The Bemidji State men’s hockey team leaned on upperclassmen early and underclassmen late in a 7-0 exhibition victory over the University of Regina Sunday at the Sanford Center.
Shea Walters, Jamie MacQueen, Jordan George and Matt Carlson scored Bemidji State’s first four goals. Kyle Brodie, Mitch Cain and Jeff Jubinville scored in the third period.
“I thought we got better as the game progressed – the first part of the game we played on our heels and at the end we were playing on our toes with more energy,” Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said. “I thought it was a pretty good first game for us.”
Goalies Dan Bakala, Mathieu Dugas and Andrew Walsh each played one period and combined for 18 saves. Regina goalie Lucas Gore had 36 saves and BSU outshot the Cougars 43-18.
The BSU coaching staff used the game to evaluate special teams units and the seven new freshmen. The Beavers shut down all five Regina power plays and were 1-for-4 on the power play.
“We need to work our penalty killing but I think everyone feels that way this early in the year,” Serratore said. “We need to watch some video with our guys and we need to definitely be better next week on the penalty kill against Miami.”
Bemidji State opens the regular season Friday and Saturday at Miami in Oxford, Ohio. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since the 2009 Subway Holiday Classic Tournament in Grand Forks. BSU beat then No. 1 RedHakws 3-2 in a rematch of the 2009 Frozen Four semifinal Miami won.
BSU captain Ben Kinne played Sunday on the top line with George and MacQueen in his first game since the the 2010 NCAA Tournament game against Michigan. Kinne suffered a stroke during a summer workout in 2010, did not play last season but did participate in practices.
“I was a little rusty in the first period, I played a lot of shifts that period so I was a little tired after that,” Kinne said. “Personally I thought I held up pretty much throughout the game. I thought I played sort of back to where I used to. It was good.”
Kinne wore a helmet-mounted video camera in presume warmups and the first period. Some of the video may appear on the scoreboard at future games.
Walters scored the first goal for the Beavers 67 seconds in when he took a feed from Radoslav Illo on the far side of the net and beat Gore. David Boehm, who sat out last season after transferring from the University of Massachusetts, also assisted on the goal.
MacQueen scored on the power play with 6:31 left in the first period to put BSU ahead 2-0.
George and Carlson added unassisted goals in the second period for a 4-0 lead. George skated in from the blue line, shot between the circles and put back his own rebound 4:22 into the second.
Carlson scored with 4:20 left in the period with a mix of speed and stick handling. Skating in from the Beaver blue line, Carlson made a few moves around two defenders at the Regina blue line and beat Gore from close range with a backhand.
“Somehow I got the puck and I saw an opening,” Carlson said. “As I got near the other blue line I had to make a decision and I thought I would go for it since I’m always there. I guess it just went in.”
BSU closed out the game with three goals in the third period. Wacker scored on a low slap shot from the blue line, Cain scored when Brady Wacker’s slap shot deflected off his skate and Jubinville scored on a one-timer.
All of Bemidji State’s freshman saw playing time. Freshman Danny Mattson played on a line with Aaron McLeod and Jubinville. Mitch Cain, Sean Rudy and Tyler Tosunian formed the all-freshman fourth line. Sam Windle played on defense with senior Brad Hunt and Matt Prapavessis played on a pairing with sophomore Sam Rendle.
“I thought they played good,” Serratore said of the freshmen. “All of them all had some bright spots and that is something to build on.”
UR 0 0 0 – 0
BSU 2 2 3 – 7
First period – 1, BSU, Walters (Illo, Boehm), 1:07. 2, BSU, MacQueen (George, Hunt), 13:29, (pp).
Second period – 3, BSU, George (unassisted), 4:22. 4, BSU, Carlson (unassisted), 15:40.
Third period- 5, Brodie (unassisted), 4:46. 6, BSU Cain (Wacker, Tosunian), 12:13. 7, BSU, Jubinville (Mattson, Carlson), 17:19.
Shots on goal - UR, 8-6-4-18. BSU, 14-13-16-43.
Goalies- UR, Gore (43-36). BSU, Bakala (20:00, 8-8), Dugas (20:00, 6-6), Walsh (20:00, 5-10).
Power Plays- UR, 0-for-5. BSU, 1-for-4.
All photos by Eric Stromgren.