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MEN’S HOCKEY: Beavers’ sweep dreams shattered in desert as ASU responds

A pane of protective glass shattered into innumerable pieces during the second period Friday at Oceanside Ice Arena.

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Bemidji State Beavers

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A pane of protective glass shattered into innumerable pieces during the second period Friday at Oceanside Ice Arena. Around the same time, so, too, did the Bemidji State men’s hockey team’s shot at a sweep against Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz.

The Sun Devils took control of the game in the second, outscoring BSU 3-1 and keeping pace in the third period to earn a 6-4 win.

An even first period ended with a 1-1 tie, as Lukas Sillinger scored for the No. 20 Beavers 27 seconds in. ASU’s Sean Dhooghe matched him at 1:41.

The Sun Devils turned the tide in the second period, as Colin Theisen gave them their first lead of the series at 1:01 before Tim Theocharidis doubled it up at 3:32.

Then came the collapse -- not by Bemidji State, though the Beavers were a factor in it. A strong check by Theocharidis sent BSU’s Aaron Myers soaring into a panel of the Oceanside safety glass. And much like a wave, it gave way and broke -- this time onto ice instead of shoreline.

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What ensued was a delay longer than even a typical intermission as crews measured the gap, picked up pebbles of glass and eventually found a new pane to replace the vacant one.

Bemidji State responded to the break by netting a goal 11:23 into the resumed period by Owen Sillinger. But Arizona State had the last word, answering 21 seconds later on a Josh Doan score to finish the session with a two-goal lead.

The Sun Devils added another at 3:49 into the third period to pad the advantage and go up three goals. BSU chased down a 5-on-3 goal at 7:42 to make it 5-3, but ASU kept the pedal on the floor, with Demetrios Koumontzis answering at 17:49 to put the game out of reach.

Bemidji State’s Ethan Somoza added an academic extra-attacker score at 18:29, but the Beavers left Tempe without a second win after taking Wednesday’s game 4-3.

The loss dropped BSU to 8-6 overall. The split nonconference series did not affect the Beavers’ sterling 6-2 record in CCHA play, which placed them second in the league entering the weekend.

Bemidji State returns to the ice against St. Thomas Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4, in St. Paul.

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Arizona State 6, Bemidji State 4

BSU 1 1 2 -- 4

ASU 1 3 2 -- 6

First period -- 1, BSU GOAL, L. Sillinger (O. Sillinger, Rosen), 0:27, PP; 2, ASU GOAL, Dhooghe (Becker, Lovell), 1:41.

Second period -- 3, ASU GOAL, Theisen (Doan), 1:01; 4, ASU GOAL, Theocharidis (Koumontzis), 3:32; 5, BSU GOAL, O. Sillinger (L. Sillinger, Rosen), 11:23; 6, ASU GOAL, Doan (Theisen), 11:44.

Third period -- 7, ASU GOAL, O’Reilly (Grando), 3:49; 8, BSU GOAL, Rosen (Ierullo), 7:42, PP; 9, ASU GOAL, Koumontzis (unassisted), 17:49; 10, BSU GOAL, Somoza (O. Sillinger), 18:26, PP, EA.

Saves -- Enright (BSU) 30; Kraws (ASU) 23.

Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
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