Final: Minnesota Duluth 1, Bemidji State 1, tie

BEMIDJI, Minn.  — Relatively little had gone right for Minnesota Duluth during its longest losing streak in seven years. Entering Saturday’s game against Bemidji State, the Bulldogs had been outscored 25-9 the previous six games, their power play was 3-of-31 (while opponents were 10-of-30) and UMD’s goaltenders had an .855 save percentage.     However, UMD found a bit of a silver lining in the rematch as senior captain Cody Danberg scored with 6:47 left in regulation play to salvage a 1-1 overtime tie in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s game before 3,370 fans at the Sanford Center. That left the Bulldogs (10-16-4, 8-12-4 WCHA) with a seven-game winless streak (0-6-1), yet the Bulldogs liked the outcome better than the alternative.“We battled hard the entire game and maybe deserved better than a tie, but it’s a whole lot better than coming here and getting nothing. It’s a step in the right direction,” said Danberg, who recorded his first goal of the season and first since Jan. 2, 2010 (he was injured most of the past two seasons).

Trailing 1-0 entering the third period, Danberg won a faceoff draw in the offensive zone. Winger Jake Hendrickson got a shot on goal, Bemidji State goalie Andrew Walsh allowed a rebound and Danberg backhanded the puck up and over Walsh. UMD had been 0-10 this season when trailing after two periods.

The Beavers (6-17-7, 5-13-6) had led on a second-period goal by defenseman Brady Wacker.

“That was one of the best third periods we’ve had this season (outshooting Bemidji State 16-6). We had a solid game all around,” said Hendrickson, a senior. “The monkey isn’t totally off our back, but it’s a start.”

Matt McNeely was in goal for UMD, which led 37-27 in shots on goal (although outshot 4-1 in the five-minute OT).

Six seconds after a Bemidji State power play ended, while still in possession of the puck, the Beavers connected on a Wacker shot from high in the slot. That came with 2:31 left in the second period to break a scoreless tie.

The Bulldogs had applied pressure in the period, outshooting Bemidji State 10-2 at one point, but there was no conversion.

The arena’s goal horn sounded twice in the first period, however there was no scoring in the opening 20 minutes. In one instance, the puck simply didn’t enter the net and in the second, with 2:02 left in the period, Bemidji State defenseman Jake Areshenko directed the puck in with a forearm, which isn’t allowed.

One statistic which had favored the Bulldogs during their losing streak was leading in shots on goal 203-172. UMD had 40 in Friday’s 4-2 loss.

“The way things have gone, it would’ve been easy for our guys to go the other way after we got behind,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “But they battled hard, grinded and battled. We finally got a goal and got a point.”

Danberg’s goal broke a stretch of 86 minutes in the series without scoring. And after being outscored 13-0 in the third period in six straight losses, the Bulldogs had a third-period goal.

Bemidji State was looking for its first series sweep of the season, but is now 1-9-4 the previous 14 games, breaking its longest winless streak in more than a decade Friday.

“This has been a tough stretch. It’s been a tough stretch for Duluth, too. It’s not fun. But it’s reality,” said Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore. “You just have to try and get out of that funk. We took a step this weekend. I’m proud of the guys. They played their hearts out for six periods and five minutes.”

The Bulldogs remain on the road this weekend against No. 2-ranked Minnesota.

Minnesota Duluth………… 0-0-1-0—1

Bemidji State………………. 0-1-0-0—1

First period — No scoring. Penalties — Adam Krause, UMD (cross-checking), 3:16; David Boehm, Bemidji State (tripping), 3:16; Tim Smith, UMD (cross-checking), 4:26; Ben Kinne, Bemidji State (interference), 13:37; Mike Seidel, UMD (slashing), 17:42; Jeff Jubinville, Bemidji State (slashing), 17:42; Jake Areshenko, Bemidji State (slashing), 17:58; Joe Basaraba, UMD (interference), 19:30.

Second period — 1. Bemidji State, Brady Wacker 3 (Aaron McLeod, Jordan George), 17:29. Penalties — Austyn Young, UMD (holding), 15:23.

Third period — 2. UMD, Cody Danberg 1 (Jake Hendrickson), 13:13. Penalties — Radoslav Illo, Bemidji State (cross-checking), 2:17.

Overtime — No scoring. Penalties —None.

Shots on goal — UMD 9-11-16-1—37, Bemidji State 8-9-6-4—27. Goalies — Matt McNeely (8-10-2), UMD (27 shots-26 saves); Andrew Walsh (5-10-5), Bemidji State (37 shots-36 saves). Power plays — UMD 0-of-3, Bemidji State 0-of-3. Referees —Tom Sterns, Chris Perrault. Linesmen — Andy Dokken, Justin Hills.  A — 3,370.

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