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Men's hockey: Alaska Fairbanks bounces BSU 5-1

BSU’s Mitch Cain worked a one on one opportunity against Alaska-Fairbanks goalie Davis Jones in the second period on Saturday night. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — Another poor first period proved costly for the BSU men’s hockey team this time around.

Alaska Fairbanks scored two goals in the first four minutes of the game then coasted to a 5-1 victory over BSU in their Western Collegiate Hockey Association game Saturday night at the Sanford Center.

“We got behind the eight-ball right away, that two-goal deficit, and we really never recovered,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “I thought that team played with a lot of desperation and we didn’t. There’s a reason that outcome was 5-1.”

The Beavers (5-9-6, 5-5-4 WCHA) couldn’t overcome those two quick goals by the Nanooks.

Alaska’s Alec Hajdukovich kicked off scoring just 2:30 into the game with assists from Matthew Friese and Roseau native and former Bemidji resident Josh Erickson.

The Nanooks tacked on another one less than a minute later when Garrick Perry put a puck past Walsh’s gove.

The period ended with the Nanooks outshooting BSU 17-8 but it didn’t feel that close.

Adding to BSU’s troubles was the fact that they took 12 penalties in the game totalling 26 minutes.

It could hardly have been considered a “clean” game for either team — BSU and Alaska combined for 21 penalties totalling 56 minutes — but the Nanooks (7-8-3, 4-7-1 WCHA) did a better job capitalizing on BSU’s mistakes.

Alaska scored twice on the power play, once shorthanded and twice at even strength.

By the time the Beavers got on the scoreboard — Markus Gerbrandt scored an unassisted shorthanded tally with less than five minutes to go in the second — they were already down 4-0.

“We’ve had opportunities on our power play lately,” Alaska head coach Dallas Ferguson said. “We had a few chances on the power play (Friday) but we really did a nice job finishing them off tonight. Special teams are always going to be important to the outcome of the game and our penalty kill also did a good job.”

The Nanooks went 2-for-10 on the power play and held BSU scoreless in eight power play chances.

Serratore said the penalties were partly a result of the lopsided score.

“It got that way when the game was out of hand,” the coach said. “But really the bottom line is they just chipped away and they played with a lot of urgency. They had good puck movement, they skated well. It was a must-win for them and they earned those two points.”

Michael Quinn and Coloton Parayko scored a pair of power play tallies early in the second frame to make it 4-0 before Gerbrandt scored.

Nolan Youngman’s shorthanded score with under a minute left in the second period made it 5-1; he somehow managed to sneak behind the BSU defense for a breakaway just as a Beavers’ five-minute major power play was ending to beat BSU goalie Andrew Walsh.

The Nanooks outshot the Beavers 38-26 and Walsh made 33 saves in his first appearance since Nov. 29 against Miami.

Alaska’s Davis Jones got the win for the Nanooks and stopped 25 shots.

With the three points this weekend the Nanooks moved up in the standings to a tie for eighth place (nine points) while the Beavers fall into a tie for third (14 points).

Both teams get a break going into the holidays; BSU returns to the ice Jan. 3-4 to host Northern Michigan. Serratore said they’ll try and forget about the poor performance away and let the break be a break.

“That’s not the kind of motivation we need over break,” Serratore said. “We just need to refocus, re energize and be ready to play the second half of our schedule.”

Alaska 5, Bemidji State 1

UAF 2 3 0 — 5

BSU 0 1 0 — 1

First Period — 1, UAF, Hajdukovich (Friese, Erickson), 2:30; 2, UAF, Perry (Morley, Quinn), 3:28. Penalties — BSU, Illo (Interference), 5:01; UAF, Morney (Interference), 8:19; BSU, Hansen (High Sticking), 11:26; UAF, Woods (Checking From Behind), 15:33; BSU, Illo (Hooking), 15:47; UAF, Quinn (Tripping), 18:00.

Second Period — 3, UAF, Quinn (Kunyk, Beck), 7:43, PP; 4, UAF, Parayako (Beck, Quinn), 14:20, PP; 5, BSU, Gerbrandt (Unassisted), 15:58, SH; 6, UAF, Youngmun (Hochhausen), 19:22, SH. Penalties — UAF, Youngmun (Charging), 2:33; BSU, Brewer (Elbowing), 7:40; BSU, Ward (Slashing), 8:24; UAF, Morley, (Charging), 9:15; BSU, Harms (Roughing), 13:22; UAF, Hochhausen (Roughing), 13:22; BSU, Harms (Roughing), 13:22; UAF, Friese (Hooking), 15:58.

Third Period — No Scoring. Penalties — BSU, Team (Too Many Men), 2:05; UAF, Parayko (Tripping), 6:16; BSU, Marinaccio (Tripping), 7:40; BSU, Ward (Hooking), 11:18; UAF, Perry (Tripping), 17:00; BSU, Marinaccio (Hooking), 17:06; BSU, Marinaccio (Game Misconduct), 17:06.

Shots On Goal: UAF—17-8-13—38; BSU—81-1-7—26. Goalies (Shots-Saves): UAF, Jones (26-25); BSU, Walsh (38-22). Penalties-Minutes: UAF, 9-21; BSU, 12-35. Power Plays (Goals-Opportunities): UAF, 2-for-10; BSU, 0-for-1. Faceoffs: BSU 31-30 Three Stars: 1-Quinn, UAF; 2-Perry, UAF; 3-Gerbrandt, BSU.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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