March 15 , 2003
Bad day for byes in the CHA
Bemidji State, Wayne State will meet with automatic bid on the line

Wayne State 6,
Niagara 4
Team Goal Str
Time Assists

First Period

1-WS Marc St. Jean (6) PP
6:41 S. Kovalchik
Second Period
1-NIA Barret Ehgoetz (19) PP
13:44 J. Tallari
2-NIA Barret Ehgoetz (20) PP
14:51 J. Cross
3-NIA Brian Hartman (4) PP
16:11 Unassisted
Third Period
2-WS Dustin Kingston (16) PP
5:09 J. Durbin
3-WS Marc St. Jean (7) EV
9:37 N. Rosychuk, B. Collins
4-NIA Justin Cross (6) EV
12:33 C. Welch
4-WS Jon Brink (6) EV
15:27 M. St. Jean, N. Stodgell
5-WS Dustin Kingston (17) EV
19:11 J. Durbin, T. Kindle
6-WS Jason Durbin (12) EN
19:33 M. St. Jean
WS: David Guerrera, 60:00, 25 saves, 4 GA
NIA: Rob Bonk, 59:21, 35 saves, 5 GA; Jeff VanNynatten, 0:29, 0 saves, 0 GA
Penalties: WS 4/8; NIA 5/10
Power Plays: WS 2-5; NIA 3-4
Attendance: 1,161

By Nate Ewell

Bemidji State and Wayne State laid waste to the conference favorites in the CHA semifinals Saturday, setting up an unlikely matchup for Sunday's championship game and the conference's first automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

No one counted out the third-seeded Warriors and fourth-seeded Beavers entering this weekend's play in Kearney, Neb., but it is a bit surprising that neither Alabama-Huntsville nor Niagara could take advantage of their quarterfinal bye and reach the title game. Wayne State and Bemidji State fittingly, the two hottest teams in the conference took care of the top two seeds in two very different ways.

Wayne State's 6-4 win over Niagara was fueled by a five-goal third period for the Warriors. Equally important as their explosive offense was their ability to stay out of the penalty box; Niagara scored their first three goals on power plays, including two on five-on-threes.

Dustin Kingston had a pair of goals for Wayne State, including the game-winner at 19:11 of the third. Marc St. Jean scored his sixth and seventh goals of the year and chipped in a pair of assists.

Kingston's game-winner finished off a furious comeback in which the Warriors erased 3-1 and 4-3 deficits. They added an empty-net goal to seal the win.

In the nightcap, Bemidji State relied on its defense and goaltending to stun No. 1 Alabama-Huntsville, 2-1 in overtime.

Bemidji State 2,
Ala.-Huntsville 1 OT
Team Goal Str
Time Assists

First Period

1-BS John Haider (2) PP
12:27 A. Olsson, R. Riddell
Third Period
1-AH Jared Ross (21) PP
0:19 J. Schreiber
Third Period
2-BS Myles Kuharski (8) EV
12:30 J. Barnes
BS: Grady Hunt, 72:30, 32 saves, 1 GA
AH: Scott Munroe, 72:30, 19 saves, 2 GA
Penalties: BS 8/27; AH 5/10
Power Plays: BS 1-5; AH 1-8
Attendance: 1,468

Goaltender Grady Hunt was spectacular for the second straight night for the Beavers, stopping 32 shots and helping them overcome a 33-21 shot disadvantage.

Myles Kuharski scored the game-winning goal for Bemidji 12:30 into overtime, just after the Beavers had killed off an Alabama-Huntsville power play.

It marked the 15th overtime game of the season for Bemidji State, an NCAA record. The Beavers, 14-13-8 on the season, are 4-3-8 in those games.

Bemidji State, the fourth seed, is the lowest-seeded team to advance to a CHA championship game.

Bemidji State and Wayne State split their season series, 2-2-0, with each team sweeping on its home ice. The Beavers enter the title game on a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1), while the Warriors have won six in a row.

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