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MEN'S HOCKEY: Bemidji State routs Alabama-Huntsville 6-1 for first win of season

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Markus Gerbrandt helped the Bemidji State men’s hockey team record its first win of the season in style.

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The sophomore from Edmonton, Alberta, scored a hat trick and Andrew Walsh made 22 saves as the Beavers beat Alabama-Huntsville 6-1 Friday night at the Von Braun Center.

“It was nice scoring some goals,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said following the game. “They’re physical and we had a hard time with it. I thought at times we were too cute with the puck.

“I was proud of the guys for staying with it. We simplified our game plan a little bit later in the game and had more success offensively.”

Gerbrandt’s hat trick was the first for BSU since Brad Hunt did the same in 2009 — also against the Chargers in Huntsville.

It was Huntsville’s first-ever game in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

The Beavers (1-3-1, 1-0-0 WCHA) started slow, not recording a shot on net until nearly five minutes into the first period.

And the Chargers (0-3-0, 0-1-0 WCHA) struck first.

Alex Allen beat Walsh just eight seconds into a power play to make it 1-0 at the 15 minute, 49 second mark.

But the Beavers scored two late goals in a span of 40 seconds to take the lead.

Gerbrandt kicked things off with a goal at 17:07.

Brendan Harms gave the Beavers the game-winning goal 40 seconds later. The freshman scored his first career collegiate goal with assists from Matt Prapavessis and Danny Mattson at 17:45.

In the second period BSU expanded its lead following a Chargers turnover.

Cory Ward picked up the puck in between the circles and beat UAH goalie Matt Larose to score his third goal of the season and put the Beavers up 3-1 at the 12:45 mark.

In the third period, Gerbrandt scored two goals in 16 seconds to secure the hat trick and put the game out of reach.

The first, an unassisted tally, came at the 2:45 mark. The next goal, from Jeff Jubinville and Phil Brewer, put BSU ahead 5-1 at the 3:01 mark of the third.

Halfway through the third period UAH appeared to cut into BSU’s lead but Doug McKenna’s goal was called back.

Charlie O’Connor put the finishing touches on BSU’s rout with his first college goal at 13:32.

Despite the big win BSU only outshot the Chargers 26-23. Larose stopped 20 shots for UAH.

The teams return to the ice at 7:07 p.m. today for the series finale.

Bemidji State 6, Alabama-Huntsville 1

Bemidji State                2     1     3 – 6

Alabama-Huntsville     1     0     0 – 1

First Period – 1, UAH, Allen (Reid), 15:49, PP; 2, BSU, Gerbrandt 1 (Rendle), 17:07; 3, BSU, Harms (Prapavessis, Mattson), 17:45. Penalties – BSU, Marinaccio (Tripping), 15:41; UAH, White (Roughing), 18:24; BSU, Ward (Roughing), 18:24; BSU, O’Connor (Holding), 18:47.

Second Period – 4, BSU, Ward (Mattson, Harms), 12:45. Penalties – BSU, Arentz (Cross-Checking), 2:34, BSU, Prapavessis (Slashing), 7:07; UAH, Vanderlugt (Hooking), 17:54; BSU, O’Connor (Slashing), 18:08.

Third Period – 5, BSU, Gerbrandt 2 (Unassisted), 2:45; 6, BSU, Gerbrandt 3 (Jubinville, Brewer), 3:01; 7, BSU, O’Connor (Cain), 13:32, PP. Penalties – BSU, Windle (Tripping), 5:05; BSU, Pedan (High-Sticking), 9:18; UAH, Reid (Elbowing), 9:53.

Shots on goal: BSU — 10-8-8—26; UAH — 11-8-4—23. Goaltenders (shots-saves): BSU — Walsh (23-22); UAH — Larose (26-20). Penalties-Minutes: BSU — 8-16; UAH — 3-6. Power Play goals, opportunities: BSU — 1-for-2; UAH — 1-for-7. Three Stars: 1-Gerbrandt, BSU; 2-Harms, BSU; 3-Mattson, BSU.

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Jack Hittinger
Jack Hittinger is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer, focusing on Bemidji State but also covering area high schools. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at http://thebeaverblog.areavoices.com/ and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.
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