Notre Dame-Bemidji State: Fighting Irish Fail to Come Up with Plays

Brit Milazzo@@M11azzoCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2009

DENVER - APRIL 10:  Goaltender Jordan Pearce #1 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defends the goal against the Boston College Golden Eagles in the 2008 NCAA Frozen Four Men's Ice Hockey National Championship at the Pepsi Center on April 12, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. Boston College defeated Notre Dame 4-1 in the championship.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Notre Dame found itself on the wrong end of the puck, as the Irish fell behind Bemidji State on a strange goal less than two minutes into the game on Saturday in the, 5-1, loss in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Irish (31-6-3) were making their third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship and fourth in program history, however, for the second time, Notre Dame was eliminated in its first game despite out shooting their opponents 34-14.

The first Bemidji goal wound up setting the tone for the entire evening.

The Beavers dumped the puck behind the Irish net, past goaltender Jordan Pearce.

The Beavers (19-15-1) hit off three of their seven first-period shots in the opening five minutes.

The Irish got an early power play chance at 4:52 when Bemidji's Chris Peluso was sent off for slashing junior right wing Ryan Thang, but had a failed attempt on their first shot.

The Irish had a golden opportunity, as sophomore left wing Calle Ridderwall skated to the bottom of the right circle and whipped a tape-to-tape pass to freshman right wing Billy Maday, but the puck deflected off the right post.

The Irish came out in the second and got a pair of good chances six minutes in the period, when Cole and senior center Christian Hanson both got their sticks on the puck during a goalmouth scramble.

Seconds later, Regan was hooked by BSU's Ryan Adams, putting Notre Dame back on the power play, but again suffered another failed attempt.

Bemidji then got another goal just past the midway point of the second period.

Ben Kinne took a shot from up top that flew through a crowd and got by Pearce for a 3-0 lead.

Notre Dame kept up the pressure.

The teams then traded penalties late in the period, with Maday going off for interference (17:58) and then BSU's Cody Bostock getting whistled for holding with 1.7 seconds to go, giving the Irish a power play to start the third period.

With momentum seeming to turn towards Notre Dame, Bemidji came up with a backbreaking tally, as Scofield poked the puck out of the Irish offensive zone, 49 seconds into the third period for a 4-0 lead.

Irish defenseman Brett Blatchford came over the blue line, dropped a pass to sophomore right wing Ryan Guentzel, who passed a pass from the right circle to junior left wing Dan Kissel on the left side shot it past BSU goaltender.

It marked Kissel's sixth goal of the season.

Just a minute later, BSU's Matt Francis was set to the box on a holding penalty, putting the Irish on their fourth power play, but, again, Notre Dame wasn't able to capitalize and gave up a Beavers goal to finish that game 5-1 at the 17 minute mark.

Pearce finished with 14 saves in his final college game, while Dalton was credited with 34 saves in the Bemidji net.

With the win, the Beavers advanced to the NCAA Midwest Regional final on Sunday night against third-seeded Cornell.

Britney Milazzo is a Contributor for Bleacher Report.