- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Something about Bemidji State brings out the best in North Dakota sophomore Brock Boeser.

Boeser scored his third goal of the game on a penalty shot Friday as North Dakota rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Bemidji State 3-2 Friday in men’s college hockey.

It was Boeser’s second straight hat trick against the Beavers, who came into the game unbeaten.

“I knew if I kept getting chances that one would have to go in at some point,” Boeser said. “Luckily, I got some in there.”

At 12:52 of the third period and the game tied 2-2, Boeser had a breakaway and Bemidji State’s Leo Fitzgerald took a swipe from behind, making light contact with Boeser. Given a penalty shot, Boeser scored easily against goalie Michael Bitzer.

“Honestly, I didn’t even think it was a penalty,” Boeser said. “I was skating and turned around and saw the ref’s arm up, and I thought, ‘Oh geez.’”

Bitzer made 33 saves, while North Dakota goalie Cam Johnson made just 16. UND allowed just 18 shots. It has held all four opponents this season to less than 20 shots.

Eighteenth-ranked Bemidji State (4-1-0) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, prompting UND coach Brad Berry to call an early timeout.

“Obviously, we have a lot to work on,” Berry said. “It was a tale of two games. The first half of the game we were too slow. . We’ve got to play consistent for 60 minutes.”

BSU senior forward Phillip Marinaccio made North Dakota pay for a turnover at its own blue line. Marinaccio picked up the puck, skated down the right side and wristed a low shot past Johnson at 4:48 of the first period.

The Beavers made it 2-0 on Brett Beauvais’ goal at 9:19. The junior defenseman took a cross-ice pass at the top of the left circle and ripped a shot on goal. Johnson made a stop, but the puck trickled through past him into the net.

“When you play hard teams like Bemidji, you can’t play pretty. You have to play clean and we didn’t play clean in the first half,” Berry said.

Boeser started the comeback for UND (4-0-0) late in the second period on a 5-on-3 power play. Just 14 seconds into the power play, Boeser whipped in a wrist shot through traffic.

At 3:58 of the third period, Boeser scored again to tie the game. He surprised goalie Bitzer with a backhand shot from between the circles.

Despite several good scoring chances, Bemidji State was 0-for-7 on the power play.

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