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Lakers leave Bemidji with 3-2 loss to No. 13-ranked BSU

Photo courtesy Jodie Defiel
Photo courtesy Jodie Defiel

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Lake Superior State fell 3-2 at Bemidji State Saturday (Dec. 10) in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series finale. The loss leaves the Lakers 8-9-1 overall, 5-8-1-0 in WCHA play, and three points ahead of Alaska for seventh place in the WCHA standings.

Gage Torrel opened the scoring 23 seconds into the game, swatting a rebound past Michael Bitzer created by a shot from sophomore forward Jake Hand. Hand made a strong move behind the net, shrugging off a pair of defenders and getting a shot in tight to assist on Torrel's goal.

The Beavers came to life following the Lakers' opening goal, controlling the offensive play and outshooting the Lakers 16-5 in the first frame.

Brendan Harms and Nate Arentz netted goals 40 seconds apart midway through the first period to quickly stun the Lakers and take a 2-1 lead.

Eight penalties called during the second period slowed the pace of play considerably, however both teams scored once in a piece in the period.

Jay Dickman put the Beavers ahead 3-1 with a power play goal, 10:53 into the second period, using his large 6-6 frame to wrap around the net and flip it over the out-stretched Gordon Defiel.

Mitch Hults then made it a one-goal affair with 4:23 remaining in the middle frame. Hults picked a loose puck from a Beavers defenseman's feet and went from backhand to his forehand before flicking the puck over Bitzer's glove. Defensemen Aidan Wright (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) and Owen Headrick (Garden River, Ont.) picked up the assists on Hults' goal.

The second period power play marker by Dickman would stand as the game winner with neither team finding the back of the net in the final 20 minutes of regulation.

BSU outshot LSSU 32-15 as Defiel made 29 saves in moving to 8-8-1 on the season. The Beavers' Michael Bitzer needed to make just 13 saves to secure his 40th career victory and now boasts a 13-4-2 record on the 2016-17 campaign.

The Lakers next play Dec. 30-31, on the road at Nebraska Omaha to close out the season's first half.