ANCHORAGE - Bemidji State's Brance Orban scored at 2:56 of the third period to lift the Beavers to a 5-4 win over Alaska Anchorage at the Sullivan Arena Saturday night in the WCHA regular-season ender for both squads.
The Seawolves, 9-23-2 overall, 5-22-1 in WCHA play, will travel to Minneapolis next week to meet WCHA regular-season champion Minnesota in a best-of-three WCHA first-round playoff series. It will be a rematch of last year's first-round series between the Seawolves and Gophers, which saw UAA sweep Minnesota and advance to the WCHA Final Five.
BSU, 17-16-3 overall and 11-14-3 in league play, wound up ninth and will meet North Dakota next week in it's WCHA first-round series.
The game marked the final home appearance for four seniors - forwards Curtis Leinweber and Jade Portwood, defenseman Brad Gorham and goalie Dusan Sidor. Sidor drew the starting nod in goal - just his second start ever and only his fourth appearance.
Jordan Kwas scored on UAA's first shot of the night at 4:22 of the first period on a backhander high to the stick side. Corbin Karl and Quinn Sproule were credited with assists on the play.
BSU's Shea Walters tied it at 1-1 on a goal just three minutes later at 7:18. But the Seawolves' Sam Mellor struck at 8:08 of the first and Jade Portwood just 37 seconds into the second to give UAA a 3-1 lead. At that point the Seawolves had scored three goals on just five shots on goal.
But in what would prove to a wild second period, Bemidji struck three more times - sandwiched around a goal by UAA's Corbin Karl - to tie the game at 4-4 heading into the final frame.
Bemidji outshot UAA, 28-22. BSU's Dan Bakala had 18 saves in picking up the win in goal. The Seawolves' Sidor was credited with 23 saves. BSU went 2-for-3 on the power play while UAA was 0-for-3.