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MEN’S HOCKEY: Bemidji State holds off late Sun Devils surge to win opener

The No. 20 Beavers held off a third-period charge by the Sun Devils to earn their second nonconference win of the season.

112721.S.BP.BSUMHKY.Alex Adams
Bemidji State senior forward Alex Adams (25) watches the puck at Oceanside Ice Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz. (Sun Devil Athletics)

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team made its first-ever appearance at Oceanside Ice Arena Wednesday in Tempe, Ariz., against Arizona State and grabbed a 4-3 win in its desert debut.

The No. 20 Beavers held off a third-period charge by the Sun Devils to earn their second nonconference win of the season.

BSU jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the first period on the strength of two goals by Ross Armour and one by Owen Sillinger, then held down the Sun Devils’ attacking response for most of the duration.

Alex Ierullo added the game-winner in the third period, an insurance score at 6:50. It held up as ASU fought down the stretch and scored two goals to make it interesting, the second with an extra attacker at 19:20 to make it 4-3 and get BSU sweating.

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112721.S.BP.BSUMHKY.Alex Ierullo
Bemidji State men's hockey senior forward Alex Ierullo (14) attacks the net at Oceanside Ice Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz. (Sun Devil Athletics)

But the Beavers maintained their defensive structure, and were even able to possess the puck for some crucial seconds to seal the win.

Mattias Sholl, perhaps the lone Bemidji State player with experience playing at Oceanside thanks to his youth hockey days, started in net for the Beavers and recorded 23 saves against an Arizona State attack that threatened consistently after a slow start. The Sun Devils were buttressed by a strong performance from goaltender Ben Kraws, who showcased his flexibility with several athletic saves among his total of 29.

BSU improves to 8-5 overall (6-2 CCHA) with the nonconference victory. After taking the day off Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Beavers will have a shot at the sweep at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, in Tempe.

112721.S.BP.BSUMHKY.Tyler Jubenvill
Bemidji State men's hockey senior defenseman Tyler Jubenvill (15) contests the puck at Oceanside Ice Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz. (Sun Devil Athletics)

Bemidji State 4, Arizona State 3

BSU 3 0 1 -- 4

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ASU 1 0 2 -- 3

First period -- 1, BSU GOAL, Armour (Rosen), 5:45; 2, BSU GOAL, Armour (Ierullo), 7:56, PP; 3, ASU GOAL, Koumontzis (Doan), 12:12; 4, BSU GOAL, O. Sillinger (unassisted), 17:50.

Second period -- No scoring.

Third period -- 5, BSU GOAL, Ierullo (L. Sillinger, Jubenvill), 6:50; 6, ASU GOAL, Kopperud (Dhooghe, Judson), 8:47; 7, ASU GOAL, Grando (Kopperud, Mancinelli), 19:20, EA.

Saves -- Sholl (BSU) 23; Kraws (ASU) 29.

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