BEMIDJI — It seemed unlikely the Minnesota State men’s hockey team would make it a whole season without losing a WCHA game.
After an amazing 11-game winning streak in conference games to start the season, the bubble has finally burst.
In a back-and-forth contest, the Mavericks fell 4-3 to Bemidji State in overtime Saturday night at the Sanford Center. The Mavericks beat the Beavers 4-3 in overtime Thursday in the first game of the home-and-home series.
“Any time of the year we’re playing Bemidji, it’s an absolute battle,” Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings said in a phone interview. “More often than not, it’s a one-goal game, and tonight was no different.”
After MSU controlled play in the opening minutes of overtime, Bemidji State’s Lukas Sillinger made a great line rush before eventually finding Ross Armour for an easy tap-in at 2:27.
Coming into the weekend, the MSU power play ranked second in the nation, but it was the Beavers’ power play that made an impact Saturday.
The Beavers got on the board first with a power-play goal at 4:00 of the first period, and made it 2-1 with a second power-play goal at 6:11 of the second period.
In the game, Bemidji State went 2 for 5 on the power play, while the Mavericks were 0 for 2.
“Their power play was threatening, and ours wasn’t up to where it needed to be,” Hastings said. “That was the difference in tonight’s game.”
The Mavericks took a 3-2 lead in the opening minute of the third period when Walker Duehr scored on assists from Julian Napravnik and Jack McNeely, but the Beavers quickly answered. Ethan Somoza tied the game at 3:41, and that score held into overtime.
For MSU, Brendan Furry and Reggie Lutz also scored. Julian Napravnik had two assists. The Mavericks also had two goals waved off after video review.
Shots on goal favored MSU 27-23. Dryden McKay made 19 saves.
The Mavericks (16-3-1, 11-1 in WCHA) host Michigan Tech in a WCHA series Friday and Saturday at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center.
“I think they’re playing as well or better than anyone in our league right now,” Hastings said of Tech.
Follow Kevin Dudley on Twitter @Dudley7Kevin