BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — New North Dakota hockey coach Brad Berry still hasn’t lost a game, but he’s only won one of three after Friday’s 4-4 tie with Bemidji State.
Gerry Fitzgerald’s goal late in the third period lifted Bemidji State to a tie with top-ranked North Dakota. It was the second straight game in which UND failed to hold a lead and settled for a draw.
“We did the things we wanted to do to start the game,” Berry said. “We got a two-goal lead, but we didn’t manage the puck after that.”
Fitzgerald’s goal at 14:35 against backup UND goalie Matt Hyrnkiw completed the Beavers’ second comeback from a two-goal deficit.
Graeme McCormack scored two of Bemidji State’s three power-play goals. Kyle Bauman’s second-period goal also came on a man advantage for the Beavers (1-0-1).
Bemidji State scored on three of five power plays.
“We can’t take undisciplined penalties and when you do you gotta win faceoffs and when you don’t win faceoffs you’ve gotta block shots. There’s two or three things that lead to goals on your penalty kill. We can’t have that,” Berry said.
North Dakota (1-0-2), which earned the No. 1 ranking this week, raced out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Johnny Simonson at 2:09 of the first period and Bryn Chyzyk at 8:34.
After McCormack and Bauman scored to tie it, UND raced back on top on goals by Luke Johnson and Austin Poganski to go ahead 4-2 at 15:06 of the second period.
Michael Bitzer made 28 saves for Bemidji State.
UND starting goalie Cam Johnson had six saves in two periods before leaving with an injury. He was replaced in nets by Hrynkiw, who was making his UND debut.
The junior had never appeared in anything but exhibition games. He allowed a goal on the second shot he faced, just five seconds into a power play but he recovered to make 10 saves in the third period.
“He made a couple of huge saves late in the game that could have cost us. He did a good job,” Berry said.
“We haven’t lost a game this year,” Berry said, “but we have to learn to close things out.”
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