BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Michigan Tech hockey team scored three goals in the third period—including the game-winner by Seamus Donohue with 90 seconds left—to defeat Bemidji State 5-3 Friday at the Sanford Center. The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three WCHA Quarterfinal series with the victory.
"Our guys found a way to get it done tonight," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "This isn't an easy rink to come into, and this is a good hockey team. We got a little bit of an advantage from those major penalties, and we capitalized in the third.
"We're a long way from where we want to be. We're still growing as a team. We have to stay mentally tough no matter what happens tomorrow, but it's really important for our program to win a playoff series."
Down 3-1 after a Beaver goal 3:18 into the second period, the Black and Gold buried four straight to take control of the game.
Jake Lucchini scored back-to-back power play goals to tie it up. He buried his 14th of the season with 3:17 left in the second to make it 3-2 when he fired in a wrist shot from the high slot through traffic. Mitch Reinke and Mark Auk assisted on the play.
Lucchini then tied it up with 6:41 remaining in the game, again on the power play, after a second 5:00 major was called on the home team. His pass over to Justin Misiak was deflected off a defenseman and back onto his stick, and he put it past a sliding Michael Bitzer. Coach Shawhan used his timeout moments before the goal.
"I felt like we were losing momentum, so I called that timeout and maybe that was just enough to rejuvenate our focus to tie it up," he said.
Donohue's game-winner was scored on a long wrist shot through traffic after Dylan Steman won the draw back. It was Donohue's third of the season.
"Seamus had a great shot just inside the post," added Shawhan. "We had a great angle from the bench. Bitzer never saw it."
Jake Jackson added an empty-netter from Lucchini and L'Esperance to put the game out of reach for the home team with 16.8 seconds left and the 5-3 lead. Jackson now has 10 goals on the season.
Tech outshot BSU 32-25 in the game, including a 14-2 advantage in the third period after the Beavers were whistled for four penalties, totaling over 13:00 of man advantage for the Huskies.
Hampus Sjödahl tied the game for BSU at the 10:51 mark of the first before Justin Baudry gave the home team the 2-1 lead with 2:19 left before the first intermission.
Brendan Harris scored the second straight power-play goal for the Beavers for the 3-1 lead 3:18 into the second.
Devin Kero stopped 22-of-25 shots for the Huskies, while Bitzer had 27 saves on 31 shots.
Reinke missed the last nine games and was one of four Huskies to have at least two points on the night. Lucchini had two goals and an assist while Auk, L'Esperance, and Reinke all tallied a pair of assists.
Tech improved to 18-15-5 on the season while Bemidji is now 16-13-8.
The two teams will continue the series at 8:07 p.m. Saturday for Game 2.