ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Captain Read's words motivate Beavers to win

If the Bemidji State men's hockey team can rally after a tough start to the season, then give some credit to Matt Read's motivational words before Saturday's 4-0 win over Alaska-Anchorage.

If the Bemidji State men's hockey team can rally after a tough start to the season, then give some credit to Matt Read's motivational words before Saturday's 4-0 win over Alaska-Anchorage.

After blowing an early two-goal lead in last Friday's 5-4 loss to Anchorage at the Bemidji Regional Event Center, the coaching staff challenged the players to come up with the answers at Saturday morning's practice.

Read then addressed the team during a players' meeting after practice.

"I just thought it was my time of the year to say something and get the team together," Read said. "(I told them) you know, we're in the WCHA. We're not all NHL all-stars, we've got to get back to basics and we've just got to play fundamental hockey and we've got to start learning how to win now so later on we know it takes."

The Beavers responded with the convincing shutout win that night for the first victory at the BREC in program history. Bemidji State played a basic brand of hockey: limit turnovers, dump pucks to the backwall, win the race to the loose puck and create scoring opportunities from there.

ADVERTISEMENT

Unlike Friday, the Beavers made a 2-0 lead in the first period stand. The Beavers were better defensively in a game where there were 33 combined shots on goal and good scoring opportunities were hard to come by.

"I thought tonight we played the best game we played all year," said Read, who scored four goals in the series. "You can just tell moving pucks, we weren't shaky at times, just got pucks out and pucks deep all night. That upset Anchorage. I know I wouldn't like to play against that and the whole night they were frustrated. It just ended up that we had a couple good goals and we didn't give them a sniff all night and it was a great game by all of us."

One game - Bemidji State's second WCHA win - will not make the season. But Saturday's success seemed to energize the team. BSU started the season 1-3-1 against powerhouses North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth, but are 2-2 since then with three of those games decided by one goal.

"We learned a lot tonight and those little things we've got to get back to," Read said. "You're not going to out-skill teams in this league right now. You have to out-work them and out-will them and play fundamental hockey and that's how you're going to win games in this league right now."

Dugas shutout

Mathieu Dugas earned the distinction of firsts for a BSU goalie Saturday in his first victory of the season. He was the goalie of record for BSU's first win in the BREC and the program's first shutout as members of the WCHA.

"I can't really take any credit for that shutout," Dugas said. "I got one shot and the defense always cleared it away. I don't remember having two shots back to back so I can't really take any credit. It was a great, great team game and really fun to watch from my perspective. It was just great to get it (the first win) here and finally get it out of the way."

Scouting Denver

ADVERTISEMENT

The Beavers (2-5-1 overall, 2-5-1 WCHA) head to Denver this weekend and will face the Pioneers (6-4-2 overall, 5-2-1 WCHA) in the second road trip of the season.

BSU has not played at Denver since January 2008. BSU lost that game 4-2 when Denver was ranked No. 4 in the country.

The Pioneers, who have won four of their last five games, moved up two spots to No. 13 in Monday's national poll after sweeping Minnesota State University, Mankato.

WCHA recap

Minnesota-Duluth held on to first place in the WCHA with a sweep at home against Michigan Tech. UMD overcame an early two-goal deficit Friday to win 5-3 and won 4-2 on Saturday. The Bulldogs had 47 shots on goal in Friday.

North Dakota stayed on UMD's heels with a road sweep at Wisconsin. UND won 1-0 Friday and 4-2 Saturday.

Nebraska-Omaha continued its stellar start to the season with a 4-0 win and 4-4 tie at St. Cloud State.

Omaha, which has not lost yet, hosts UND this weekend and can jump the Fighting Sioux in the standings by winning the series.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mankato was swept in Denver, where the Mavericks have not won since 2003.

Colorado College split a non-conference weekend with a 6-4 win over Air Force and a 5-1 loss to No. 3 Yale, which lost to Air Force Sunday 4-3.

National Polls

The WCHA continues to be well represented in this week's USCHO.com national poll. UMD moved into the No. 1 position for the first time since 2004 after Boston University lost the top spot with a pair of ties last weekend at Merrimack.

Other WCHA teams ranked in the top 20 are Omaha (4), North Dakota (8), Denver (13), Wisconsin (15), Minnesota (19). Receiving votes are St. Cloud State (11) and Colorado College (3).

BSU women get votes

The Bemidji State women's hockey team received seven votes in the USCHO.com national poll after last weekend's regulation victory and shootout victory over No. 8 North Dakota at the BREC.

The Beavers are off this weekend and will travel to Ohio State (16 votes) next weekend where the winner of the series could crack the national top 10.

Related Topics: HOCKEY
What To Read Next
It was another perfect Sunday with clear skies and comfortable temperatures on Garfield Lake. Thirty-three racers and crews filled the pits, and the oval track was surrounded by hundreds of fans.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.