MEN’S HOCKEY: Beavers bury flurry of 2nd-period goals en route to 1st win

The Beavers scored five second-period goals, including three in 54 seconds, en route to a 6-3 nonconference victory over Michigan Tech at the Sanford Center.

121620.S.BP.BSUMHKY Harris goal celebration.jpg
The Beavers celebrate a goal by senior Brendan Harris in the second period against Michigan Tech on Saturday at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- The offensive fireworks were on full display for the Bemidji State men’s hockey team Saturday evening. The Beavers scored five second-period goals, including three in 54 seconds, en route to a 6-3 nonconference victory over Michigan Tech at the Sanford Center.

“It was unbelievable,” head coach Tom Serratore said of the rapid-fire goals. “They had to announce the three different goal scorers when there was a media timeout.”

Six different players accounted for the six goals, including seniors Brendan Harris and Ethan Somoza, juniors Alex Ierullo and Nick Cardelli, sophomore Elias Rosén and freshman Lukas Sillinger, who scored his first collegiate goal.

Ierullo netted the eventual game-winner, a goal scored in the midst of the second-period offensive flurry. He, along with Aaron Miller and Owen Sillinger, finished with two points on the night.

Five goals in one period is the most by BSU since scoring five in the first period of an 8-3 win over Merrimack on Nov. 9, 2018.


“Being on their (defensemen), and creating turnovers resulted in those goals,” Cardelli said. “It was good to get a three- or four-goal lead there in the second and go from there.”

The offensive outburst was a far cry from the team’s season opener, a 5-0 loss to Minnesota State. Following a 20-day layoff since that game, Bemidji State was as energized as ever to be back in action.

“It still seems like it was six months ago that we played Mankato, and it seems about two years ago when we played Lake Superior State (in the WCHA playoffs last March),” Serratore said. “It’s just nice to play, and it was nice to be at home this weekend, as well.”

The teams played to a 1-1 stalemate through the first period.

Rosén gave the Beavers (1-1-0) the early lead. The blueliner fired a shot that was deflected up front and skittered past former Alabama Huntsville goalie Mark Sinclair, who joined the Huskies (1-3-1) as a graduate transfer over the offseason.

An odd bounce resulted in Tech’s tying goal two minutes later. The puck caromed off the end boards as goalie Zach Driscoll attempted to play it behind the net, and ricocheted into the slot where Trenton Bliss scored on the open net.

Brendan Harris initiated the second-period onslaught only 53 ticks into the frame. The senior skated from his own zone with a head full of steam, outskating the Huskies and beating Sinclair for the go-ahead goal that made it 2-1. The goal was Harris’s first since March 1, 2019, prior to an injury-shortened junior season.

Somoza scored the first of three goals in 54 seconds at the 5:46 mark of the second. The senior collected a rebound and tucked the goal inside the cage from a tight angle shot.


Only 10 seconds had elapsed before Ierullo’s goal from the slot.

121620.S.BP.BSUMHKY Owen Sillinger.jpg
Bemidji State senior Owen Sillinger (12) passes to his brother Lukas Sillinger (20) for a goal in the second period against Michigan Tech on Saturday at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Lukas Sillinger then found his first collegiate goal another 44 ticks later on a give-and-go with his older brother Owen Sillinger, extending the lead to 5-1.

“It calmed our bench obviously,” Serratore said of the scoring outburst. “The guys are trying to figure a lot of different things out right now. … They’re trying to figure out their line combinations. … I think from the guys’ standpoint, it was nice to get that little cushion right there.”

Sinclair was pulled from net for Blake Pietala after the goal.

Carson Bantle ended the Beavers’ goal-scoring streak by tallying his first collegiate goal 15 seconds after the fifth BSU goal, making it 5-2. When all was said and done, four goals had been scored in 1 minute, 9 seconds.

Cardelli capped the scoring effort for Bemidji State later in the second, converting on a 2-on-1 chance that brought the lead to 6-1.


Alec Broetzman netted a breakaway goal to cut the deficit in half with 10:32 to go in the third, but that was as much as the Huskies could muster.

Driscoll made 29 saves in the win, while Sinclair stopped 14 shots and Pietila 10 for the visitors.

Each team finished 0-for-2 on the power play.

The Beavers will go for the nonconference series sweep at 2:07 p.m. Sunday at the Sanford Center.

Bemidji State 6, Michigan Tech 3

MTU 1 1 1 -- 3

BSU 1 5 0 -- 6


First period -- 1, BSU, Rosen (Jones), 11:03; 2, MTU, Bliss (unassisted), 12:59.

Second period -- 3, BSU, Harris (Miller, Vold), 0:53; 4, BSU, Somoza (Miller, Gula), 5:46; 5, BSU, Ierullo (O. Sillinger), 5:56; 6, BSU, L. Sillinger (O. Sillinger, Adams), 6:40; 7, MTU, Bantle (Misiak), 6:55; 8, BSU, Cardelli (Ierullo), 12:49.

Third period -- 9, MTU, Broetzman (L. Pietila), 9:28.

Goalies (saves-shots) -- BSU, Driscoll (29-32); MTU, Sinclair (14-19), B. Pietila (10-11).

Austin Monteith is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he is a 2015 graduate of Butler University. Follow him on Twitter at @amonteith92. Contact the Pioneer sports department at
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