinger’s pass across the low slot for the Beavers’ second goal in barely three minutes, giving the team a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.
Brad Johnson fired a shot through traffic off a faceoff win to extend the lead to 3-0 at 8:05 of the second period.
NMU blueliner Hank Sorensen was assessed a five-minute major for contact to the head after laying a hard hit on Hampus Sjödahl. Bemidji State made the Wildcats pay doubly on the ensuing power play.
Brady buried a shot past Nolan Kent for his first power-play goal, chasing the netminder as Kent made way for John Hawthorne.
Brady greeted the new goaltender by burying his second power-play tally in 38 seconds, bringing the game to its final score. The senior is now up to a team-leading 14 goals, nine of which have come on the man advantage, also a team high.
The BSU penalty kill held NMU scoreless on its one power-play chance.
Driscoll made 21 saves en route to his third shutout of the season. Kent tallied 16 saves before he was removed for Hawthorne, who finished with 10 stops.
Junior center Brendan Harris returned to the lineup after missing 26 games since suffering an injury during the Beavers’ second game of the season Oct. 12. Sophomore forward Nick Cardelli was held out of the lineup after getting injured in the Feb. 1 game against Bowling Green.
Bemidji State will look to complete the series sweep Saturday, with opening faceoff in the weekend finale set for 5:07 p.m.
No. 16 Bemidji State 5, No. 19 Northern Michigan 0
BSU 2 3 0 -- 5
NMU 0 0 0 -- 0
First period -- 1, BSU, Miller (Somoza), 10:57; 2, BSU, Combs (Sillinger, Ierullo), 14:07.
Second period -- 3, BSU, B. Johnson (Armour, Brady), 8:05; 4, BSU, Brady (Sillinger), 14:18, PP; 5, BSU, Brady (Rosén, Sillinger), 14:56, PP.
Third period -- No scoring.
Goalies (saves-shots) -- BSU, Driscoll (21-21); NMU, Kent (16-20), Hawthorne (10-11).