Bemidji State men's hockey: Beavers celebrate title in style, cap off regular season with win over Colonials
Bemidji State head hockey coach Tom Serratore said the Beavers wouldn't celebrate wining the College Hockey America regular season title unless they won Saturday night.
Well, the Beavers celebrated in style.
In a dominating special teams display, which saw the Beavers (16-15-1, 12-5-1 CHA) score six goals including three shorthanded and two on the power play, Bemidji State defeated visiting Robert Morris (9-18-7, 5-8-5 CHA) 6-4 at The Glas.
It was a highly emotional, wild and frantic game.
"The guys wanted to take a picture with the trophy pretty bad," Serratore reported. "The win was very important to our guys and they got it done. We're all drained."
The key to the game was a second period that almost defied description. Wow ... what a period. Now that was college hockey: 8 goals, five for BSU; nine penalties, 28 shots, short-handed goals, power play goals, a goalie replacement, controversial referee calls and 39 face offs - the second period had it all and more.
In capsule form, after Robert Morris had taken a 1-0 first period lead the Beavers scored five times to go ahead 5-4 in the second. Included in the five were a pair of short-handed goals, the Beavers first of the season, along with two on the power play. Robert Morris also scored three times with two on the power play.
BSU senior forward Tyler Scofield scored three of the Beaver goals and added an assist, vaulting him to the 100 point club in career scoring.
"That second period was insane," Serratore reported. "It was completely unpredictable - we just kind of let the guys go and hoped they ended up on top."
Scofield's first goal came on the power play at 2:23 of the second, tying the game at 1-1. Robert Morris came right back and scored just 23 seconds later to retake the lead as Chris Margott connected.
The Beavers answered by scoring a pair of goals in 1:03, the first on the power play from Matt Francis at 4:00. Just over a minute later, Scofield got his second on the night to make it 3-2 for BSU.
Freshman defender Brad Hunt started the play, flipping the puck high in the air from the RMU offensive zone. Scofield put on the jets and as Francis corralled the puck just across the blue line, created a 2 on 1 rush out of sheer determination. Francis hit Scofield with a perfect pass just outside the slot and Scofield buried it..
But things were far from over in the period.
The Colonials James Lyle scored a power play goal at 7:46 to tie it at 3-3. Margott added another power play goal just over two minutes later as RMU regained a one goal lead.
That's when the short-handed magic happened for the Beavers. Scofield completed his hat trick at 10:21, zipping a wrist shot past RMU goalie Brooks Ostergard, tying the game at 4-4.
That was it for the RMU freshman goalie who was yanked for Jim Patterson.
The Beavers greeted Patterson rudely, scoring another short hander about six minutes later. This one was all Matt Read as the BSU sophomore shot, got his own rebound and scored at 16:38 to make it 5-4 Beavers.
Read was lost for most of the third period when he was given a game misconduct with 47 seconds left in the second period.
But the Beavers dug deep in the third with their best player on the bench. They took it to the visitors down the stretch, out-shooting the Colonials 15-4. BSU iced the game with 1:03 remaining as freshman Ben Kinne scored an empty netter, this one short-handed as well, to make it 6-4.
The Beavers were able to control the third even while losing senior captain Travis Winter on a questionable checking from behind penalty at the 4:32 mark. RMU was also called for a 10 minute misconduct in the period as Kyle Burton was whistled for contact to the head elbowing.
Scofield ended the night with four points to give him 101 for his career at BSU.
"He's one of the most exciting players to ever put on a BSU jersey," Serratore reported. "He is so competitive and so much fun to watch. I really believe if he was 5-11 and weighed 180 pounds he'd make it in the National Hockey League."
It was also a fine win for senior goaltender Orlando Alamano. Making only his fifth start of the year and the first since January, Alamano ended making 20 saves, a couple of them key.
"The only thing I was thinking about was getting the win," he said. "This was a very important game for not only the seniors, but the entire team. I sure am glad (Scofield) had such a huge game."
The low key Scofield agreed the game was emotional and one the Beavers wanted to win a lot. Yet he was introspective after the game.
"I don't think we played too great defensively," he said. "Offensively we were o.k., but our defensive zone coverage wasn't quite there."
Serratore wasn't quite as harsh.
"It was an emotional win," he said. "We gave Alamano the game puck for all that he has been through and all that he's done for the program. It was a fantastic game -- you should have felt the emotion at ice level. It was unreal.
"For us to get three short-handed goals after we had a goose egg all year .. unbelievable."
The Beavers ended the night 2 for 6 on the power play with RMU 2 for 10. BSU held a 43-24 shot advantage.
The Beavers are now idle until hosting the CHA Tournament, Friday and Saturday. The tournament will kick off with Robert Morris facing Niagara at 2 p.m. Friday, followed by the Beavers and Alabama-Huntsville at 7 p.m.
The tournament third place game will take place Saturday at 2 p.m. with the championship set for 7 p.m.