Bemidji State men's hockey: Mankato uses power play to complete sweep of No. 4 Beavers
Two games, two major penalties, two losses...
That was the formula at the John Glas Fieldhouse as visiting Minnesota State, Mankato completed the weekend sweep with a 3-2 victory over the Beavers.
For the second straight night the Beavers (13-4-1, 8-0-0 CHA) were whistled for a major penalty, but this time the infraction carried with it a game misconduct. As a result, BSU sophomore defenseman Brad Hunt was lost for the game just 10 seconds into the second period.
The Mavericks (9-8-1, 5-8-1 WCHA) scored just one goal on the major, as opposed to three the night before. But it was enough to take a lead the victors wouldn't relinquish.
Mankato scored what turned out to be the game winner at 7:34 of the third. The Beavers then pulled the goalie for an extra attacker with about three minutes remaining and generated a goal to make it a one goal game with 2:03 remaining. But that was as close as the Beavers would get as Mankato posted its first sweep of the season.
"I was very proud of our effort and the way we played," said Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore. "We played well for 60 minutes and I thought we were difficult to play against - all four lines played well."
The difference in the game, once again, was special teams. MSU ended 1 for 3 on the power play, while the Beavers ended 0 for 5.
"We just didn't get it done on the power play," Serratore said. "It's a game of breaks and bounces and we didn't get any. Yes, maybe we lost a race to the puck on their third goal, but overall I thought we played with a lot of intensity. We just couldn't get it going on the power play."
It didn't take BSU junior Matt Read long to show he was ready to play.
Coming off the bench for his first shift of the night, Read picked up the puck near the red line, skated into the MSU zone and ripped a wrist shot past the Maverick's goalie Austin Lee at the 54 second mark.
Mankato tied the score on an unfortunate misplay by BSU freshman goalie Mathieu Dugas.
Eriah Hayes softly lifted the puck toward the net on a line change. The puck hit Dugas' glove and deflected straight down into the net at 4:29 to tie it at 1-1.
The Beavers ended with an 11-6 shot advantage in the period and had two more great chances to score. The best happened when Shea Walters and Ben Kinne executed a nice 2 on 1 play with Walters getting free in the slot. The puck slid off his stick, however, before Walters was able to get off a shot.
The second major penalty in as many nights then reared its ugly head for the Beavers. Just 10 seconds into the period Hunt was called for checking from behind and escorted off the ice.
There was a huge difference with the major this time around for BSU as Mankato scored just once, taking a 2-1 lead. MSU forward Geoff Irwin made a big time move at the blue line to beat a BSU defender and get off a hard shot. The rebound went to Kael Mouillierat who rapped it in a wide open net just 45 seconds into the second period.
That was it for the Mavericks as the BSU penalty kill stiffened and allowed no further scoring. In fact, BSU generated two good chances on the penalty kill with Kyle Hardwick and Walters both getting good looks at the goal.
The Mavericks also lost a player in the period as Hayes went down after a collision at the far boards. He appeared to have caught a stick in the net and did not return.
The Mavericks went into shut down mode in the third and generated only a single shot on goal. It was a big one however, as Michael Dorr won the race to a loose puck in the BSU zone and rifled a wrist shot past Dugas from the near circle at 7:34.
It was the eventual game winner for Mankato as the Beavers scored late and made things interesting down the stretch.
Trailing 3-1, the Beavers pulled Dugas for the extra attacker with just over three minutes left. The move worked as Jordan George connected off a scramble in front of the net to make it 3-2 with 2:03 remaining.
The Beavers continued to put on the pressure and had the crowd roaring in waning moments. But another goal was not to be and the Beavers fell 3-2.
BSU ended with a 31-14 shots on goal advantage, mainly on the huge 14-1 advantage in the third. Dugas took the loss in net, falling to 3-2-0, and ended with 11 saves. Lee got the win with 29 saves, improving to 7-5-0.
The Beavers will now take an extended Holiday break, returning to action Jan. 2-3 at Western Michigan. The Beavers won't be home for over a month with the next game Jan. 22 against Minnesota-Duluth.