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Bemidji State’s Jeff Jubinville celebrates with Beaver fans scoring the first goal of the game Saturday night. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

MEN'S HOCKEY: Minnesota scores five unanswered goals to beat Bemidji State 5-1

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BEMIDJI — Once again, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team jumped out to an early lead against instate rivals Minnesota.

And once again, the Golden Gophers had an answer.

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This time, third-ranked Minnesota scored five straight goals and got two tallies from Sam Warning to cruise to a 5-1 victory over Bemidji State in the finale of their nonconference series Saturday night at the Sanford Center.

The Gophers (4-0-0) scored twice in the second period and twice in the third — a few of the goals on some weird bounces — to sweep the series. Bemidji State is now 1-16-1 all-time against Minnesota and still has yet to defeat the Gophers in Bemidji.

“I thought we played pretty well,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “It’s weird, it’s a 5-1 game, but I thought we played pretty well. I mean, we had a couple tough bounces, but good players find good fortune. So hats off to Minnesota for getting those.”

BSU’s Danny Mattson and Jeff Jubinville hooked up to score on a textbook one-timer just 2 minutes, 37 seconds, into the game but that was the only real highlight for the Beavers in a game that featured plenty of missed opportunities.

The Beavers (0-3-1) couldn’t take the 1-0 lead into the dressing room, as Minnesota’s Warning scored his first goal of the night at the 17:05 mark on a strange bounce that nobody — including BSU goaltender Andrew Walsh — could see.

“It was a deflection that kind of fluttered over Walsh,” Serratore said. “It was one of those goals you couldn’t see. I don’t think anyone on the ice could even track the puck after it got deflected. It was just one of those goals, these things happen.”

In the second period, the Gophers used a pair of strange goals to pull away.

At 11:40 of the second the Beavers failed to clear the puck out of their zone. Justin Kloos intercepted it, took a big shot that bounced back off the boards and right onto the stick of Taylor Cammarata. Walsh couldn’t get over to his stick side in time to make the save.

Warning scored his second of the game — and fifth of the season — after the Gophers got an odd-man rush; Hudson Fasching took a shot and Warning was right in front of Walsh for the deflection under his pads.

The Gophers went on to score twice in the third period — Mike Reilley with a snipe from just in front of the blue line and 4:57 and Kloos with a tic-tac-toe goal at 15:32.

Serratore said the third period was the most difficult to swallow.

“You have to fight back and have a good third period,” Serratore said. “If there’s any part of the game I’m disappointed in it’s the third. I thought we were a little lackadaisical with the puck and threw it away and didn’t’ have a lot of composure at times.”

“That played into Minnesota’s hands with how aggressive they forecheck.”

The Gophers outshot the Beavers 31-25; Walsh made 26 saves.

Adam Wilcox made his 41st consecutive start for Minnesota and stopped 24 shots.

The Beavers start their Western Collegiate Hockey Association season next weekend when they travel to Alabama to take on rival Alabama-Huntsville.

Serratore said although his team has yet to win four games he’s impressed with what he’s seen so far early in the season.

“I thought we skated well, we were taking their lanes away, we weren’t turning pucks over,” he said. “I thought tactically we were pretty good. I thought we had a lot of energy. that’s hard to sustain for 60 minutes against any team.”

Bemidji State 1, Minnesota 1

UM      1  2  2 — 5

BSU    1  0  0 — 1

First Period — 1, BSU, Jubinville (Gerbrandt, Mattson), 2:37; 2, UM, Warning 1 (Boyd, Marshall), 17:05. Penalties — UM, Fasching (Tripping), 0:27; BSU, Gerbrandt (Interference), 6:31; BSU, Rendle (Holding), 14:36.

Second Period — 3, UM, Cammarata (Kloos), 11:40; 4, UM, Warning 2 (Fasching, Bischoff), 13:38. Penalties — UM, Parenteau (Slashing), 4:45; BSU, Ward (High Sticking), 6:39.

Third Period — 5, UM, Reilly (Kloos, Lettieri), 4:57; 6, UM, Kloos (Condon, Cammarata), 15:33. Penalties — UM, Serratore (Interference), 2:25; BSU, Gerbrandt (Tripping), 6:05; BSU, Mattson (Slashing), 9:30; Letteri (Tripping).

Shots on goal: UM — 10-10-11—31, BSU — 7-9-9—25. Goaltenders (shots-saves): UM — Wilcox (25-24); BSU — Walsh (31-26). Penalties-Minutes: UM — 4-8; BSU — 5-10. Power Play goals, opportunities: UM — 0-for-5; BSU — 0-for-4. Faceoffs: BSU 34-21. Three Stars: 1-Warning, UM; 2-Kloos, UM; 3-Jubinville, 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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