Big 3rd gives Tech Game 1 win over Bemidji State

Michigan Tech senior Mark Auk (12) drives the puck away from the Tech net in the second period of the WCHA quarterfinal game Friday against Bemidji State at the Sanford Center in Bemidji. (Bemidji Pioneer/Jillian Gandsey)

BEMIDJI — Michigan Tech (18-15-5) scored three unanswered goals in the third period to complete a comeback win over Bemidji State (16-13-8) 5-3 in Game 1 of a WCHA best-of-three series, Friday in Bemidji.

Freshman Seamus Donohue scored the game-winner with 1:30 left in the contest, and Jake Jackson sealed the game on an empty-net goal with 16 seconds to play.

“I feel we’re very fortunate to come out with the result we came out with,” coach Joe Shawhan said. “Bemidji was in good control of the game. I think they were executing what they wanted to execute. Things were going well and we got some breaks and fortunate enough for us we were able to take advantage of them.”

Tech held the shot advantage at 32-25, and both teams scored two power-play goals.

Tech took a 1-0 lead in the first when Joel L’Esperance and Mitch Meek connected with Gavin Gould for the sophomore’s 13th goal of the season.

Then, Bemidji ended the period by scoring two goals — one from Hampus Sjodahl and another from Justin Baudry — to take a 2-1 lead.

Bemidji State’s Brendan Harris and Tech’s Jake Lucchini each scored in the second before Tech’s monster third period secured the win.

Tech’s Devin Kero had 25 saves, while Michael Bitzer of Bemidji had 31.

The two teams play again today at 7:07 p.m. for Game 1 of the series.

Shawhan said he is happy to go into the contest up 1-0 in the series.

“It beats the alternative,” he said. “It’s a hard place to play. This is a tremendous hockey team Bemidji is … We still showed resiliency in the game and we still had to find a way at the end. It was a 3-3 game and we had to find a way to make something happen 5-on-5 at the end. We’ll get to work. You enjoy it for a short time. We’ll try to get ready to hopefully have a better effort tomorrow night. We know that Bemidji will come out with everything they have.”

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