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Wildcats whitewash Beaver men 4-0

Northern Michigan goalie Reid Ellingson stopped every shot that came his way and led the Wildcats to a 4-0 victory over the Bemidji State men's hockey team Friday night at the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

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Bemidji State defenseman Brad Hunt clears the puck ahead of Northern Michigan's Stephan Vigier (40) and Brian Nugent during the first period of Friday night's game at the Bemidji Regional Event Center. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

Northern Michigan goalie Reid Ellingson stopped every shot that came his way and led the Wildcats to a 4-0 victory over the Bemidji State men's hockey team Friday night at the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

The Cloquet, Minn., native had 37 saves and goals from Nicholas Kosinski with 18 seconds left in the first period and Phil Fox 3:41 into the second period gave the Wildcats the cushion they needed to win.

"It was a disappointing loss," Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said. "We had two defensive breakdowns ... you just can't give up a goal with 18 seconds to go in the period. You go back into the locker room 0-0 and it's a totally different game and the mindset is totally different. The second goal we just didn't pick up our backcheck right and Phil Fox converted."

It was the third straight loss for the Beavers and the first shutout on home ice since a 1-0 loss to Minnesota State, Mankato on Dec. 15, 2007. Bemidji State dropped to 2-8-1 overall (2-7-1 WCHA) and Northern Michigan improved to 6-6-2 overall (5-4-1 CCHA). The two teams wrap up the weekend series today at the BREC at 7:07 p.m.

Bemidji State had some quality scoring chances in the game, but Ellingson was there to make all the saves. He stopped BSU's leading scorer Matt Read twice, including early in the second period on a short breakaway with a glove save. Ellingson did the same to Ian Lowe when he skated in all alone on a breakaway from the blue line late in the second period.

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Ellingson characterized last year's 5-0 loss to the Beavers in Marquette was a motivating factor for the Wildcats in Friday's game.

"Last year they took it to us in our own barn and we were hoping to return the favor: we put in a good 60-minute effort tonight," Ellingson said. "Our D(efense) boxed out good and whenever there was a rebound the D was clearing the puck out It was an overall team effort. We blocked a lot of shots, our forwards got back on the backcheck, there was not a lot of odd-man rushes and we just worked hard."

Kosinski scored the lone goal of a defensive first period. As the penalty expired on CJ Ludwig, Kosinski gained the BSU zone along the sideboards, skated to the face-off dot and fired a wrist shot under the crossbar for his first goal of the season.

Fox made it 2-0 when he put back a quick rebound from the top of the far circle 3:41 into the second period.

Northern Michigan went up 3-0 early in the third period when BSU goalie Mathieu Dugas made an excellent save on the initial shot, but Erik Higby was at the top of the crease to bury the rebound at the 2:11 mark. Tyler Gron iced the game with an empty-net goal with 1:44 remaining.

Bemidji State outshot Northern Michigan 37-25 in the game and many of those shots came from the edges of the rink.

"I thought Ellingson played well; he was square to the puck, he was athletic and I thought he was very sharp," Serratore said. "I also thought that we need to still get to the interior of the rink more. We have to play inside the dots a little bit better. Hopefully if we play inside the dots a little bit better, we can get a little more traffic and generate a little more offense."

Northern Michigan 1 1 2 - 4

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Bemidji State 0 0 0 - 0

First period- 1. NMU, Kosinski 1 (Ludwig, Florek), 19:42.

Second period- 2. NMU, Fox 4 (Florek, Macaulay), 3:41.

Third period- 3. NMU, Higby 2 (Vigier, Cherniwchan), 2:11. 4. NMU, Gron 7 (Macaulay, Maltese), 18:15, (en).

Shots-NMU, 7-10-8-25. BSU, 7-16-14-37.

Goalies-NMU, Ellingson (37-37). BSU, Dugas (25-22).

Power Plays-NMU, 0-for-4. BSU, 0-for-3.

A-3,505.

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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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.