ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

MEN’S HOCKEY: Bemidji State can’t match top-ranked Mavericks in opener

For 20 minutes on Friday, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team played nearly even with the No. 1 team in the country.

121521.S.BP.BSUMHKY Mattias Sholl.jpg
Bemidji State goalie Mattias Sholl (30) stops a shot in the second period against Minnesota State on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI – For 20 minutes on Friday, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team played nearly even with the No. 1 team in the country.

It didn’t last. Minnesota State showcased its mettle in the second period, putting the Beavers in a deep hole with four goals and controlling the action the rest of the way to win 5-1.

“The second period was a tough period for the Beavers,” head coach Tom Serratore said. “First period too, we were chasing the game a little bit, but again, we hung in there. We did some decent things. But the second period was just a snowstorm, and the game was over after 40 (minutes).”

BSU (10-7, 8-3 CCHA) struggled to contain MSU’s diverse attack, as five different Mavericks scored and eight recorded assists. Despite killing a five-minute major penalty in the second, the Beavers conceded three even-strength goals and a shorthanded score.

ADVERTISEMENT

121521.S.BP.BSUMHKY Ryan Sandelin.jpg
Minnesota State’s Ryan Sandelin (14) celebrates after scoring in the first period against Bemidji State on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Bemidji State broke through with one goal in the third period, a consolation score by Ross Armour at 17:20. But that was an outlier on a night where the Beavers generated only 12 shots on goal.

“We were buying popcorn at the concession stand a few times tonight, and we got to make sure that we're into the game a little bit more,” Serratore said. “You got to be into the game physically. You got to be into it mentally. Every shift is important, and you got to play with an edge. We didn't play with an edge tonight, and they played with an edge, and look what happened.”

Freshman Mattias Sholl started in net for the Beavers and collected 24 saves but conceded five goals in 40 minutes of action. Sophomore Gavin Enright replaced him for the third period and stopped four shots to shut down MSU’s scoring down the stretch.

Renowned Minnesota State goalie Dryden McKay had 11 saves, conceding just the one late goal.

121521.S.BP.BSUMHKY Owen Sillinger.jpg
Bemidji State senior Owen Sillinger (12) chases the puck in the first period against Minnesota State on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Despite the dominant win by the Mavericks, it’s just one game, and BSU will have another opportunity at 6:07 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, to earn a series split. Not only would this restore morale to the dressing room, but it would help Bemidji State keep pace with MSU in the conference standings.

ADVERTISEMENT

“You don't say anything after the game to the players,” Serratore said. “You just move on, and you say, ‘See you tomorrow,’ and that's what we did.”

With its win Friday, Minnesota State (15-4, 11-2 CCHA) moved eight points in front of the Beavers in the CCHA. BSU can get those three points back with a Saturday win at the Sanford Center.

121521.S.BP.BSUMHKY Jere Vaisanen.jpg
Bemidji State freshman Jere Vaisanen (16) skates with the puck in the first period against Minnesota State on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Minnesota State 5, Bemidji State 1

MSU 1 4 0 -- 5

BSU 0 0 1 -- 1

First period -- 1, MSU GOAL, Sandelin (McNeely, Furry), 17:31.

ADVERTISEMENT

Second period -- 2, MSU GOAL, Lutz (Silye), 1:11; 3, MSU GOAL, Napravnik (Aamodt, Borchardt), 3:49; 4, MSU GOAL, Furry (Morton, Maass), 14:16; 5, MSU GOAL, Livingstone (Silye, Groll), 18:41, SH.

Third period -- 6, BSU GOAL, Armour (Adams, Kirkup), 17:20.

Saves -- Sholl (BSU) 24; Enright (BSU) 4; McKay (MSU) 11.

121521.S.BP.BSUMHKY Tyler Kirkup.jpg
Bemidji State senior Tyler Kirkup (27) attempts to pass the puck in the first period against Minnesota State on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

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.
What To Read Next
Hans Martin Ulvebne, who recently committed to the Beavers, could become the first player from Norway on the Bemidji State men's hockey roster in its Division I era.
And why shouldn’t she? Indiana brings a 20-1 record and No. 4 national ranking into Wednesday’s game at the Barn
The junior forward from Grand Rapids averaged a double-double, compiling 21.5 points and 11 rebounds per game in Bemidji State's weekend split against Southwest Minnesota State and Sioux Falls.
Roed led all league rookies with two points last week, pacing Bemidji State with a +2 rating. Helping the Beavers to a series split, he assisted on the game-winning goal in Friday's victory.